Matt Richardson

Disaster Rating: Puce...

May 29, 2006 | 4 Minute Read

Disaster Rating: Aquamarine (mild rain).

Think I can say that this trip has pretty much been a disaster. Not a lot of it seems to be going to plan.

Even before I left, I called T-Mobile to make sure my phone would work overseas. I got told thatI'd have to pay a £250 deposit, so that I could have global roaming enabled. Strangely, I wasn't so impressed with that, but was assured that I would still be able to use my phone for text messaging, but just not calls. So, seeing that I couldn't convince the woman to waive the fee, I settled for that, rather grumpily.

Disaster Rating: Teal (imminent stepping-in-dog-poo accident). 

So, fast forward a bit over a very boring flight, where the best of the movies was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Nanny MacPhee (which i enjoyed actually (is that bad? <IMG alt=:~ class="emoticon" src="/images/emotions/emotion-7.gif" border=0>)).

Disaster Rating: Beige (stuck between two large Albanian women on flight).

So, arrived in Melbourne last weekend, pretty much walked straight through immigration and customs (woo!), and walked out the doors, to where my parents were waiting. Except, they weren't. Hmmm... Wandered around a bit, then grabbed my mobile to text mum. Found out then, that my phone wouldn't work at all. Hmmm... So much for being able to send texts. Then put my Aus sim card in to find that my phone was sim locked, and cant use another providers sim card in it... Not Happy Jan. Eventually found a pay phone, and got in contact to find out that mum had left late, as she was expecting customs to take ages, and that she'd also got a little lost. So, all in all, not a good start.

Disaster Rating: Ochre (plague of octogenarians).

Decided to ring T-Mobile and yell at them on the Sunday night, to vent a little. Got a slightly better customer service chick that time, but she still didn't want to play ball. It was either pay the deposit, or don't use the phone. Okay, supervisor please... Same story. Fine, I'll give her a choice. Lose a customer, and any possible customers I could recommend to them, or waive the fee. She didn't want to play ball either, but after enough complaining, she had a chat to accounts to see if they could do anything, and to my surprise, it worked! In one way, was glad it worked, but in another way its annoying that that behaviour works. But, at least I had my mobile going - yay <IMG alt=":)" class="emoticon" src="/images/emotions/emotion-1.gif" border=0>.

Disaster Rating: Khaki (imperial intergalactic army invading). 

Flew to Canberra on the Monday night, hired a car, and found a hotel to stay in. All going as expected. Arrived at the British Consulate on the Tuesday morning to find a sign on the door saying “Same day processing not available”. Hmmm... Not good.

Disaster Rating: Azure (extremely localised meteor strike).

Then get in there to talk to the staff there, and start submitting my application, and she asks for my birth certificate. Which I stupidly didn't have with me. Admittedly, the website I was looking at didn't explicitly say that I should bring it - I brought everything that it said I should. In hindsight (good old 20-20 hindsight), its kinda obvious... Turns out I shoulda been looking at this website instead. So, cant get a copy of my birth certificate in Canberra, have to be in Melbourne, and cant change my flight to come back earlier. So, waste a day sitting in Canberra doing squat all, waiting for a 5pm flight. Oh, and realise i just wasted 2 days, and $500. Yay.

Disaster Rating: Lilac (alien abduction (with probing)).

Look for birth certificate at home, realise I've left it in London. Yay. Get a copy of my birth certificate, and post it up to Canberra, next day delivery. I'd been told that they're running at about 24 hours processing time, so if I'm lucky, I can squeeze it in to fly out Monday evening.

Disaster Rating: Ecru (trapped in labyrinth with minotaur).

Monday comes along, no passport still. Ring the consulate, they haven't even put it on the system yet. When can I expect it? “Oh, by the end of the week, you should have it”. Hmmm... Right. Change the return flight to London, email the (probably now pissed off) boss, and waste another £50. Yay. Even then, its not a certainty that I'll have my passport back.

Disaster Rating: Puce (forced to watch Sound of Music).

Oh, and the only flight available is a 3pm Sunday flight (no free seats on Friday or Saturday flights). So now I get back into London 6am Monday. Still not sure if I'll go to work that day - will be wrecked...

Tagged: On Travels