August 8, 2010

Planning and Packing

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently granted a Robert and Maude Gledden studentship. The other day, I received the call to pick up the cheque. Upon arrival, I asked about other forms that I may have missed earlier. Turned out I hadn't returned a form that outlines my travel itinerary and arrival dates for travel insurance purposes. Luckily I had started the itinerary earlier so all I had to do was whip out the laptop and print off the page. Travel insurance sorted.



For the rest of the day I took the chance to catch up with some friends at uni. It felt strange to walk into a lecture theater between classes to meet people while not acctually taking the classes in question. I will instead be doing those last two physics units when I get back with a whole different student cohort.

If you want to drive overseas, apparently its not enough to have your manual drivers licence. You also have to go and get a translation and international certification which is embodied in the RAC international drivers licence. This 1 year permit will in theory allow you to drive overseas, even if like me, you are still on your P's when you apply.

Having talked to a couple of Perth banks about their affiliations with international banking partners, it seemed that most international relationships were only for corporate banking and that it would not help me by starting anything in Perth. This meant we would have to investigate another alternative, at least in the mid-term. We settled on the ANZ travel card which gives a much better conversion commission than the 3% that would be taken when withdrawing from a regular visa card overseas. Theoretically, I should be able to use the superior conversion rate of the travel card to get Pounds and then transfer that currency to a local bank once a low fees acccount is set up. Any other suggestions?

My speculation as to the outcome of the Spem in Alium acceptance has been premature. After receiving an email the other day, I can now say that I will be singing this expansive work in my third week in England. While I didn't think I had gotten my foot in the door, it turns out that out of all of the parts, they were low on basses. I got the part for the whole week including a performance and CD recording. This means that I will now have over 3 weeks of vocal activities to busy myself with. While looking down the list of singers for this concert, I reconized one name. Tara was a friend I made over two years ago now at the last Eton choral course I attended. I guess our paths will cross again.

Packing is always a precarious mix of being mindful of your needs overseas whilst also being just as careful about the requirements of the scales. While we would mostly know about Australian airports and their flexibility when it comes to a 20kg baggage limit, their European counterparts are even more notorious for their inverse policy. For this reason, I took the scale down to my room to avoid these complications later down the track. That being said, it really is very difficult to pack one years worth of clothing (also including a Tuxedo, Suit and Blacks, all required in the first 3 weeks) into such a tightly restricted weight. Not to mention the box-worth of chargers and adapters that I wouldn't usually take traveling but certainly can't live without in a more permanent study environment. When it comes to a year, I require a backup hard drive (to at least bring me a faint glimpse of security in the event something happens to my laptop) and a USB hub (to circumvent the issue of my laptop only having 2 USB ports). These were just a couple of culprits that added to my irreducible 24kg suitcase. Having come to the conclusion that I would have to shed some musical cargo somewhere before flying to Sweden, this overweight item was gladly accepted at the Australian check-in desk. Strangely enough though, I was asked to weigh my hand luggage, a bag I knew already weighed 3kgs over the 7kg cabin limit. I commenced my laptop, charger and headphone removal procedure and soon after, I had success.

Getting closer!

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