Posts Tagged ‘Campbelltown’

Going to Kathmandu.

November 30, 2015

IMG_0743

My daughter was hit by a $105.- bill for being two days late paying a parking fine. As if life is not tough enough. She had paid the fine but not the extra $105.- for being 2 days late. She  received a letter her license was cancelled. Why is the punishment so severe? She works part time for Docs. (Department of Community Services). We paid the fine for her, direct into the consolidated revenue account in order to get her license reinstated promptly. You would think that the Government would do things in time. No; she will have to wait till she gets notified by official letter by snail mail. Her job is very trying. She looks after pre-teen children that have been removed from families through all sorts of combinations, but mainly abuse. She sometimes has a 24 hr shift whereby she sleeps over at the place that she works at. Often the work involves the police when children escape or other traumatic events are happening. A very stressful job!

We thought of getting a break ourselves. Helvi had noticed a flyer that seemed to have floated around our letter-box even though we araldited a sign on our letter-box; NO JUNK MAIL.  Some other owners have added PLEASE after the ‘no junk mail’. We did not go that far which might explain why we still get flyers. Even though real adventures are the domain of the knickerbockers wearing youths including stout wenches, both with huge backpacks clambering to mountain tops, our adventures are taken somewhat calmer.

The flyer advertised all sorts of items relating to the outdoors. The shop was called ‘Kathmandu’.  Kathmandu we can do, even at this stage. We both strapped ourselves into the Peugeot with a somewhat reckless demeanour. I gave our neighbours of The Body Corporate a brave shout of deviance, before heading off to Kathmandu. There ain’t nothing we can’t do! The day was going to be hot with predictions of over 30C. No matter, we put the temperature inside on 19C and pressed the ‘automatic’ button on the Peugeot’s air-con. No sea too rough, etc.

It took us 40 minutes to get to a huge shopping mall at Campbelltown. It has been extended and is now so big it has it’s own climate. When we arrived there was a small thunderstorm with some hail near the David Jones outlet. Just perfect for us as we had prepared ourselves for any eventuality wearing RMW boots and trousers with leather belts. Both of us also wore sturdy hats, sunglasses and reinforced wallets. The Kathmandu shop was next to a shop named ‘Bras N Things’. I am curious what the N Things are.

We soon found the advertised item. They were trousers with an insect repellent ‘infused’ into the material the trousers were made off. Can you imagine? No more mozzies or ticks snooping around the legs or conjugal departments!  And…

good for over 70 washings! Reduced from $179 to just $79! I tried one medium pair, after urgings from Helvi. I hate trying on clothes. The taking off shoes and then getting the obstinate toes hooked onto the trousers, both with taking the old ones off and trying the new ones on, is just too much of an adventure at my age. The medium pair were too short and  too much of a Dr Livingstone look. A larger size was perfect. They have enormous multi storey pockets in which to keep passports, wallets and even a tablet for selfie taking. I can zip the legs off as well, making them into long shorts.

What an adventure the day turned out to be. We also bought two huge fillets of Barramundi. We wolfed one down after arriving back home. Tonight we will have the other one

Kathmandu here we come!

 

 

First day after Bali.

June 24, 2015
Bali

Bali

It shows some courage to begin writing again so soon after Bali. One does not really know how one is affected by surroundings and mood of a country, till one leaves. It is even stronger on the return. While Bali’s airport seems just as busy as Sydney’s if not busier, the smiles were still free. I don’t know if smiles are free in Sydney too. We just did not see them. Perhaps they were in hiding, deep inside the multi pocketed ‘Border Control& Protection’ uniforms.  There were hundreds of them carrying serious frowns and some had guns!

At Sydney’s airport rail station we asked for 2 tickets to Bowral. The man did not look up from his computer; kids or adults, he asked crankely?’   ‘Have a look,’ Helvi smiled back. ‘That’s 42 dollars then’, the man said grimly. ‘We are pensioners, Helvi said!’ ‘That’s 28 dollars,’ the station man said, and ‘show me your pension card’. Fair enough, but does it have to be so unfriendly and with so much officialdom, such sticking to facts and rules? Many foreign people arrive in Australia as tourists. What do they make of that sort of treatment? He could have smiled. He could have advised us the nr of platform and the time of departure. Helvi always smiles. No, we had to ask for each item separately.

And now the train; It was unheated and for us it was a killer of a downer. I mean at 7am Sydney’s winter is serious and at 9c climbing steadily towards a balmy 12c at 10am, it wasn’t tropical. We were prepared but not to the arctic blasts coming through the doors every time they opened. Again, there were some people with huge suitcases. They might well have been tourists. You wonder what they will report back? We had to change trains at Campbelltown. Again, difficult to find out which platform. A loudspeaker kept saying, over and over, that the train at platform 4 was not to be boarded because it had terminated. That was fine, except there was no train to board (or not as the advice was bleating) at platform 4.

Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

Another message warned people that all platforms were smoke free. All the platforms were in open air and outside. A strong wind was merrily blowing around. Surely, someone wanting a smoke could have been given that freedom. There were no shortages of Coca Cola machines and chocolate bars, crunchy violent bars and other snacks to tempt the terminal obese with. I would rather see a smoking person than hear a slurping Coke being downed.  Anyway,  both sugar and smoking is bad, so perhaps I am just cranky or being difficult again. The loudspeakers at Campbelltown rail station certainly work and the next dire warning came soon after the advice of not boarding a non-existent train.

Listen carefully to this one now! ‘Will all train passenger, please disperse along the entire platform, please (second time). None of the 4 platforms had more than 12 passengers. I can only surmise the messages were on an endless tape that would just drone on and on, giving the warnings over and over again. The last message now. Again, a beauty for making tourists welcome and safe; ‘All platforms will be regularly patrolled by our police to make sure no criminality will be committed on our platforms or trains.’ Indeed, we noticed police and dogs strolling around the platforms. It made us pass the time as there was 55 minutes waiting for the next train (another unheated one) on platform 4 to take us to our final destination. The loudspeaker was still warning us endlessly not to board the train at platform 4 as it had terminated!

Ah, we knew we were back. All this made us feel home!