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Saturday 15th December:
A leisurely morning. We packed up Rebecca’s wings as we are bringing them with us to AUS. Guy did her repack and managed to get all her stuff into one suitcase. It was touch and go there for a while.
At 11:00am she was off to the beauty parlor as she has a school reunion function this afternoon / evening. She left at 1:00pm and I proceeded to do my repack, which included some of Guy’s clothes as we put all the presents (Food and DVDs) in her bag so they will be easy to get to at customs in AUS.
I watched a movie and surfed the web aimlessly for a few hours looking at crap I wouldn’t normally look at.
Guy arrived home after midnight from her function.
Sunday 16th December:
A lazy morning as we did our final pack ready to go.
Guy had to complete some paperwork as she has new tenants in her apartment next door to her Mum’s and Beth’s (Sister) apartments (It’s a block of three apartments).
We had a final shower at 1:00pm and made ready to leave at 2:00pm for the airport. We had a storm and downpour at 1:30pm so waited till that clear before getting a taxi to the airport at 2:30pm.
We arrived at 3:30pm and once we sorted out my ACR (Residency) exit tax, immigration and customs (1 hour process) we were in and relaxed for the 7:00pm flight, which left on time and arrived in Singapore at 10:45pm.
Monday 17th December:
We wandered round the terminal for a while and boarded the new A380 ready for our 12:45am flight.
All passengers were on board, the doors closed and the safety blurb was under way on the TV screen when it happened……. We had a brownout on the A380. Guy and I looked at each other and just laughed. From the simple life on Marinduque to one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world, the brownouts have followed us.
Yep all the lights went out, the air-conditioning stopped and it was deadly silent. The only lights on were the emergency exits and strip lighting leading you to them (They do work with no power…..).
Everybody just sat there not sure what was happening in the silent semi darkness. The pilot came on after a couple of minutes to say that the external power source for the plane has been disconnected and would be restored in a few minutes.
Sure enough everything came back a couple of minutes later. The pilot announced that we would be a little late leaving, as they had to check all their systems after the brownout.
Then ten minutes later we had another brownout (everything died again). The pilot came back on very apologetic that it happened again and that they were getting another external power source for the plane and there would a further delay.
After ten minutes we all noticed that it was getting very warm and stuffy in the plane. The pilot was back on saying the air-conditioning wasn’t working and they had a truck on the way to fix it.
Twenty minutes later it was getting very hot and stuffy in the cabin with no air-conditioning. Forty minutes later and it was very very stuffy and hot and getting unbearable. Some of the passengers were very flushed.
Then the air-conditioning came back on to everybody’s relief. We were now over an hour late leaving Singapore. This put us an hour late arriving in Sydney. We declared all our food and after a quick look and a few questions we were back in AUS with all our goodies.
Luckily I had allowed a four-hour stop over in Sydney between our flights from Sydney to Adelaide so we made it in plenty of time. At 4:05pm we were on our way to Adelaide.
We arrived in Adelaide at 6:00pm ish and were met by my sister Sandy and went back to her and Brian’s place for the night. At 9:00pm my other sister Lyn arrived from Perth so it was a mini family reunion.
Tuesday 18th December:
A bit of a sleep in this morning. We both slept like logs.
After breakfast Guy and I walked into the Adelaide city centre stopping along the way twice for Guy to visit financial institutions to sort out her name change stuff.
After we hit the Rundle Mall we organized a pre-paid Vodafone mobile card and got ourselves connected once again. For a latish lunch it was a Laksa (At a little known great Laksa place), our first since our last visit to AUS back in March 2011. And it was dam good.
At 4:00pm we all arrived at my brother’s place up in the hill for our Kloeden Xmas. My 89 year old mum had a day out from the old folks’ home with all her kids and grandkids.
We all ate toooo much but a great time was had by all.
Wednesday 19th December:
After breakfast and a load of washing were hung up, we walked a couple of blocks with my sister Sandy to the big food market in Adelaide. We purchased some very nice smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and baguettes for dinner tonight.
Sandy headed off to work and Guy and I proceeded on our day of work. Our stops were:
- ATO (Tax office). To change Guy’s name. A very helpful young man fixed it all for us on the spot.
- Medicare. To get two replacement cards as they sent our previous ones (from March 2012) to an old address so they disappeared. All fixed very promptly.
- Westpac. When you are a non-resident of AUS you have to notify you bank and they deduct a flat 10% from any interest. The ATO are also taking out With Holding Tax as they say my bank does not have my overseas address. Well as it turned out they do, so the bank lady gave me a copy of their records so next year I will send it to them to clear it all up.
- My Superannuation Fund. I have been unable to access my super on the web. It turned out that they had an old mail address of mine and as they had sent me mail and it had been returned, they had locked my account.
Now that I have indentified myself to them it has now been released and I can access it when I want to.
Moral of this story is make sure all your super funds have your latest address or it will be locked away from you.
We had lunch in the mall and wandered, did some shopping then back to my sister’s place for a rest up before the smoked salmon dinner.
Sandy, Guy and I visited my mum at her old folks’ home after dinner before retiring after a busy day.
Thursday 20th December:
Up and off to complete some more paperwork this morning. Guy finally got her credit card name change done by some very helpful staff at GE Money in Adelaide.
Then we continued into the centre of Adelaide for a bit of a wander. At midday we walked back to my sister’s Sandy’s place and meet my other sister Lyn (From Perth) there who stayed at my brother Craig’s place last night.
We spent the afternoon chatting to Lyn, catching up. I drove her to a hospital on the other side of the city for a short visit to her ex father in-law.
This was my first drive of a car since March 2011 and on the wrong side of the road. But all good. Just like riding a bike…. You never forget.
At 4:00pm was drove up to the Adelaide Hills (Blackwood) to stay with Craig (Brother) and Rae (Partner) for the night. We had an early ish night as we all were feeling a little bushed.
Friday 21st December:
Up a bit early this morning as we need to get back at my sister Sandy’s place by 8:00am as they need the car to take my other sister Lyn to the airport.
We arrived back at 8:20am so plenty of time.
Guy and I were then off back to the ATO office for one more tax issue and bank accounts. Then off to the Rundle Mall for me to do my outdoor gear shopping.
I got a new GPS (Garmin eTrex 30), an MSR Hyperflow Microfilter (Water filter) and a few other odds and ends to take back to the Philippines for our hikes back into the jungle.
The last purchase was a Plustek 8100 film and slide scanner. I am going to collect all my old slides and negatives I have stored in Sydney and take them back to the island and scan them to JPG files before they all deteriorate badly. It will take a while but hey, I have plenty of time…….
We arrived back at Sandy’s and Brian’s place late afternoon so I firstly checked the GPS that it was all fine. I loaded up the Garmin Base Map software and connect the GPS and it was all working fine.
Tomorrow morning I will setup and test the scanner with some slide from my brother Craig.
At 6:00pm ish Jason (son), Mike (Jas’ partner), Rik (son) and Dan (Rik’s partner) all meet at my sister’s place for a dinner of home made pizza’s. A great evening was had by all.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy