Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Living in an Alternate Universe
Having a vacation "Down Under" was an adventure. The experience of seeing indigenous people performing their native customs is always enlightening. We saw the major tourist attractions, and we tasted the local critter cuisine. We logged a lot of air miles, and had another piece of luggage mangled.
But we realized early in the trip that there were other adjustments we had to make, being so far away from home and in the other hemisphere.
Signal number one: We left home on a Tuesday morning, flew for about 28 hours and arrived Thursday night. What happened to Wednesday? We got the missing day back when we came home. Fortunately we only had to call back to the US one time, and had to figure out what day and time it was back home. I did some text messaging to family, and didn't have to think about whether they were awake or not.
Signal number two: They drive on the "wrong" side of the street. We knew that!! We've been to countries in the UK or formerly in the UK before, but it's always an adjustment. There's that feeling of panic if you sit in the front of the van or taxi, and it's careening around the round-about and you can't anticipate where it's going.
Signal number three: We boarded our cruise ship on Sunday, February 1. On Monday, February 2, we went on an excursion, and when we returned to the ship, people were watching the Superbowl...LIVE.
Signal number four: The television in our cruise ship cabin had a weird green color on the left side. At first we thought it was just a problem in our cabin, and since we don't spend a lot of time in the cabin, we weren't going to complain. But about the third day on the cruise we were standing in line at the Guest Relation's desk, and we heard the couple ahead of us complain about the green TV. They were told that it was because the TV was manufactured in the northern hemisphere, and it doesn't adjust to the southern hemisphere. Tinker and I looked at each other with a look that said, "what kind of BS is that?"
The next day there was a notice in the daily cruise news that said:
Many television sets have been affected by the crossing of the equator.
please note that the transportation of many color television sets from the hemisphere in which they were manufactured to the opposite, is known to have purity problems because of the local magnetic fields.
As our television sets are from the northern hemisphere, many are currently experiencing challenges related to the southern hemisphere's magnetic field.
Signal number five: This was totally unexpected. Tinker was flipping through the dial on the TV, and came to a horse race in Australia. The horses were running right to left around the track.
When we came back home, and landed at LAX, we spent the night to give us a break on the jet lag. It was such a relief to see cars moving on the right side of the road again.