Ruth's Diary


In order to get free internet that also has enough bandwidth for me to watch my pile of videos uploaded onto the internet daily, usually on blip, I typically have to go to the local library. No problem there, it's just that their wireless signal is so weak that for my videos it makes more sense to hop on one of the 11 ethernet-connected desktop PCs. To make sure people use this generous service in a civilised manner, there is a booking system in place. Usually I try not to book, for the simple reason I am all too aware that I use the service for unimportant frivolous reasons. But if I walk in and find every computer in use, then yes I book.

Whether I've booked the computer or jumped onto a free one, I simply use the computer until someone walks up to me and explains they have it booked. That's fine. (Sometimes a little infuriating depending on what video I'm watching, but the point is, there's no point complaining or protesting.) What annoys me is when people just stand on one side staring either at the computer or me, expecting me to telepathically know that they want it/booked it. As you can tell, yes I do, but I make it a point to not acknowledge them for the simple reason that it's not the courteous thing to do. You shouldn't try to make people second-guess your intentions, just tell them you want the bloody computer! Just standing to one side could mean anything! Even more annoying are the people who don't even make it to your peripheral vision. They make a booking, come down the stairs looking for their computer, notice I'm on it and instead of coming up to me, they go back to the library desk with a concerned look saying "someone's already on it". So then the library staff member has to come down the stairs with the booking chart and tell me directly: "this person has a booking". First of all, this wastes the staff member's time. Second of all, it makes me feel like the naughty kid (even though I can tell it wasn't the booked person's intention). Don't these people know how public computers work? Did they expect to find their computer standing in wait for them?

Well at least I won't have to put up with that silliness any more. I left Canberra 4 days ago. First stop on my long route to Melbourne (as opposed to the direct route most travellers take for some reason) was Narooma, my final place of visit in New South Wales. Lovely coastal town, pretty small, was good for walking around and taking plenty of nature photos. I was in the Narooma YHA, which advertises itself as a 'Backpackers' Motel', which in all fairness is far more accurate. Few of the cabins had been converted to dorms, clever considering the few 19-25 travellers that go through there. I was also pleasantly surprised to find they used the same Global Gossip wireless service for internet as any Level 5 Hostel (Narooma was Level 3, which according to my hostel guide isn't supposed to have any internet). Like most things in Narooma, the internet was Sydney Priced ($4 per hour). It was family-run...literally. The place is run by the very helpful and friendly young married couple Carly and Darren, who have a 6-month-old baby girl called Macie. She was sooo cute! XD

I'm writing from my first stop in Victoria: Lakes Entrance. Yes, there's a town called Lakes Entrance, 'cos it's an entry way to the Gippsland waterways, get it? The YHA 'hostel' here is in the same place as 'Beaches Family Units'. 2 different forms of accommodation and businesses run by the same people. From the notices hung up about the place I can tell that the idea and work to incorporate a 'YHA Section' was done by the previous owners. I'm also here during low season, which works for me. The YHA cabins are converted family units, which each have a common area, a toilet, a shower room and 3 bedrooms, or in this case dorms (each bedroom contains 2/3 bunk beds). On arrival I was given a cabin all to myself; day 2 and I'm still the only occupant. Pretty good for $22.50 a night. ^^

There had to be a catch though, didn't there? No wireless. Just an 'internet kiosk' ($2). Still, I fully appreciate the good things that come from unexpected places. I took a river cruise earlier, which typically costs an adult $45. With my YHA membership, the price should have been $40.50 but I only got charged $30!

Cultural observation: in Britain, those in villages and holiday towns hate people buying properties for the purposes of private holiday accommodation, hate it even more when a brand new, modern house is built for the purpose. In Australia, no one complains. They love it even, they believe it brings money and wealth to the localities. Most of the buildings built for the purpose are ultra-modern, which look a little out-of-place to me. I suppose it's because I'm too used to finding old buildings in these places. Australia is a young country so they'd have no qualms with new buildings.

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