Friday, July 12, 2013

Business in Brizzie

12 July 2013

We haven't done much of the usual touring around type of stuff, because we've been busy dealing with the business side of travelling.  One needs to do the usual life maintenance stuff, even when on the road.  In fact, sometimes things are more complicated when you're a rolling luggager, because when something breaks you can't just order it online to be replace.

Case in point - my Birks broke.  Again.  When we camp, we often walk on damp morning grass - the dew gets in between the layers of shoe - the moisture somehow makes the glue separate from the straps - the straps pop out.  This happened in Darwin, and I had the sandals repaired at a little kiosk, where the man glued the inside ends of the straps back into place.  Well, three months later, here we are in Brisbane and the outside ends of the straps pop out.  And, because we're in a small town outside the city, there aren't any cobblers or the Mister Minute kiosk - no, out here there is twice weekly pick-up of shoes at the news agency, with a three to four day waiting period to get the repaired shoes back.  So we did some online research, found the downtown shoe repair (another Mister Minute), and within half an hour the Birks were good to go.

Then my sunglasses broke - just the screw came out - that was easy, find an eyeglass place or optometrist, get the screw replaced.  Easy.  Except in the US it's usually free, and here there's a $1 charge - minimal, not a problem, just, different.

But the worst - the camera is still not working.  Turns out the sensor is worn out, or shot, or something.  So we went to a camera store, found out it will cost about as much to fix as to buy a new camera - so I'm looking at new cameras.  Not as easy as it sounds - there's the issue of the outlet and plug for the modern rechargeable cameras and their batteries.  Because cameras (and all electronics) sold in Australia have plugs for Australian outlets.  And yes, I have a series of adaptors so I can use electronics in any country in the world - except the input end (where I plug in the appliance) is ONLY for US plugs.  Right.  If I buy an Australian appliance, I would need an entire OTHER set of plugs.  

Anyway, I'm working on that part of it, trying to find a camera I like that takes good old-fashioned AA batteries.  

We met up with Gordon, friend of friends in the USVI, and who also lived in the USVI years ago - had a wonderful evening talking nonstop, sharing stories, having a great time.  Turns out he and Richard were actually at the exact same concert in New Orleans some time in 1970 or 1971 - what an amazing coincidence, what an amazingly small world!

We've also taken care of getting medical testing needed for our medications, refilling toiletries, other exciting things.  We've had some wonderful warm and sunny days, but also some rainy days - fairly typical for a Queensland winter.  Hard to believe that this is winter, but the nights are cold even when the days are warm.  (And when the days are cool, the nights are even colder.)

And, possibly more important than all that, we've been talking to travellers and travel agents and trying to figure out where to head next - we have to leave Australia by 16 August, and most of the Asian countries and Pacific islands expect people to arrive with an itinerary to leave the country - so we have to plan ahead.  It gets complicated - once we have a plan, we'll let people know.

The errands are pretty much finished, and we can now play and explore and do all the things we like to do in a new place - even ride the ferries on the river, visit the art gallery, things like that.

These are the boring things you don't think about when you decide to live life on the road - what happens when the only nice white shirt you have becomes stained?  Or your one pair of black slacks gets a huge hole for the second time?  Or your one pair of sandals falls apart?  Or your camera (or computer) dies?

Well, I've scrubbed the shirt with a bleach stick, mended the slacks once again, had the sandals and sunglasses repaired, and I'm in the market for a new camera.  And we're working on a travel plan.

And that's just how rolling luggagers roll, I guess.


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