Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back after a busy trip

Back in Oz after a busy three weeks in Dubai and Singapore, and as usual I'm staggering around trying to cope with with jetlag.

We went to Singapore for Chinese New Year. It's always unbearably humid there and while I have no problem with heat I really struggle with humidity. But I've never been so comfortable there because, for first time ever, there was no humidity.

Climate change is fairly obvious in Singapore - January they normally have 242mm of rain but this year they had 75mm. They had a third of the normal rain days too, five instead of fifteen.

It's known as the green city but for the first time ever I saw brown grass, wilting ferns, stressed trees losing their leaves...

Most of the time in Dubai we spent finalising the leasing of our apartment, and running around getting things like electricity and phones cancelled.

And the inevitable battle with HSBC bank, surely the most user-unfriendly bank in a country famed for banks with appalling customer service.

For the phone/internet thing we, again inevitably, got conflicting advice. We phoned and were told that we should go on our last day because it would be disconnected same day.

When we got there we were told we should have given one month's notice.

So we filled in forms to order the disconnection...then when we got back to the apartment a couple of hours later it had already been disconnected.

In the end it all took days longer than it should have but in the morning of the day we were flying out we had the tenant in, the phone, gas and electricity disconnected, the banking sorted and various deposits reclaimed.

For at least the next year we'll visit far less often and for much shorter periods, probably either just in transit or for a day or two stopover.

Next time we have planned is June/July time when we're going back to Vienna again, but that'll probably just be a transfer of flights at the airport.

And back now in humid Terrigal - February is always our most humid month - and we're having some good soaking rain after only about 20mm the whole summer until now.

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