Yeah, so I leave for the UK on Tuesday. I’ve spent much of this week organising things and making sure I have everything I need. The trip, after nearly a year of waiting (It’s roughly a year since I thought of applying to go overseas), is finally becoming real.
The first half of the week was spent dealing with Centrelink. Without going into specifics, they essentially cancelled my youth allowance payments that hadn’t started yet because I hadn’t reported my earnings 4 weeks prior to them telling me to. So that was a load of fun. Especially when one of them wanted to argue with me over whether it was a little odd or not. Apparently it’s totally normal to expect things to be done before you request them. Anyway, that was all sorted and now I should be getting some tidy fortnightly payments. They’ll certainly help.
Then it was a matter of working out what I’m taking. I spent half a day obsessing over whether I should take one bag or two on board with me. Singapore Air say that you can take a laptop on free of charge, separate from your carry-on luggage, so I assumed that covers the bag that it’s in. Just to make sure, I rang them, and enjoyed a lively horn-based tune four times in a row before I got through. Surely it can’t be that hard to have a variety of on-hold music? They seemed to agree with me that it covers the bag it’s in, so we’ll see how that goes… I sure hope it does because my backpack’s full of magazines and books and papers. And extra clothes just in case my luggage goes missing (I really hope it doesn’t 😦 )
The last three days were just wandering about the house, panicking every so often over some minor oversight that could be sorted in minutes, then watching DVDs instead of doing so. Well, someone had to watch all four seasons of A Bit of Fry & Laurie back-to-back, didn’t they. They weren’t going to watch themselves!
On Friday I went into the city to get some last-minute things, like padlocks and security ties, books (Adelaide seems to have totally sold out of Stephen Fry’s novels in the last two weeks, very odd indeed) and so on. I decided it was a good idea to get a Travelex Cash Passport, as it might help to alleviate the foreign exchange fee that you get charged for using your Visa card overseas. For the minimum amount of £100, it cost me $240. I knew our dollar’s pretty poor against the pound, but jeepers… It never really occurred to me just how bad it is. I also needed to get some actual cash out, so went and got £50 from the money exchange place. $119. Ouch. And all I got was a single paper note with a funny little man on it that’s too wide for my wallet! I think I might need to buy a new wallet while I’m over there. One that fits ridiculously oversized novelty money.
As for today, I’ve spent most of it packing. I think I have most of what I need packed, just the last minute things like the Macbook, my speakers, and a few cables left to go in. I figured it’s a better idea to pack a few days beforehand just in case something goes wrong. So far, nothing has.
I think we’re going to see The Dark Knight tomorrow (finally). That should be good. Nothing says ‘farewell Australia’ quite like a comic book film.