Sunday, 29 January 2012

Maurice and Jim go home

On Friday evening, Maurice, Jim and I went out for a celebratory meal together.  This was our last meal together. It has been an absolute delight having Maurice to stay.  He stayed with us most of the time but because of his cricket weekend and a passion for architecture, spent a few nights in Perth city centre, either to be close to the cricket ground, or enjoying the art deco architecture of the Criterion hotel, and former St John Ambulance headquarters which is now the youth hostel.

This time, I tried barramundi for dinner, on Maurice's recommendation.  When I tasted it, it was very like the fish that London east enders call Rock.  This can be called rock salmon, rock eel, huss or dogfish.  Many people don't like it but it's what our family were brought up on - rock and chips (not cod and chips for us!)  So when I tasted it, I thought it was the same fish.  On going home, I looked up rock salmon and barramundi on line.  But they are not the same fish, much to my surprise.  Barramundi are from the Latidae family, whereas Rock Salmon is a shark from the Squalus family (which is part of an endangered specis!).  We had a lovely meal together.

The following morning, Saturday, Jim and Maurice packed, weighed the suitcases carefully, and then we took a taxi to Perth International airport.  While queueing at the bag drop, I overheard a conversation at the next counter.  An elderly french lady had her bag 3kg overweight.  She had 3 planes to catch to go home to France, (changing Singapore, Heathrow, to Nice) and the overweight charge was going to be $55 per kilo overweight, for each flight!!!  The lady's daughter persuaded some reduction in charges, so that "only" $165 was charged for the 3kg overweight!  So, this means I will need to ensure I don't have too much stuff to take home at the end of my exchange year.  Jim has taken home a lot of my materials from the first semester, but I'm going to need to be ruthless in throwing away my work and worn-out clothes and trainers at the end of my second semester.  Anything that can be photographed will be stored on memory stick, and the A1 drawings unfortunately consigned to the bin.  23k is not a lot to bring back to the UK as luggage.  I also need to find out how much it costs to book an extra suitcase, and whether this makes it cheaper than being charged overweight luggage at the bag drop.

I waved off Jim and Maurice at the customs gate with regret.  I'm on my own now for a month.  As I left the airport to go back to the flat, the temperature reached 41.2 degrees.  Deep joy!  I'd rather have the  10 degrees that Jim and Maurice are returning to in London.

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