A Travellerspoint blog


and a word about power

semi-overcast 75 °F

I flew on China Southern from Seoul to Guangzhou and then a long overnight flight to Perth from there. The meals were very good and the seat closely resembled the Korea Air one I showed earlier. Oddly, only about 1/3 of the seats in business class were filled - maybe they don't run an upgrade program? I was able to get some sleep so I arrived in Perth at 6 am feeling vaguely humanoid. My AirBNB host Susanne picked me up at the airport and after a shower I was able to enjoy the day in Perth.

But first a word about power. The single largest practical issue I have faced in my day-to-day life as a world traveler has been power - electrical power - battery power! Getting enough battery power to get through long days on my cell, managing camera power, laptop power, and a backup power supply is a real challenge. Just as an example here's my current (ha!) setup to charge stuff in Perth


Let's see.. . The white gizmo at the bottom is an adapter that connects an Australian plug to the various kinds of plugs found elsewhere- I got that in Perth. Here's a pro-tip; if you go to an electronics supply shop in a foreign country (I tried this in Korea and Australia so it must be true everywhere, right?) and look for an adapter for plugs, they will happily provide you with a device that will allow you to plug Korean (or Australian) things into foreign plugs Of course, what you want is the opposite; a device that will allow you to plug your style plug into their style outlet. That's harder to find, but I managed it. This may be because Australian plugs are so weird (prongs at 45 degree angles) that even Aussies need them for their electronics. So travel prepared and get the gizmo at home before you leave My only excuse is that the one I brought along blew up in Korea.

Anyway, atop the white gizmo is an American-style plug extender that Robin found for me in Japan (many Japanese plugs use the American standard) and that has proved invaluable - thanks, Robin! On the left is a power supply for my cell or my cell backup charger. On the right is a power supply for charging my camera battery. On top is my laptop power supply which, since I had to buy it in Korea, has a Korean plug and so requires another adapter from Korean to American which I happened to bring with me. In a pinch I can also charge some things using the USB ports on my laptop as a battery . Oh, and then why does my camera decide it needs a mini USB instead of a micro USB which means one more cable to lug around? Waaaah.

The only good bit worth mentioning is that most consumer electronic power supplies are happy to accept 120 or 220 volt inputs so you don't usually need to lug a transformer around as well. If you are unsure about whether your device accepts 220, it is probably written on the adapter in print so tiny that you may need a magnifying glass to read it.

Anyway, back to fun. I spent the first day just walking around the neighborhood, Inaloo, and shopping for things like the adapter pictured above. I also had to buy a new rash guard. For those who don't know what that is, it's an elastic long- or short-sleeved shirt designed to be worn in the water. It originated in the surfing/boogie boarding world because folks found that lying on a board all day tended to rub your stomach raw. Hence the name. The other nice thing about them from my point of view is that that the good ones provide SPF 50 protection from the sun. This means you can wear one and not worry about covering your body with sunscreen. That's doubly nice when traveling alone because putting sunscreen on your own back is, to say the least, challenging. To find one I first asked a guy shopping for swim trunks what they were called down here. The answer - 'rashie.' Armed with this lingo I was able to find a store and successfully communicate with a store clerk to complete the purchase. Now I felt ready for a bit of adventure!

I had a frankly mediocre vegetable pasta dish at a restaurant on my walking tour of the area (the first klunker meal of the trip so far) and hit the sack.

Posted by tdeits 19:28 Archived in Australia Tagged shopping perth electronics

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