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Summary| Highlights| 2000 (Year View)
01.01.2000 – January 2000
- • This Diary was begun on February 26, 2000. There are no entries for January.
26.02.2000 – Saturday 26 February – The first entry in my journal
- • I am sitting in front of the computer, obviously. On Thursday when I was in town, I got 64 Megs of RAM. I also picked up this new monitor. Dragon NaturallySpeaking runs a lot better and a lot smoother with 128 Megs of RAM. I also worked out for the first time how I was supposed to wear the microphone. It has been raining. I did some school this morning. On Thursday, I did my math’s exam. I also bought an extension lead for the monitor. I got a fright this morning, when the computer wouldn’t detect the monitor, and insisted on running it as an ADI microscan 3E, which was the monitor I had borrowed from Silas whilst mine was being fixed. I thought maybe the plug and play part was wrecked. However, fortunately it was just a bodgy extension lead. There actually is not much to write in my diary today because I have not done much, but I have only just thought of writing one. It will also help me train Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
I cleaned the caravan a bit today, and sprayed vinegar everywhere. Breathing vinegar fumes nearly killed me! Mum did some lawn mowing. I only mowed the lawn a few days ago, and it has already grown long. I have just remembered, I fixed the stove today. Moreover, I am pleased to say it works fine. I have not yet tried the grill or the oven. I think one thing I need to do to make Dragon NaturallySpeaking more accurate, is learn how to speak better. Tomorrow I plan to walk over and see the Joneses, although if it rains a lot it will be flooded and I will not be able to get there. I suppose I had better end this entry for today as I am just rambling on rubbish. See you tomorrow.
- Comment by Brent Marlow – Friday 21 July 2006, 11:38 PM
- Hey ned,
You may remember me from such groups as Q.
How you going?
I haven't seen anyone for a long time and you're the only one I know how to get into contact with.
I was hoping you have people's emails cause i want to know what people are up to.
P.S. I've been working as a software engineer for the last 7 months.
27.02.2000 – Sunday 27 February
- • I am writing this on the first of March. From what I can remember we went to Joneses. The Joneses told us that there was a cyclone. It ended up hitting Cairns. There was great flooding in Mareeba.
28.02.2000 – Monday 28 February
- • Apparently the roads in Mareeba are all washed out. We are worried that there may be no food at the supermarket.
29.02.2000 – Tuesday 29 February
- • Rick and Craig went into town and got us some stuff. Sarah went to town for kickboxing and bought some food with Vince. She said the supermarket was a bit empty, but not too bad. It must be a leap year as today is the 29th day of February. Rick bought a computer game from Silas. He also bought a rechargeable torch. I tried the game out; it’s not too bad I suppose.
01.03.2000 – Wednesday 1 March
- • The first day of March in the year 2000.
It’s amazing how fast time goes. The time’s eight past nine and its raining lightly. I haven’t written anything in here since Saturday the 26 of February. I am going to go and fill in those days now. I have now filled in those days and am returning to this day. I keep forgetting to talk loudly and clearly, and then wonder why Dragon NaturallySpeaking isn’t working as well as it should. I hope to go to town tomorrow. Jade, Shan and Ella came over today, and played on the computer. I played some more of Ric’s game. As I get to know how to play it, it gets more interesting. I also copied Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and the Oxford talking dictionary, onto CDs. I have just remembered that on Saturday the 26 of February when I picked up my monitor, I also got an 80-minute CD, onto which I copied a Metallica CD, successfully. I wasn’t quite sure whether an 80-minute CD would work or not. I am pleased that it did. I have also got rid of most of the problems I had when I installed the new memory, although there are still I few remaining ones. When running the demo of CoolEdit Pro, I have some immense redraw problems. I don’t remember having these before, but I don’t see how installing new RAM can have done it. When I first installed the RAM the system clock was reset, which caused CoolEdit Pro to stop running, thinking that its demonstration period had run out. So possibly, when I reinstalled it some sort of problem happened, although I have uninstalled and reinstalled it several times now. Still, I guess it’s not such a big problem. I had better go to bed as I’m getting up at 5:30 AM in the morning.
02.03.2000 – Thursday 2 March
- • I woke up and waited for a lift on the road. No one came. Eventually I walked up to Coggo’s. There the school bus came, and went and then came back. Apparently everything was flooded. I started walking towards the Wallaby. Dee and Tony came along, and gave me a lift. By this time the Wallaby had gone down (apparently it was four foot over), but the Mungumby was still three feet over. We waited there for nearly an hour, and eventually went to town. I went and saw Silas. I picked up my Corel Linux CD. I went and did all the things I had to do in town, and then went up to Cassidy’s, where I stayed the night.
03.03.2000 – Friday 3 March
- • I went and helped Peter. All the trucks had got through by now, and the town was back to normal. I stayed again at Cassidy’s. I watched James Bond Goldeneye with Matthew. It was a reasonably late night. I also went and saw Silas.
04.03.2000 – Saturday 4 March
- • I got a lift out here with Silas. I got out here at about 7:30 AM. I potted around and then went to the markets. There were only about four people there. It is international women’s day, and everyone is down at the den. Dad came up around lunch, and we drove to the den. It is the first time the Mazda has been over the bad road since the muddy bog hole. I stayed at the den for an hour or so and then came home. I took Malachy (Sarah insists on spelling like that) for a walk out to home rule mailbox. On the way back I was very tired, and could hardly walk. Mum stayed at the den until 7:30 PM. Sarah stayed all night.
05.03.2000 – Sunday 5 March
- • I didn’t wake up until 11:30 AM. Sarah was still at the den. I had some breakfast (at lunchtime) and then walked out to home rule to see Joneses. They were halfway through watching a video, which I watched with them. It was very silly and foolish (it was called something like “Soyla Green”, and was about eating people). I stayed there most of the day. I then walked home, had some tea, and came and wrote this.
The time is 20 past eight, and I am very tired and am now going to go to bed.
Some international women’s day figures: Sarah said that there were 90 people booked in for tea at the den, so there must have been more people all up. When I was at Cassidy’s, I also found out about the Oxford dictionary. The shorter Oxford dictionary, which is the one I have gone on CD, actually has the same number of headwords as the full Oxford dictionary. It simply contains less historical word information and things like that. Which is good, because the Oxford dictionary is often regarded as the world’s best dictionary, and this dictionary has the same number of headwords. 117558 headwords, and over 500,000 definitions, plus thesaurus entries and even some pictures. It is now 28 past eight are really had better go to bed. I have changed Dragon NaturallySpeaking back to its fastest setting, as it seems to be just as accurate. It is still not accurate enough to write an essay, or anything like that, but it is nevertheless very good and a lot faster than typing. Sometimes it really surprises me with how accurate it is, and then sometimes it simply cannot understand what I say. It also depends a lot on how I speak, (I’m not the world’s clearest speaker) and possibly a lot on the microphone and sound card quality (when I set up the audio, it is only just acceptable according to Dragon NaturallySpeaking). When I record on to tape through this microphone it doesn’t sound all that good. I suppose if I ever see another microphone, and it looks really good I should buy it.
06.03.2000 – Monday 6 March
- • I have got the microphone swinging around my neck, so I don’t know how it will work (So far so good). It is because I am listening through my headphones at the moment, and this microphone won’t fit on. Not a great deal of interesting things to report on today, mainly doing schoolwork. I think I am going to town tomorrow with Bob. If so I will have to get up at 5:30 AM, so I had better go to bed. It’s 8:30 PM at the moment. I opened my work returns that I picked up on Friday in town, inside were some returns and also my science assignment 3. I have to write more than 1000 words but less than 3000 on the history of communications and Morse code, how the telephone works, or investigate the history of the computer. Have to choose one of those three, and none are as easy as they sound. I’ll be doing either the telephone, or the computer one. I’m not quite sure which one yet. Normally I would choose the computer, but this focuses more on old-fashioned computers, for example the abacus, and tally boards. Even so 1000 words is a fair bit. This is quite odd whilst listening to a song, and dictating at the same time. I can’t properly hear what I sound like what I am talking. I have worked out that I need to open my mouth more and move my lips more when I am speaking. When I move my lips and enunciate clearly Dragon NaturallySpeaking is much more accurate, and also a lot faster. I suppose I had better go to bed now, or I’ll never wake up in the morning, at least not in time to see Bob. It is possible I may be going to Bloomfield tomorrow, which means that Bob may be early. I’ve discovered it is also a lot more accurate if I correctly position the microphone and enunciate clearly. Which is exactly what it says in the Dragon NaturallySpeaking introduction.
07.03.2000 – Tuesday 7 March
- • I woke up at 5:30 AM. Bob came at about a quarter past six. We drove to town, packed the cars and then on to Hopevale. On the way we dropped off a dish, but did not install it. At Hopevale we first went to the old persons home. We took a door of a freezer, to install a new seal, but the seal we had did not fit. We also sprayed some wonderful degreaser onto another coil of a fridge that was blocked with grease. We then had a look at two air conditioners at the old persons home. Peter and I then went up to the store to fix a Coke fridge. Bob stayed at the old persons home and kept fixing the air conditioners. Peter and I then went to the butchers where we put a new fan in. Bob came here and helped us. I went and got us all lunch from the takeaways, a plate of chips each and a can of soft drink. Very greasy flexible chips, not too good to eat. We then left Hopevale and came back to where we had put the dish in the morning, and installed it. We left Hopevale at about 1 o’clock, and we didn’t get back to Cooktown until after five o’clock. Bob and I went for a run around the supermarket, and then to the petrol station, and then the Post Office (where Bob wrote out his bills) and then we came home. We didn’t get home until half past six, and Bob’s headlights didn’t work. It is now half past nine, and I am going to go to bed. I didn’t get to do anything in town. At the supermarket I bought milk, some oranges and totally forgot to buy the cheese.
08.03.2000 – Wednesday 8 March
- • I did school most of today. In the afternoon (around 3 o’clock), I went over to Joneses. When I was there, their tape player got a cassette stuck in it. When trying to get it out a piece of the cassette broke off. This broken off piece got firmly wedged in the cassette player, stopping tape deck B from working. I took the battery charger over to Shan. I also took my test light, and had a look at Rick’s car. His radio wasn’t working because of a broken fuse. It is now eight past 10, and I had really better go to bed. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is working terribly tonight. I don’t know why, maybe I’m not speaking clearly. Now that I have said that, it seems to be working very well. Everything after that sentence has come out exactly as I have pronounced it. I am now going to go to bed.
09.03.2000 – Thursday 9 March
- • I did school in the morning, and then went to town with mum after she finished work. In town I went and saw Silas, and did some tornado research for Shan. I also did some mangrove research for myself. I got my dole form. The council has been grading the road. Everyone is expecting rain. It actually started raining a bit this afternoon. I got a lift home with Kelly after kickboxing. I didn’t get home until fairly late (half past seven).
10.03.2000 – Friday 10 March
- • It is raining. Not heavily but a reasonable amount. The road is becoming muddy and slippery. I did school. Estelle came and brought some incense and silks back for Joneses (plus $153). Sarah went up and saw Kelly (approximately 1 o’clock). Shan came over around 2 o’clock. Coincidentally, Craig, Rick, Shan and Ella arrived back from town at the same time and came here. They had a quick look at soldiers of war (the game), picked up the incense and silks, and then left. Jade and Ella were going to stay but didn’t because Sarah wasn’t here. Shan left at about five o’clock. Rick came up just before 8:30 PM, and got me to go down to Monty’s fix up the VCR so that it would record (connect the leads on properly). Rick and Shan were there. Monty wasn’t, apparently he is at the Lions Den where they are having a men’s day (apparently topless waiters and all). It is now 12:17 AM (strictly speaking it is now Saturday) and I really had better go to bed.
11.03.2000 – Saturday 11 March
- • It is 12:17 AM (in the morning). I am writing this and am about to go to bed.
I did indeed go to bed.
- • (The real Saturday) I pottered around, I cannot remember what I did. I had reasonably bad hay fever at night. I was afraid I might be getting what Sarah had, but as I am better tomorrow (being Sunday) I suppose it must just have been hay fever. (I am writing this on Sunday).
12.03.2000 – Sunday 12 March
- • I went out to Joneses. Sarah is still slightly sick. Sunny came up. It has stopped raining. The twin bridges are below the bridge. I forgot to get some ply for the rat box again. Shan walked back with me to see if their mail was at Jack’s (It wasn’t). Oscar (their dog) came and dug some of Jack’s lawn up. I then walked most of the way back with Shan, and met Craig, Jade, and Ella at the see out spot digging up the weeds so no one would fall off. I packaged up all my schoolwork and put it in its satchel. It is now 9:47 PM, and I’m going to go to bed. As far as I know, I am working tomorrow.
13.03.2000 – Monday 13 March
- • I had a bad night’s sleep; I couldn’t get to sleep until after 12. I eventually got up and played computer until 2 o’clock. This didn’t make me feel real good in the morning. In fact I only just woke up (I got up at 20 to 6). I got a lift to town with Bob (he had Daniel (his next-door neighbour) with him). We put two TV antennas up (one at Andy Hills, and one on a hill near Cooktown). I had to crawl in a hot, disgusting roof. We then went up to Darcy’s where we put up an HF radio antenna (for the school of the air). We then went back to the shop and I went up to the supermarket and got a milk shake. We then went to the council offices and removed a fan motor from one of their air conditioners. I then walked up through the Post Office (where I got my mail) and saw Silas. I gave him the two CDs (Dragon NaturallySpeaking and the Oxford dictionary). I then walked back up to Peter’s, and went and got lunch. After lunch we went up to Bev’s (from the kiosk) and installed an air-conditioner. It took 3 hours and wasn’t very pleasant. We then went back to the shop; Bob and I went down to the golden spanner (petrol is up by five cents) and got fuel. We then went to the supermarket where we did shopping. I bought two 2-litre bottles of milk, a packet of nutri-grain and a cream. (There appear to be some new girls in town; a few new faces are hanging around downtown).
It started to rain in the afternoon, but not very much.
When I got home I tried to phone Ric (as mum had told me he wanted me to phone him to let him know if I would be here tomorrow as mum had asked him to help us get our old Mazda from Peter puppy dogs. Rick wasn’t there as he and Craig had gone into town to pick up Wayne and Reannie (I don’t know how to spell that). I talked to Shan on the phone until the money ran out. I then came home and we talked on air until Rick got home.
14.03.2000 – Tuesday 14 March
- • I did school in the morning. Shan came up after lunch and Ric came shortly thereafter. I went to town with Ric, and bought some chips etc. for lunch. On the way home we stopped at Peter’s to pick up the old Mazda, but it was too wet and also the Mazda has no brakes (not even a handbrake). It was 4:30 when I got home from town. I took Malarchy for a walk, did some of my studies of society assignment on mangroves, had dinner, played some computer games (unreal tournament and revolt) and I’m now going to go to bed. The time is 10:55 PM.
15.03.2000 – Wednesday 15 March
- • I woke up with a sore throat. I am obviously sick, although I won’t admit it. I did school, and then took Malarchy for a walk to Home rule’s mailbox. I met Jade, Shan and Ella coming here. On the way back I met Jack, and he gave me some bananas. Jones’ stayed until nearly six o’clock. The Telstra man came and connected our phone. Our number is «edit». I am now going to go and have dinner (it’s 16 past seven). I phoned Bob and he said he is going to town tomorrow.
16.03.2000 – Thursday 16 March
- • (I am typing this for a change) I had a terrible nights sleep. I was awake for most of the night. I went to town with Bob. Peter wasn’t expecting us; he was on his way to Hopevale. I fixed a volume pot on a tape player and checked a no-volt switch, Bob burned a washing machine (He sprayed the motor reversing contacts with contact cleaner and didn’t wait long enough for it to dry. When he started it, it burst into flame. We then went down to the Reef cafe, where we removed a solenoid from a slush puppy machine (with great difficulty and an angle grinder). We then went to the Galley and changed a fan motor and a fan blade in their Schweppes fridge. Bob and I then went to the council office where we started removing two old air-cons. We spent nearly the rest of the day here (probably 10:30, 11:00 when we started, about 4:00 when we left). We installed two air-cons. I went and saw Silas. He said that Eric (his brother) is coming to live up here and that he would be able to help Silas in the shop. Sarah went kickboxing. I told Peter my phone number. I am still sick. My throat hurts. My nose is blocked. I am going to bed. It is 11:57pm.
(My cyclons arrived today.)
17.03.2000 – Friday 17 March
- • I don’t fully remember what I did today but I expect it was schoolwork. I was sick today.
18.03.2000 – Saturday 18 March – My first Linux install
- • Markets today, which I went to. We bought two bags of lemonade fruits. It was a very busy market, as they had a meeting afterwards. In the morning I woke up and began defragmenting the hard drive. After the markets I installed Linux in its own partition. It ran quite well until an error occurred. It seems that I have to reinstall it every so often when anything goes wrong, as I don’t know what else to do. I am still sick.
19.03.2000 – Sunday 19 March
- • I think I walked over to Home Rule and saw Joneses but I do not remember. I am still sick, but getting slightly better.
20.03.2000 – Monday 20 March
- • I went to town, and worked at Peter’s. I also put my new MagLite together. I was supposed to do some research for my science assignment at Silas’ but he was not there. I was slightly sick today. I am slightly sick but getting a lot better.
21.03.2000 – Tuesday 21 March
- • I did school today, and then went over to Joneses to watch a video. Only Shan was there as the rest were in town (Ric was also there). Shan came back with me as he had some things to do on the computer. We met them on their way back from town when we were on our way over here. They had dropped Jade here, and she played with Sarah until Sarah went to town for kickboxing (with Kelly). Shan did what he had to do on the computer and then left at about 5:30. I didn’t get my graphics etc. done, which I had planned to. I am mostly better from my sickness.
22.03.2000 – Wednesday 22 March
- • The principal (Mr Ian Mackay) came today. I up in the morning and went to Joneses. I was planning to watch a video for school and then come back and see Mr Mackay, but I ended up staying at Home Rule all-day. I was going to do a lot of school work whilst Mr Mackay was here, but as I ended up staying at Joneses all-day I didn’t get any done. I will now have to hurry and do school work some other time as I am going to town tomorrow (I have a doctor’s appointment at 1 PM to look at the lump on my finger). Also I may be working on Friday, I don’t as yet know. I got Joneses rat box and brought it back. I am almost totally better from my sickness, just clogged up with mucus. Its 9:25 and I’d better go to bed as Sarah is going to wake me early in the morning to do school work.
I also have to pump up tomorrow.
23.03.2000 – Thursday 23 March
- • I did school in the morning, and went to pump up but the pump would not go. We went to town about lunchtime; I went to the doctor at 1:00 to see about my finger. I have an appointment in one month’s time. I went to Silas’ to look for telephone information on the Internet. I got a lift back with Kelly at a quarter past eight from the RSL.
24.03.2000 – Friday 24 March
- • School work as usual. Sarah has gone off with Vince to Townsville for kickboxing. The computer won’t stand by, well actually it will stand by but when it comes of stand by the mouse is frozen. Linux is still working, although sometimes the mouse will not work. Its 10:31 PM, and I’m about to go to bed. Shan came over this afternoon and played computer games. I have been writing my science assignment on telephones. I am up to 1600 words so far.
25.03.2000 – Saturday 25 March
- • I think I did school, although I do not fully remember. In the afternoon, I walked over to Joneses. Sarah was not here as she is in Townsville. Shan came and stayed the night; we stayed up until 4:30 AM. Surprisingly enough I was not even tired next day.
26.03.2000 – Sunday 26 March
- • Shan stayed here until about lunchtime, after which time I went to Home Rule with him. I didn’t get home until really late (it was nearly dark).
27.03.2000 – Monday 27 March
- • I got up early in the morning thinking that Bob was coming, but he didn’t. I did school most of the day.
28.03.2000 – Tuesday 28 March
- • Shan came over. Craig, Mandy, Jade and Ella went to town. I did very little school (maths in the morning and some of my SOSE assignment). I actually have a sore throat, which I suspect is from speaking into this. It is nearly 10 o’clock and I’m about to go to bed. Sarah went to town for kickboxing today.
Vince left today for the Sunshine Coast.
29.03.2000 – Wednesday 29 March
- • I was only just waking up (at 8:00) when Toni (and Dee Toni) came and wanted me to go up and see his computer as he had wrecked it. I went up there. He had deleted all the programs on it when trying to install Telstra’s easy emailing thing. I spent ages trying to get his modem to work. We ended up deciding that it was his phone line that was at fault. He managed to sign up to Telstra’s big pond service but then we couldn’t log on. I then spent a while trying to install the drivers for his sound card (I think that it is on board.) I didn’t get home until 12:30. I did Maths. I also phoned Mr Philp. We talked about a few things- nothing to report. Sarah and I then went to Jones’ where we stayed until 6:00. It rained on the way there.
30.03.2000 – Thursday 30 March – I joined the ambulance
- • Sent dole (first of new type of form.)
- • Joined ambulance ($57 paid). Went to town. Helped Ric fix Monty’s car.
31.03.2000 – Friday 31 March
- • I went to town with Bob. It was raining, and we couldn’t do much until lunchtime. We went down the wharf, and changed a compressor on the renegade IV. It then stopped raining, and we went and had lunch and installed a satellite dish out at Keating’s Lagoon. I then went and saw Silas. Bob and I then went down to the wharf, where we fiddled around on a boat (Rex’s) until 6:30 PM.
01.04.2000 – Saturday 1 April – April Fools’ Day
- • I stayed in town last night at Cassidy’s, and came home with Silas this morning. I then went to the Rossville markets. Tony and Dee were there, and I went back up with Toni, and took my maestro “Woomera”; modem up, which he is now using. I copied ”V-Rally 2” for Matthew.
02.04.2000 – Sunday 2 April
- • It was a quiet day.
03.04.2000 – Monday 3 April – I went to Cairns
- • I worked in town with Bob and Peter. I came home early with Bob (2-3 o’clock). I went up to Toni and Dee’s and did the modem test. Shan went on air in the afternoon and told me that Ric was going to Cairns to night. I went to Cairns with Ric. We went down in his Falcon. We went to Cooktown first to get petrol, where I saw the editor. We stopped at Station Creek and slept there.
04.04.2000 – Tuesday 4 April – Cairns and shopping
- • We did most of our shopping, and ran around Cairns all-day. Ric’s car broke down. It would start when the key was on, but wouldn’t keep running. It stopped a few times during the day, and then in the afternoon (about 6:00) it stopped and wouldn’t start again. Ric phoned up the RACQ, which came and towed us to their depot for $50. We stayed the night in Cairns at the Bellevue. Ric and I went and watched a movie “The Green Mile”. It wasn’t all that good, as movies never are.
05.04.2000 – Wednesday 5 April – Cairns and car repairs
- • In the morning we walked down to the RACQ depot. They put an exchange distributor (which includes two electronic modules) in. It cost a total of $350, $45 of which was labour. We did a bit more shopping and left late in the afternoon. We were trying to get to Mareeba before 5 o’clock, but we didn’t quite make it. We then drove back up here. At the Mareeba supermarket I saw Dale (from the bridge gang). We got back from Cairns at about 10 o’clock. (In Cairns I bought a $40 forty cm fan, a packet of Mag light bulbs, 2 small alarm clocks, a $60 tent which was reduced by $25, a few Macdonald’s thick shakes, a packet of My-Lite bulbs for Shan, several 4 litre containers of methylated spirits, a halogen bulb for the big Mag light, a machete and possibly some other things but I do not remember them. :–)
06.04.2000 – Thursday 6 April
- • Mum and Sarah went to town. There was a cyclone warning, cyclone Vaughan (I think that is how it is spelt) was heading straight this way. At one stage it was a category 3 and heading this way, but now as of 9:11 PM it has become a tropical depression/rainstorm. Jade, Shan and Ella came over today. I am trying to catch up in my schoolwork. I phoned the editor, but he was busy and asked me to contact him again on Monday.
07.04.2000 – Friday 7 April
- • Today was a nice, normal, American style day.
08.04.2000 – Saturday 8 April
- • Jones’ came and stayed the night. We stayed up until 4 o’clock in the morning playing Konqest in Linux.
09.04.2000 – Sunday 9 April
- • I walked back to home rule with Joneses. I stayed there for the afternoon.
10.04.2000 – Monday 10 April
- • I got up in the morning to wait for Bob, but he did not come. I did school. I don’t remember anything else for this day.
11.04.2000 – Tuesday 11 April
- • Apparently Bob went to town today, but I did not know. Mum saw him. Home rule has no power. I presume I did school but I do not remember anything else.
12.04.2000 – Wednesday 12 April
- • I don’t remember what I did today but it was probably exciting.
13.04.2000 – Thursday 13 April – India Invitation
- • I did school in the morning and then went to town. Peter has gone away until Tuesday the second of May. Eric is up helping Silas. I got my umbrella from Mariette’s. I copied any vital files onto a CD. When I got home I reformatted the hard drive. To reformat it I had to first delete the primary DOS partition. I then reinstalled Windows. Everything worked except Microsoft Word. It worked initially, but as of tomorrow it no longer works. Ric came.
He is planning to leave, either to Perth or maybe down south. He thinks that he will probably end up going to India. He has invited me to come should I feel like it. The power just fluctuated. It sure gives me something to think about.
14.04.2000 – Friday 14 April
- Windows Error
- • I am having trouble with the computer. I cannot get Microsoft Word to work. I have tried everything I can think of. I have installed service release 2. When it runs it comes up with a message:
“WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in module WINWORD.EXE at 0167:30111d12.Registers:EAX=010c2b2c CS=0167 EIP=30111d12 EFLGS=00010202EBX=00000002 SS=016f ESP=0062be38 EBP=0062be58ECX=010c3dd8 DS=016f ESI=00000000 FS=21dfEDX=00000001 ES=016f EDI=0062be74 GS=0000
Bytes at CS:EIP:8b 06 ff 50 3c 89 45 fc 8b 45 0c 50 8b 08 ff 51
Stack dump:00000000 010b0564 0062be90 0062bea8 00000000 0062bec8 3005b4b5 0062be90 0062bec8 3005b502
0062be74 010f9a38 010f434c 010f43cc 00000000 00001a78”
And then quits.
I have been doing schoolwork today. I telephoned Mr Philp about a missing science question.
I went for a walk to the twin bridges and stopped at Monty’s on the way back, as Ric was there. Malarchy was being naughty, and we have been punishing him.
15.04.2000 – Saturday 15 April
- • Sarah and I met Ric when we were walking to the markets. He had some fish food that he asked us to give to Jones’, so Sarah and I walked out to Home Rule with Malarchy. We decided to have a stay over at Jones’. We all walked back up here and got our stuff and went out to Home Rule. We played Pictionary. We didn’t get to sleep until after 4 Am. Shan and I more like 5 Am. At 3-4ish in the morning the power died and Shan and I walked up to the turbine and twiddled the needle valve thing and made it work again.
16.04.2000 – Sunday 16 April
- • After we woke up (at about 9-10 AM) we (with Craig) all went up to the waterfall to fix the power. We took the grates off the filter and removed all the rocks and sand. It was full. Rocks can get in where the two grates join at the bottom. Ric came after that and said that he was moving his caravan up here and leaving. Jones’ are going to Cairns tomorrow. Sarah and I got a lift back here with Ric.
17.04.2000 – Monday 17 April – Ric’s Caravan
- • Ric came in the morning at about 8:30 AM. Ric and I went to town. I saw Silas and borrowed his Microsoft Office 2000 Professional CDs. Microsoft Word 2000 works. But Dragon NaturallySpeaking will not work into it. I also borrowed all Mariette’s demo disks. Ric and I got back from Cooktown at about 1:30 PM. It was just starting to rain so we went straight out to Home Rule to get his caravan. It took us a few hours to get it. Everything went wrong, the caravan had a flat tyre and the jack didn’t work etc. we got to the first bad hill after “1 K” and had nearly reached the top when the caravan collapsed. The right-hand side of the caravan (the side without the door) fell off the chassis onto the ground. We were forced to leave it there.
18.04.2000 – Tuesday 18 April
- • Ric and I woke up and at about 9 AM went out the Home Rule Road to demolish the caravan. It took us until 1:30 PM to demolish it. We towed it up to the rubbish dump and dropped it off there. Ric then went to Monty’s and I went to the computer and installed everything off the demo disks. There is still something wrong, as many things still crash when they start up. It is now a quarter to 1 AM so I had better go to bed.
Shan came over this afternoon and did some work on his Tornado assignment.
19.04.2000 – Wednesday 19 April
- • Non actiona el dayo.
20.04.2000 – Thursday 20 April – I went to the Doctor’s about my finger
- • Town day.
- • «edit»
I woke up in the morning. Ric is still here. Dad came up to go to town. We didn’t leave until 12. I didn’t do any school. I took antonidee’s modem with me, and gave it to the editor. I went to the doctors to see about my finger. Apparently it is better, and I also asked about going to India. The doctor recommended that I give up eating carrots for a month. I went to Silas’ and got an e-mail address for Sarah and my self. I also got upgrades for easy CD Creator and direct CD. I got a lift home with David and Kelly at about 10:30 PM.
21.04.2000 – Friday 21 April
- • I have reinstalled Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and retrained my user speech files from scratch. I did school today. Jade, Shan, and Ella came over. Shan printed his tornado essay. Dragon NaturallySpeaking does not appear to be working as well as it did. On the other hand, it just wrote that exactly as I said it. I have been using WindowBlinds to change the graphical user interface in Windows. It has a few occasional problems, but on the whole looks a lot better. The one I am using at the moment also has a drawing pin type button, which causes the window to stay on top, similar to Linux. It is now 24 past 10 and I had better go to bed.
22.04.2000 – Saturday 22 April
- • I did school for most of the morning. In the afternoon I went for a walk down to the twin bridges, where I met Shan purely by coincidence. I edited some of the cars in revolt. I have decided that Shan can use the blue car and I will use acclaim (the black car). I have copied mysteries pictures, body and parameters, and edited them a lot (the parameters that is). Dragon NaturallySpeaking is not working as well as I had hoped it would today. Most of the mistakes that it makes I am training. I am hoping that this will make it more accurate in understanding my speech patterns. I have removed Shan’s speech patterns, and recommended that he make a new lot, although I have his old speech files backed up on CD. I think one of the problems maybe that this microphone is not the best, and also that my speech changes from day-to-day. Nevertheless, I am glad that I bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking; although it is annoying that it will not talk in to Microsoft Word. I will have to get that fixed. I am not exactly sure how I may even have to phone up a Dragon NaturallySpeaking help line. I should check the Internet for possible upgrades, updates or patches.
It is three past nine and I am going to go and have something to eat for dinner.
23.04.2000 – Sunday 23 April
- • Sarah was in a bad mood today. I walked over to home rule. Ella is down with Jenna and Ashley. Jade and Shan came back here with me.
24.04.2000 – Monday 24 April
- • I did school today. I went on to Joneses in the morning, and arranged a time to go on air but they were not there when I went on. I recharged my MagLite batteries.
25.04.2000 – Tuesday 25 April – India Invitation
- • I did school today. Sarah went into town with David and Kelly at about 10 AM. Shan came over in the afternoon. It is 10:18pm and it is raining; making Dragon NaturallySpeaking inaccurate. Shan mentioned that himself and his family were thinking of going to India at the end of the year, and I would be welcome to come should I wish to. This makes it interesting considering that Ric has already asked the same thing. I set up a bodgy 4-speaker system for the computer as a test.
26.04.2000 – Wednesday 26 April
- • I did school. It started to rain. It hasn’t stopped since. I had bad hay fever, and went to bed early. I covered up Ric’s car with black plastic.
27.04.2000 – Thursday 27 April
- • I was going to get a lift to town, but it is flooded. Apparently Vince is stuck at the den. It is raining. It is flooded. It has been raining all day, non-stop. I did some school. I played revolt. Shan phoned up and we talked for a while. Dragon NaturallySpeaking seems to be more accurate when the microphone is positioned more closely to the front of my mouth. It is 8:30 PM, and I am now going to go to sleep.
28.04.2000 – Friday 28 April
- • I got a lift into Cooktown with the Timmerman’s family. I was in town before 10 o’clock. I went to Silas’ shop and stayed there for a few hours researching pigs and looking for solutions to my Dragon NaturallySpeaking problem (which I found, see tomorrows entry). I stayed in town the night at Cassidy’s house. Gillian and her family were also there. I ended up watching the AFL (Hawthorne versus Kangaroos) at Matthews place. Richard was there, and he is right into the AFL. I went to bed at about 1 o’clock. Mum also went to town today.
29.04.2000 – Saturday 29 April
- • Mariette woke me up at a quarter to six. I bought two chocolate bars (Aero and Milky bar) at the Ampol, and a bottle of soft drink. I then walked to Silas’ and got a lift out to Rossville with him and Elise. I arrived here at about 7:30 AM. I came in copied my floppy disks onto the computer, and then Sarah and I went down to the markets. I stayed at the markets until after midday. I installed a NaturalWord update for Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which allowed Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Microsoft Word 2000 to run at the same time, but the Dragon NaturallySpeaking button at the top of word still did not work. I deleted all instances of normal.dot (Microsoft Word normal document templates) and then ran Microsoft Word. Amazing, it worked! I didn’t really think that it would work, and I was quite surprised when it did.
Sarah and I took Malarchy for a walk around the power poles. I walked out to home rule (just the mailbox, I didn’t see Joneses). Joneses were maybe going to stay over, but they were not allowed. It is quite cold. It didn’t rain today either.
30.04.2000 – Sunday 30 April
- • Sarah and I went over to Joneses. They wanted to have a stay over so we did. I didn’t go to bed until 5am!
01.05.2000 – Monday 1 May – Labour Day
- • I did not do any school today as Joneses stayed over last night.
02.05.2000 – Tuesday 2 May
- • I did school. Peter opens shop again today. I phoned BSDE (I think it was today) and requested a handbook.
03.05.2000 – Wednesday 3 May
- • I recorded Matt’s CD (Not of this Earth, Joe Satriani) today. I couldn’t get tracks 1 or 4. I also had a look at his Sony PlayStation controller. I did school. I phoned Ray Barrett and am going to do my test tomorrow at 11am. I went over to Joneses. Shan said that they are no longer going to India. I suppose that solves one problem anyway. It is now 10:43 PM and I had better go to bed as I am getting up at 5:30 am in the morning.
04.05.2000 – Thursday 4 May – Dole problems
- • I got a lift to town with David. I was supposed to do my Science test at 11am, but Ray Barrett got caught up in a meeting at the council, and it was 11:30 before he got back, I decided to do my test on next Thursday 11 May at 1:30pm.
I got a letter from Centrelink:
Mr Ned «edit»
PO box «edit»
28 April 2000
Cancellation of your youth allowance.
Your Youth allowance has been cancelled from 31 March 2000 because we have not received your Application for Payment form.
You may now be entitled to a Low income Health care card. If you would like more information please phone us.
I phoned up the Commonwealth Bank # to get my last five transactions:
I went and saw the Gungarde Centrelink officer. He filled out an application for the dole. I have to re-join from scratch as I have missed 2 complete dole forms, and 2 dole payments. They will probably want to know where I have got the money to live on in the interim period. All these problems are annoying.
He stated that my current bank balance was $15.
05.05.2000 – Friday 5 May
- • I went to town with Bob. I took Matt’s Sony controller and some discs, which I had copied, back to him. I received some mail from BSDE. I haven’t opened it yet but I suppose it is the handbook, which I requested. I met the Joneses in town. They had taken their Commodore in to Cape York Tyres get a ball joint (or something similar) changed.
06.05.2000 – Saturday 6 May
- • Lacking memory of this day. Possibly Sarah and I went and stayed at Joneses and watched the video "The Ten Commandments".
07.05.2000 – Sunday 7 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • Jack left today. I think that I may have been at Joneses after having a stay over last night. I went and stayed at Jack’s place tonight.
08.05.2000 – Monday 8 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • I went to town with Bob. I think that Shan stayed with me at Jack’s tonight, but I cannot remember as I am writing this on May 15.
09.05.2000 – Tuesday 9 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • CSDE teachers (Maloney, Miss Reid) were at Joneses. Jade came up and stayed at Jack’s, as did Sarah.
10.05.2000 – Wednesday 10 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • The teachers (Mr. Philp, Mrs. Webber) came. Jade and Craig stayed with me at jacks until approximately 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Shan then came up and stayed the night, as did Sarah.
11.05.2000 – Thursday 11 May
- • I went to town with Mum. I did my Science test at the resource center. I couldn’t find a lift home so I stayed the night in town at Cassidy’s.
12.05.2000 – Friday 12 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • I went to Peter’s shop. I got a lift home with Bob. When I got home Shan was just arriving here. Jade, Sarah and Ella were on their way. Sarah and Ella had a bit of an accident. Sarah ran into Ella and fell grazing her knees and hands. We all stayed over at Jacks. I bought three types of ginger for mum (Mothers day).
13.05.2000 – Saturday 13 May – Stayed at Jack’s place
- • Lacking memory of this day. Maybe Sarah and I stayed at Jack’s by ourselves, and watched “The Bill”
14.05.2000 – Sunday 14 May – Mother’s Day
- • Sarah, Shan and I stayed at Jack’s. We went to bed at around 12:30. I got up at 5:30 in the morning, as I had to get a lift to town with Bob.
15.05.2000 – Monday 15 May
- • I went to town with Bob. We installed a new compressor on the supermarket roof for the bottle shop’s cold room. Not all the parts have arrived. Silas said that he is considering becoming a math tutor. I gave Mathew the Q3a (Quake III Arena) CD.
16.05.2000 – Tuesday 16 May
- • I went to town with Bob again. Bob made a shelf for the shop next to Peter’s that he is using now. The extra parts arrived for the compressor on the supermarket roof, which we then put in (commissioned). I can remember very little about this day as I am writing this on Thursday 18 May.
17.05.2000 – Wednesday 17 May
- • I did schoolwork (math and science ass.) I went to Isabella’s (for English) but she was not home. I took some lead out of Mathew’s Sony controller in case it had a cable break in it.
18.05.2000 – Thursday 18 May
- • I went to town with Mum. I posted Ric’s number plates back to Perth. I ordered 10 80 minute Verbatim Datalife CD-R’s. Silas also got 10 at the same time. It cost $57.95 for all 20, including freight. I ordered by phone, and then sent a money order. I took Mathew’s Sony Controller back. It still works but has the same problem. I finished off my science assignment. Quake 3 has some problems on their computer, which I find somewhat surprising.
19.05.2000 – Friday 19 May
- • I think I did schoolwork for most of today. I went and saw Isabella. Jade and Shan came over in the afternoon. I drove Dad to the den in the afternoon for the pool comp.
20.05.2000 – Saturday 20 May
- • I went and saw Donny re my English school stuff. He gave me the file on the proposed “Rossville Recreational Reserve”. Sarah and I went over to Home rule to see Joneses. Jade drove us back over here in the Nissan, where we got our stuff and had a stay over at Joneses. Shan and I didn’t go to sleep until 4 am. We had a very heart to heart talk about lots of private things.
We watched the video “White Fang II”
21.05.2000 – Sunday 21 May
- • We stayed at Joneses until the afternoon (nearly five o’clock). I came and packaged my schoolwork for sending. I phoned Bob to see if he was going to town, which he said that he was. I played Quake Arena.
22.05.2000 – Monday 22 May – Sarah’s Birthday
- • I went to town with Bob. I did Math study when I got home. I paid (with Mum’s money) for Mum and Sarah’s airplane trip to Cairns (which is Sarah’s birthday present). I photocopied Donny’s “Proposed Rossville Recreational Reserve” documents. I posted some schoolwork, and received some. Bob’s car is still not working properly. It is 8 past 9 and I had better get to bed. I am presently listening to Cyprus Hill, which I don’t particularly like. It doesn’t’ seem to have much melody. It all seems to be the same, and I don’t like the coarse language. I am now off to bed. I played some Quake Arena, and also Tiberian Sun (Command and Conquer) demo, which experienced an internal error and quit. I have just discovered that Cyprus Hill songs sound much better played at 200 per cent speed.
Got to go to bed. I got up at 5:30 this morning, and didn’t go to sleep until after 4 on Saturday night. Sunday night wasn’t a particularly early night either.
23.05.2000 – Tuesday 23 May
- • I did school. Jade, Shan and Ella came over in the afternoon. I started on my expository text for English. It is 11:12 and I am quite tired so I am going to go to bed.
24.05.2000 – Wednesday 24 May
- • I did school. Sarah and I went over to Joneses. Sarah picked up her frame. At night we discovered that the frame was the wrong size. Joneses are getting it tomorrow.
25.05.2000 – Thursday 25 May
- • I dropped Sarah’s painting in at the art place. We left her other one with the wrong size frame at Jack’s under joneses car. I presume that they picked it up. I drove Mum and Sarah in to town at 6:30 in the morning. They were at the airport at a quarter to 7. The plane left on time at 8:15 for Cairns. I went to Silas’s. He has set Quake up on 2 computers. I downloaded heaps of things, including SBLive drivers for Linux and text to speech converters for Windows. I don’t know how to use any Linux things and I couldn’t get them to work. The Verbatim 80 minute CD’s arrived. I agreed with Silas to forfeit payment with the solar panel I am ordering through him. I made a high sliding wire for Malarchy.
26.05.2000 – Friday 26 May
- • I went to town with Bob. We went down and began the install of the air conditioners at the new offices near the golden spanner (Shell servo).
27.05.2000 – Saturday 27 May
- • Rod came and took his drawbar back. I went to the markets in the morning. Jack came (and gave Jade, Shan and Ella a lift) and gave me $100 for looking after his place. In the mail Shan and Sarah both got BSDE handbooks. I backed up the dragon natspeak updates and a few other things.
28.05.2000 – Sunday 28 May
- • Joneses came over (on their way to Cairns and the school camp) and picked up Sarah’s stuff for her camp. Dad also came over and I drove him to the Den, and then went on into town (approximately 11, 11:30) I had lunch in town, picked Mum up and came home. I walked over to Joneses with Malarchy to check on their dog, Oscar.
29.05.2000 – Monday 29 May
- • I went to town with Bob. He changed the sparking coil on his car, which seemed to fix the problems that it had had in starting. We went and continued on the install of air conditioners at the new place beside the golden spanner. This took all day. I got some school returns. I studied math (4.6M). I burnt TEN (Pearl Jam) onto a CD and forgot to check the “record track names” box. Darn! Am quite annoyed, it means that the tracks and CD come up as untitled, rather than with their names.
30.05.2000 – Tuesday 30 May
- • I went to town with Bob. We did a few things. Concreted a pole in for a satellite dish, looked for leaks at the place next to the "Golden Spanner".
31.05.2000 – Wednesday 31 May
- • I finished my English, and packaged it up for sending tomorrow. I also studied some math. Mum let Malachi of his chain, which is the first time he has been off it for some time. It is quite cold (freezing) for this part of the world.
01.06.2000 – Thursday 1 June
- • I went to town with Bob. All the people there (at the hillcrest) seem to be weird. We did a UHF antenna at a house just over the road from the Hillcrest. We installed two UHF antennas at the Hillcrest. The place seems to be weird.
02.06.2000 – Friday 2 June
- • I went to town with Bob. We went down and worked on Rex’s boat, which is on the slips. I checked Ric’s mail, none. On the way home we went out to Home Rule and looked at one of Harold’ freezers. Sarah got back (with Joneses). It is quite cold. Last night was really cold. The last few days have been really cold.
03.06.2000 – Saturday 3 June – Art Competition
- • In the afternoon we went to town and went to the art competition thing. Sarah won first prize in the Youths section (with “ED”, a pencil of a man). She got $150. We didn’t get home until late.
04.06.2000 – Sunday 4 June
- • I didn’t get up until after 11 o’clock. I then went to Joneses. Shan was putting his motorbike back together. When I came back I saw Ric’s car at Monty’s. Ric came up at night and we talked until midnight.
05.06.2000 – Monday 5 June
- • I went to town with Bob.
06.06.2000 – Tuesday 6 June
- • I did school. I discovered that I could edit the way windows displays folders etc. by using HTML.
07.06.2000 – Wednesday 7 June – Last Day of my Studies
- • I finished my school today. I only have my test tomorrow (at 2). Jade and Mandi came over on their way back from town. Shan then came over as well. I went over to Joneses.
08.06.2000 – Thursday 8 June – Math Exam
- • I went to town with Mum. I did my Math test at Ray Barrett’s (the resource centre). It wasn’t too hard, but it wasn’t too easy either! I stayed in town.
09.06.2000 – Friday 9 June – First day of the June Weekend
- • I stayed at Cassidy’s. I have either hay fever or possibly a cold or flu of some type. I went and worked at Peters. I don’t remember much. I went up to Cassidy’s at night. Sarah turned up, and stayed the night.
10.06.2000 – Saturday 10 June – June Weekend
- • Sarah and I went down town and looked at the June weekend things. I went to Silas’ shop. We went to the top pub at night and watched the band “Four in a Groove”. I thought that they were quite good. We stayed there until quite late (about 2 o’clock, which was when the band stopped playing). Mathew was there, as I think was Silas. It was OK but not huge fun.
11.06.2000 – Sunday 11 June – June Weekend
- • Sarah and I slept at Cassidy’s. We went down town to see the June weekend. I went to Silas’s shop until the grand parade came. I then watched it and then went and watched the Soapbox Derby. The “Buzerk Brothers” won. We went and watched the raft race, the truck pull (with Mathew Meannie), and the tug of war. The Mundays, and also Angelina, played/sang in a truck outside the west coast after the wet tee-shirt competition. At night Sarah and I went down and watched the fire works and the first (of 2) movie (Wild, Wild West). Sarah and I sat with Naomi. Sarah and I then went to the top pub where the band was once again playing. Mathew (Krolik) came for a while but left. I hung out with Silas and Mathew (Meannie). I didn’t leave until late (nearly 3 o’clock). Sarah and I walked to the bottom of Marcel’s drive with him, and we had a good talk about religious things with him. He said that he is thinking of going to a DTS (Discipleship Training School) I think that they are run by the YWAMers (Youth With A Mission).
12.06.2000 – Monday 12 June
- • I went to Silas’s shop. Mathew (Meannie) was there playing Quake, so I stayed a while and played with them. Sarah and I then went up to the supermarket and got some lunch. We met Helen and Sarah got a lift back out to Rossville with her. I walked towards the wharf, and stopped at the radio station. Rhett, Tiffany and Aaron, Darcy and two other girls were there.
I went up to Cassidy’s and went to bed.
13.06.2000 – Tuesday 13 June
- • I went down to Peters. We went down to a boat and condemned their alternator. We went to the photo shop and fixed their fridge (again) and we went to the bank and fixed their air-con. We also went up to the school and fixed one of their air-cons. We went out to the council’s multi-wheel roller and changed the compressor on it. It was quite difficult. I came out to Rossville with Bob. I am going to go to bed soon; I am going to play some Quake first.
14.06.2000 – Wednesday 14 June
- • Contento non findo
15.06.2000 – Thursday 15 June – Dole Cancelled
- • I went and saw Mr Harrigan at Centrelink as my Dole had been cancelled. I have to bring my birth certificates in tomorrow.
16.06.2000 – Friday 16 June
- • I worked at Peter’s.
17.06.2000 – Saturday 17 June
- • We stayed at Joneses.
18.06.2000 – Sunday 18 June
- • We stayed at Joneses until the afternoon.
19.06.2000 – Monday 19 June
- • I moved the wooden block from under the caravan and replaced it with a metal one. The brake cylinder in the car (rear right wheel cylinder) is leaking.
I went to town to get brake fluid and ordered a new cylinder (30 dollars).
20.06.2000 – Tuesday 20 June to Wednesday 21 June (2 days)
- • Upon which days, occured nothing of note.
22.06.2000 – Thursday 22 June
- • I got a lift into Cooktown with a man from the Bloomfield lodge. I went to Silas’s for most of the day. I downloaded a stack of quake 3 arena maps. I got a $500 dollar payment from the dole (I went and saw Harrigan) and my next form is apparently due on the 28th.
I stayed in town at Cassidy’s.
23.06.2000 – Friday 23 June
- • I went to Silas’s and stayed there until 1 o’clock. I then went to Silas’s place with him and stayed there for an hour or two. Silas and I then drove out here (Silas went to Bloomfield). It must be Uni holidays because there are some Uni students back in town. I don’t remember what I did when I got out here. Played Quake I think.
24.06.2000 – Saturday 24 June
- • Shan got some mail (tax file number as did Sarah) so I took it over to Home Rule. I stayed there for a while and then Jade, Shan, Ella and I came over here and asked if we were allowed to have a stay-over. We were so Joneses stayed over here. We played “asshole” (a card game) and also Careers (which I won!).
25.06.2000 – Sunday 25 June
- • Joneses left at 11 AM, as they had to be home because their parents are going to Cairns. After they left Ric came over. He was going out to Home Rule so Sarah and I got a lift out to Home Rule with him. Shortly after we got there Craig and Mandi left for Cairns. Apparently Craig has bought a Falcon Ute (sight unseen) over the phone. They are going down to pick it up.
Sarah and I stayed over at Joneses (as did Ric). I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 4 AM.
26.06.2000 – Monday 26 June
- • Sarah went back home with Ric at 11 o’clock because she had an on air lesson. I stayed at Joneses until 3 o’clock. I then came home and went over to Therese’s to see if I could get any TV reception for her. That took an hour, and I did eventually get some reception (terrible and in black and white).
27.06.2000 – Tuesday 27 June
- • It was rainy in the morning. Craig and Mandi got home from Cairns. Apparently the Ute that Craig bought isn’t too bad.
28.06.2000 – Wednesday 28 June
- • Dole due today. I am going to send it tomorrow. I went for a bush walk today. I also did some painting and got some wait-a-while prickles in me.
29.06.2000 – Thursday 29 June
- • I sent my dole form, which is supposed to be sent yesterday. I got a lift into town with a Swiss couple that was immigrating to Australia. I was at Silas’s shop just after nine. I stayed there nearly all day (until 1). I downloaded two bibles. I got my two laser pointers. I gave one to Silas, and I could not find Mick. I got a lift home in the back of Vince’s Ute. It was very cold.
30.06.2000 – Friday 30 June
- • I did some painting today. When I got back (at 2:30 PM), I walked out to Joneses. I met Mandi, Jade and Ella on their way back from town. Jade and Ella walked with me. I stayed up late playing with the Bible software that I got. I also copied some things of Marriette’s Navy Blue World Online Digest Internet Unplugged Compact Disc. It is nearly midnight and I am going to go to bed now.
01.07.2000 – Saturday 1 July – Camping
- • Joneses received some mail to our place so Sarah and I went over to Joneses with it. Ric left here. Sarah and I left for Joneses at about just a bit after lunch. We decided to have a camp out. Sarah and I (and also Jade, Shan and Ella) came back up here to get our stuff. I took the small Simon stove (which we used) and it seemed to work quite well. The wind plays havoc with the flame, however. We camped on the sand down beside the creek below the bananas. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be. I went to bed at approximately, actually I cannot remember, but I think that it was probably around the 2 o’clock mark.
02.07.2000 – Sunday 2 July
- • I woke up down at the creek out at Home Rule (as we were camping there). I woke up at around 8 AM (very approximately as I cannot remember the time). We all lay around until 10 AM. We then went up to the House, and stayed there until 3 PM at which time Sarah and I came home. I have been reading “The Drama of God’s People”. I also took my MiniMagLite apart and cleaned it all as it had become somewhat sandy after staying down at the creek at Joneses.
03.07.2000 – Monday 3 July
- • I went to town. I drove in, as Mum wasn’t working so I could use the car. I went to Silas’s and stayed there nearly all day. I downloaded a stack of Sonique visual plug-ins and also the Apocrypha for Theophilos and a stack of bible’s etc for the Sword bible but I cannot get it to work. I also got a new (second hand) sound card off Silas. It is a Yamaha soundcard and is supposed to help me use graphic equalizers.
04.07.2000 – Tuesday 4 July
- • It rained and my bush walk was cut short. Jade and Shan came over to get their mail. I managed to make both my soundcards work together. They don’t really like each other.
05.07.2000 – Wednesday 5 July
- • I slept in until 11:30. I then had breakfast and went to Joneses. Shan came and picked me up on his motorcycle. The council poured the concrete for the top of the new causeway at the Twin (now single) bridges (now bridge). I stayed at Joneses until late in the afternoon. Craig, Mandy and Jade had gone to town and got the Ute registered. Ella was down seeing Jenna and Ashley. I am going to open up the computer (maybe) and see if I can use a jumper lead from the Yamaha soundcard directly over to the Sblive one. I was thinking that I could use a jumper from the output to the aux input of the Sblive card. I had better go to bed as it is a quartet to eleven and I need to get up early in the morning.
I do not need to send my dole form today as I sent it last Thursday.
06.07.2000 – Thursday 6 July
- • I got a lift to town with Ron (Ollet). He also gave Tom (from the den) a lift in. We stopped at Graeme Dixon’s on the way in and Ron got two pieces of wood. I went to Silas’s at 9:45 or thereabouts. I stayed there until Sarah came in at midday. I downloaded the Sword.exe again and this time it worked. I came home with Mum in the afternoon. Dad came up and had a look at the new back brake cylinder on the car, which is leaking. I got a new CDFS.VXD (Compact Disc File System driver, lives in the Windows IOsubsystem.) It shows Audio CD tracks as .wav files. My CD ROM drive doesn’t read them very well though.
It is a quarter past 11 but I am somewhat bored (lonely) and I don’t feel like going to bed however obviously I will have to. I am going to go to bed shortly after this.
07.07.2000 – Friday July 7
- • ...
08.07.2000 – Saturday July 8
- • ...
09.07.2000 – Sunday July 9
- • Too exciting for words...
10.07.2000 – Monday 10 July
- • I think I went to town with Bob.
11.07.2000 – Tuesday 11 July
- • I probably stayed at Cassidy’s
12.07.2000 – Wednesday 12 July
- • I stayed the night at Cassidy’s again
13.07.2000 – Thursday 13 July
- • I must have stayed in town as I remember that I was in town tomorrow (so to speak).
14.07.2000 – Friday 14 July
- • I got a lift home with Silas’ brother Eric. We left in the afternoon around 6 PM.
15.07.2000 – Saturday 15 July
- • I presume that I was out here although I do not remember.
16.07.2000 – Sunday 16 July
- • I also do not remember today.
17.07.2000 – Monday 17 July
- • I went to town, and went to Silas’. I stayed there all-day and stayed at his place in the afternoon. Silas and I went and saw Darren in the afternoon. Tulani and Rachel came in and I sold them some (4) blank CD’s. The radio station (Pulse FM) now has a computer with a CD burner, so they are copying discs on it.
18.07.2000 – Tuesday 18 July
- • I went down to Silas’ with him. I stayed there for most of the day. I also stayed at Silas’ place at night
19.07.2000 – Wednesday 19 July
- • I once again went down to Silas’. I saw Jade. In the afternoon I got a lift back out here with Ric.
20.07.2000 – Thursday 20 July – Bitten by a stinging tree
- • I went for a bush walk and got stung by a stinging tree. I didn’t get to sleep until after 2 AM. I bypassed the Surround part of my Genexxa speakers and made them work again. Mum and Sarah went to town. I got them to give Silas my old Serial mouse.
21.07.2000 – Friday 21 July – The Torana is buried
- • We took the Torana up to the dump. Ric towed it with his Falcon. We also moved Ric’s Isuzu and swapped its position for the old Mazda. Shan came over and stayed for the afternoon. I went back to Home Rule on the back of his motorbike and stayed for an hour. I jogged from 1K to the twin bridges (now the Home Rule Bridge as they have taken the other one away and replaced it with a concrete causeway).
22.07.2000 – Saturday 22 July
- • Wow.
23.07.2000 – Sunday 23 July
- • I went to Joneses. In the afternoon we spotted some smoke coming from in the forest, somewhere near the third creek up mount Hartley. We rode out on motorbikes to check. I was on the back of Shan’s, Jade on Craig’s (with Craig) and Ella on hers. I told Monty about it on the way home.
24.07.2000 – Monday 24 July – Mally came
- • Aunt Mally came.
I went to town early in the morning. I got a lift in with Vince. I worked at Peters for the morning and then went down to Silas’. Peter and I went to the RSL and installed a cable for their Pokies monitoring computer. I learnt that Silas is leaving. I stayed the night at Cassidy’s. I met Elise outside the supermarket and she told me how Silas had been reading her emails and replying to her friends’ emails etc (not true I think). She said that she really hates him. Rachel was at Silas’ and was very relieved because she found out that she had passed her exams. I also saw Roxanne.
25.07.2000 – Tuesday 25 July
- • I worked at Peters in the morning and then went down to Silas’ in the afternoon. Dale is maybe going to run the shop. I met Mally and Ken at Peters. Mum came in and took Sarah to kickboxing. I borrowed a disc (the best of quake) from Jethro. I went home with Mum and saw Mally at the Den. We stayed at the den and had pizza for dinner.
26.07.2000 – Wednesday 26 July
- • I went for a bush walk today. It took nearly all day.
27.07.2000 – Thursday 27 July – First IRC
- • I went to town. I got a lift in with Doug and Elisabeth. I stayed at Silas’ shop for most of the day, until Mum came in and picked me up in the afternoon. I chatted on mIRC for the first time. I used the nickname “thei”. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It looks as though Dale may be going to run Silas’ shop whilst Silas isn’t there.
28.07.2000 – Friday 28 July
- • I got a lift into town with Bob. It was quite dark in the morning. We put up an UHF CB aerial at the batching plant (for the new Annan Bridge). I saw Silas for a few minutes in the afternoon. I bought some more Orminoid paint. The Big Shed didn’t have any so I got it from the Top End Hardware.
29.07.2000 – Saturday 29 July
- • Sarah and I went over to Joneses. We decided to have a stay-over. We all came back over here and got our stuff. I pumped up. Shan and I went to the Rossville shop on the way back to Joneses. Pi was looking after it.
Jade and I stayed up until 4 AM. Shan, Sarah, and Ella went to bed at around 2 AM.
30.07.2000 – Sunday 30 July
- • Sarah and I came home after lunch. I read some Bible and played some quake. I have decided to learn to touch type. It is fairly hard. My left hand refuses to obey.
31.07.2000 – Monday 31 July
- • The last day of July. The year is nearly over already! I drove into town at 7:30 AM. I went to Silas’ and stayed there all day. I chatted on mIRC. I also copied Virtual CD. I got home at 7:30 PM.
01.08.2000 – Tuesday 1 August
- • It rained.
I was very tired and didn’t get up until 10:30. It rained off and on all day. Shan came over. Jade went to Mareeba with Craig. Shan played Microsoft Motocross Madness. I made a spring for my MagLite and got the second one going. Some fellow rang up about Ric and a Kombi Van. I am attempting to type with all the right fingers and without looking at the keyboard. It is quite hard and I can’t do it yet.
02.08.2000 – Wednesday 2 August
- • We went for a bush walk. We didn’t get back until 2:00 PM. Jade, Shan and Ella came over. I went up to Doug and Elisabeth’s to look at their satellite decoder. I couldn’t fix it so I phoned Peter.
03.08.2000 – Thursday 3 August
- • Town day. I went to town with Bob. We condemned Doug’s satellite decoder. I went to Silas’s for half the day. I put a lot of Phaselink antennas together (PL10’s). It is raining, and looks as though it will be wet tomorrow, although it is impossible for me to tell. I got my solar panel (from Jaycar’s (which Silas ordered)) today. It looks all right although it is a mono-crystalline panel (supposed to be less efficient). It has max V 8.1, max I 130 and max P 1 written on the back. I suppose that means 8.1 volts, 130 milliamps and 1 watt.
I chatted on mIRC again. Dale (Bungi) kicked me out and banned me for a while. I need to be able to get back in after being banned.
04.08.2000 – Friday 4 August
- • I got a lift to town as it is raining and I cannot do anything else here. I got a lift with Stony to the roadworks and a lift from there to town with Meera. I saw a letter saying Meere Dilleward so she must be married. I went to Silas’ for most of the day.
I stayed the night at Cassidy’s. It rained.
05.08.2000 – Saturday 5 August
- • I went down to Silas’ shop. I stayed there most of the day. It rained. I stayed the night at Cassidy’s.
06.08.2000 – Sunday 6 August
- • Once again I went to Silas’ shop for most of the day. Once again I stayed at Cassidy’s.
07.08.2000 – Monday 7 August
- • I went to Silas’ for most of the day. Ric phoned up and said that he was coming in to pick up his newly bought Kombi. He towed it with Rod’s draw bar and I steered it. We had a near mishap when the drawbar came loose and slipped, the kombi running into the rear of Ric’s car. It is raining. It is also a quarter past 12 so I had really better get to bed.
08.08.2000 – Tuesday 8 August
- • It rained nearly all day. I went over to Jones’. I made a macro enabled Internet timer in Excel. I also took my keyboard apart (not recommended, the keys are loose and can all fall out).
09.08.2000 – Wednesday 9 August
- • Surprisingly enough it did not rain at all today. Nevertheless it was cloudy nearly all day. I was attempting to test my new solar panel but the sun would not stay out for long enough. It appears that the larger panel has nearly twice the voltage of the smaller panel but not as much current. The current is nearly the same though. I am using Dragon NaturallySpeaking again, but this time with a handheld microphone. It appears to be working better than when I was using the headset microphone, but it is hard to tell. It is also a long time since I have used Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and I probably have a slightly different intonation. It is 8:15 pm, and I am going to try and have an early night. Talking to the computer is definitely a lot quicker and easier than typing, although it can be more difficult when Dragon NaturallySpeaking cannot recognize what I am saying. It is now 9:30 PM. I am now going to go to bed.
10.08.2000 – Thursday 10 August
- • Mum went to town. I went out for a bush walk.
11.08.2000 – Friday 11 August
- • I went to town with Joneses. Shan, Jade and I went to Silas’. I ended up staying in town at Cassidy’s and getting a lift home with Silas in the morning (tomorrow).
12.08.2000 – Saturday 12 August
- • Sarah and I went over to Joneses. We ended up having a stay over here. Sarah went to bed early but I stayed up until nearly 4:30.
13.08.2000 – Sunday 13 August
- • I am very tired and feel a bit sick (hay fever, flu). I didn’t do much today.
14.08.2000 – Monday 14 August
- • I pumped up. I then drove to town and went to Silas’. I looked up the Kumbha Mela amongst other things. I also updated the Internet timing spreadsheet. I feel sick and think that I may have flu.
15.08.2000 – Tuesday 15 August
- • I went for a bush walk. I got back at around 2 PM. I tried some rust converters (which I got from Dad’s) on the caravan draw bar. It hasn’t been long enough to see if they have worked or not yet. I am trying to learn to type without looking at the keyboard. It is reasonably hard but I can see that I will learn it without too much trouble if I persist. The problem is that I keep getting sick of it, as I am still so slow and I can type so much faster when I look at the keyboard. I can type even faster if I type with only two fingers.
“This was typed with two fingers at about the speed I normally type it took about 42 seconds and is reproduced exactly as typed with akll (all) the typos still in...”
“This was typed trying to se (use) all my fingers and looking at the keyboard. I am using most of my fingers and also attempting to correct the typos as I go. It took 53 seconds to type”
“This was typed without looking at the keyboard and took 89 seconds”.
- Typing Stats
- • Stats: Two fingers, 30(+1) words, 42 seconds 42.857143 words/minute.
All fingers looking 37(+1) words, 53 seconds 41.886792 words per minute.
All fingers, not looking 12 words 89 seconds 8.0898876 words per minute.
- • Obviously these figures are very approximate as I have only done one test on them and the sentences are too short to be conclusive. I will continue to type trying to use all my fingers but looking at the keyboard and I hope that I will then be able to gradually stop looking at the keyboard when my fingers get used to the positions f the keys. I also need lots of practice in using all of my fingers (and particularly the correct ones) for typing. I still make lots of mistakes and find that I am not even using some of my fingers. I am also trying to train my let hand to se the mouse (with the buttons still set in the right hand manner). It is quite hard, I feel like a mouse beginner. I keep clicking the wrong mouse buttons and moving the mouse when I want it to stay in the one place. I have difficulty in selecting the correct areas but the lump on my right pointer (or maybe index? Next to my thumb) finger has come back and I want to give that finger a spell from using the mouse. I still need to use my right hand for playing quake however, as my left isn’t accurate enough. Actually that has given me an idea... I will try to play quake with my left hand and see how it goes... brb... lol...
16.08.2000 – Wednesday 16 August
- • I cannot remember...
17.08.2000 – Thursday 17 August
- • Mum went to town. I don’t remember anything else...
18.08.2000 – Friday 18 August
- • I drove Dad and Sarah in to town to catch their flight to Perth. I then drove back to the Den to leave the car there for mum. I then got a lift into town with Theresa, and stayed at Silas’ all day and at Cassidy’s that night.
19.08.2000 – Saturday 19 August
- • I went to Silas’ all day. I stayed at Cassidy’s at the night. I got a new email email@example.com . Password <Edit>. 100mb mailbox, but couldn’t get access that night, wouldn’t accept password.
20.08.2000 – Sunday 20 August
- • I got a lift out here to Rossville with Amos (Silas’ brother) in the morning. I built Quake maps as I have just worked out how. I went to Joneses after lunch. Shan put his motorbike back together. I copied 2 CD’s for Mathew. Both Pantera ones. I also wrecked 1 disc and had a buffer under run on the other.
21.08.2000 – Monday 21 August
- • I drove into town and worked at Peter’s. I also went to Silas’. He said that he is leaving today, so I said goodbye and all that.
22.08.2000 – Tuesday 22 August
- • Shan came over and looked at my quake map. It is getting late so I had better go to bed (11:13). Doug came up and I went back to his place and put the cables (AV or RCA) on his satellite system. He wants two more double adaptors.
23.08.2000 – Wednesday 23 August
- • zoit.
24.08.2000 – Thursday 24 August – Cairns
- • I got a lift to the den with Mum and then got a lift from the den to Cooktown with two ladies in a Land Rover Discovery. I went to Silas’ (Dales). I printed some photos for the River of Life mob. Ric came in after lunch, and we went to Cairns at around three. I also picked up the two laser pointers from town.
25.08.2000 – Friday 25 August – Cairns
- • In Cairns... did shopping etc. Bought a metho burner, solar torch, money wallet/belt, etc. Left Cairns at around 6 PM. Blew a transmission hose on the way home on the windy part of the road that follows the coastline between Cairns and Mossman. We went and saw a guy that Ric knows, staying at the caravan park on the road just after the turn off from Cairns/Mossman towards Cooktown. He is a mad Kombi man.
26.08.2000 – Saturday 26 August
- • I walked over to Joneses. Shan came back up here and played Quake. I stayed the night.
27.08.2000 – Sunday 27 August
- • I left Joneses just after lunch (although I did not have lunch there). Shan came over with me and played quake and built his map. I also edited some of my map tonight.
28.08.2000 – Monday 28 August – Filled in Tax Return
- • I drove to town and went to Silas’ for most of the day. I got a Centrelink letter stating that I need to go to Cairns for an interview on September 1st.
I filled in my tax return.
29.08.2000 – Tuesday 29 August
- • I went to town with Bob. I posted my tax return. Ric went down to pick up a Subaru motor. He phoned Mum and said that he has warped the head on his Falcon, or something like that.
30.08.2000 – Wednesday 30 August
- • I phoned Centrelink and FNQ training and told them that I would be unable to attend their interview.
31.08.2000 – Thursday 31 August
- • I got a lift into town. I went to Silas’ for most of the day, and Silas is back. He is shutting the shop and selling the computers.
01.09.2000 – Friday 1 September
- • I worked at Peter’s.
- • I got a lift with Peter back to his place and then went to Marcel’s with James. I stayed until 3 AM. I watched a video with Marcel. I stayed the night at Cassidy’s.
02.09.2000 – Saturday 2 September
- • I went to Silas’ for most of the day. I stayed the night at Cassidy’s.
03.09.2000 – Sunday 3 September
- • I went to Church (Assemblies of God).
04.09.2000 – Monday 4 September
- • I went to Silas’s for most of the day. I stayed at Cassidy’s. I connected their computer to the Internet using Silas’ account at midnight.
05.09.2000 – Tuesday 5 September – Booked some pre-India flights
- • I went down to Silas’. We pulled a few old computers apart. I got two power supplies, 3 CD-ROMs and a few bits and pieces. Ric sent his Passport of for his Visa for India. We booked the flights from Cooktown to Cairns. I went home with Ric in Monty’s Ute. I played around with the CD players that I got from Silas’. None of them seem to work. I filled out my Dole form.
06.09.2000 – Wednesday 6 September
- • I went to town with Bob. We went down to the Seaview to install air conditioners. It took all day. It was very smoky in Cooktown. I got all concrete dust all through me. My nose is now all blocked.
After using the Internet at Cassidy’s I now want to get it on here at home. I know that I should at least wait until after I go to India but I really want it now. I am practicing typing without looking at the keyboard. It is really hard. I need heaps of practice. I am best at the “wert” and “asd” parts of the keyboard. I have got to get up early so I had really better get to bed... It is now 9:28 PM. Sarah and Dad got home today.
07.09.2000 – Thursday 7 September
- • I went for a bush walk today. I played around with monitor drivers, as the new monitor extension cable I got doesn’t support plug and play. I found that the “Acer Aspire 77s” is the closest match.
08.09.2000 – Friday 8 September
- • I went to town with Bob. We went to Hopevale and installed a satellite dish. I stayed the night in town at Cassidy’s.
09.09.2000 – Saturday 9 September
- • I went down to Silas’s. I stayed the night in town again.
10.09.2000 – Sunday 10 September
- • I went down to Silas’ again. I stayed at Cassidy’s again.
11.09.2000 – Monday 11 September
- • I went to Silas’ again. We moved the last of his stuff out of the shop.
12.09.2000 – Tuesday 12 September
- • I woke up late (after 10). I went down to Silas’ and he wasn’t there. He didn’t turn up until 12. I stayed at the shop talking to him. Ric came. Silas left the shop so I went up to Cassidy’s. Ric came and picked me up from Cassidy’s. I came home. I went to Jack’s with Bob and tuned his TV in to his satellite decoder. I brought the computer in onto Sarah’s desk and installed the modem. I then connected to the Internet. The maximum speed I achieved was 28800. I went on chat and talked to ^lulu. I also found pam44, and emailed her my picture (actually 3). I decided that I should use the firstname.lastname@example.org address and scrap the email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org addresses. I will probably keep them for storage space however. I have just thought of a feature request I should ask for, the ability to “download” things off the Internet directly into e247.com storage. I had better go to bed as it has just gone midnight and I stayed up until 2 am on most of the days I stayed in town.
I used Cassidy’s computer to connect to the Internet and went on chat.
13.09.2000 – Wednesday 13 September
- • I do not remember...
- Comment by Shi Fox – Monday 31 May 2004, 2:37 PM
- Hey peeps whats up? I like to listen to Murderdolls. Wed. 13 is awsome!!
14.09.2000 – Thursday 14 September
- • I went to town with Ric. I went to Peters and got the cable for my modem. Bob was in town and they had just got back from Hopevale. I connected the cable and it seems to work. It is just lying on the ground at the moment. I went on chat for 3 hours in the afternoon. ^lulu was there and I also met pam44 again.
15.09.2000 – Friday 15 September
- • I played around with the modem, using it as a telephone. I rang up Shan several times. Mum and Sarah went to town. Shan came over here. Sarah came home with Joneses. I went back to Joneses with Shan. They came over and stayed the night. I connected to the Internet and went on chat. I found ^lulu but couldn’t find anyone much else. We played cards and Sibelius (music notation software). We ended staying up until after 3am.
16.09.2000 – Saturday 16 September
- • Shan and I slept in until after 10am. Joneses went home about lunchtime. It is now 6:46 PM and Mum and Sarah are off to the do at the Market Place, in support of the local fire brigade. I wrote a letter to Mally, Pop, Pop, and Grandpa.
17.09.2000 – Sunday 17 September to Thursday 21 September (5 days)
- • What I did on these days, will probably never be known.
22.09.2000 – Friday 22 September – Stayed at Jack’s
- • Jade, Shan and Sarah stayed at Jacks with me. We stayed up late watching TV.
23.09.2000 – Saturday 23 September – Stayed at Jack’s
- • Sarah stayed at Jacks with me. We stayed up late watching TV.
24.09.2000 – Sunday 24 September – Stayed at Jack’s
- • Sarah stayed at Jacks with me. We stayed up late watching TV.
25.09.2000 – Monday 25 September – Stayed at Jack’s
- • Sarah and I cleaned up at Jack’s. I then drove to town. Shan and Sarah came.
26.09.2000 – Tuesday 26 September to Saturday 30 September (5 days)
- • No entries.
01.10.2000 – Sunday 1 October to Monday 9 October (9 days)
- • No entries.
10.10.2000 – October 10 Kuala Lumpur
- • Cooktown early. Flight ten to eight, arrived Cairns a quarter to nine. Taxi to Esplanade. Some shopping, traveller’s cheques. Flight left at ten to two. Airbus A330, 2/3/2 seats. Arrived KL xxx, bus to Empress Sepang Hotel. Slept well, hotel good.
11.10.2000 – October 11 Delhi
- • Breakfast at hotel. Changed $20 Australian dollars to Malaysian Ringit, and caught a bus and train into Kuala Lumpur. Very clean and efficient train. Went to the world’s tallest building, but could not go to the top as the tour was booked out. Lunch at the hotel. Flew on the same type of Airplane to Delhi, arriving around eleven PM. Ric changed $US50, of which I got half. We got on a bus from the airport to Pahar Ganj (the main cheap tourist area of Delhi). Halfway there the bus driver tells us to get off into a rickshaw, as this is as close as the bus goes to Pahar Ganj. We comply, and a few minutes later a policeman stops the rickshaw and tells us that it is not safe to go to the Pahar Ganj area, as there have been Muslim riots. Fortunately Ric sees that we are close to the Pahar Ganj and we walk the rest of the way. There are no riots; it is all a scam to get tourists to go to certain expensive hotels. We stay the night at Hotel Ashoka Ocean, paying 150 rupees for a double. It is not too bad but quite hot.
12.10.2000 – October 12 Delhi
- • I do some shopping in the main bazaar at Pahar Ganj. I go to an email place and email back home. I changed $US50 (at 45.6 rupees to the dollar) and payed back Ric his half. It is very slow but only costs 10 rupees per hour. I also went to a big market near to where we were staying, called Palika Plaza in Connaught Place. We booked a bus to RISHIKESH, which we boarded at 9:30Pm. We were made to sit up the front with the driver. We tried getting angry and demanding a seat, however it did no good. It ended up being not too bad as the driver was quite insane, often driving straight into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road, and I got a good view of all the excitement and near accidents.
13.10.2000 – October 13 Rishikesh
- • We arrived in Rishikesh early in the morning. It was quite cold. A foolish Indian off the bus tries to charge us Rs10 (10 rupees) for letting our luggage out. We refused to pay and eventually got it-free. We stayed at the Hotel Rajdeep at Rs150 for a double. A nice and clean, but somewhat basic hotel. Ric washed his undies down the toilet by accident, and then I washed one of my socks down as well.
14.10.2000 – October 14 Rishikesh
- • We walk to Rishikesh proper where Ric changes some money (which takes hours at the bank of India). I send an email that costs Rs50 per hour, but is a lot faster than Delhi. We stay at Rajdeep again, and meet two women who were on the plane with us. We book a bus ticket north.
15.10.2000 – October 15 Gangotri
- • We get up at 4:30 AM and make our way to the YATRA BUS STAND where we get a bus to GANGOTRI. There is no legroom in my seat so I have to go and sit up the back of the bus with a Dutchman and a Canadian man (there for the same reason). It is a 13-hour trip, with a 1-hour stop for lunch. The road is very steep and we risk falling off the edge all the time. We arrive in Gangotri at 6:30 Pm and get a double room for Rs100. There is no electricity but it is nice and clean. It is very cold in Gangotri. We have a nice curry and rice for dinner. It is slightly difficult to sleep due to the high altitude.
16.10.2000 – October 16 Gangotri
- • An uneventful day. I had jam and chapattis for breakfast, and some chocolate. The snow capped Himalayas can be seen in the distance. I get dry lips from the cold and have a fitful sleep.
17.10.2000 – October 17 Gaumukh
- • We left Gangotri around 9 AM on a 6-hour (19KM) trek to GAUMUKH, the source of the Ganges. It is nearly 4 KM high. We were both very out of breath due to the altitude, and it was also very cold. We slept in a Baba’s tent only a few hundred metres from where the glacier turns into water. It was extremely cold, and we were very tired from the altitude but could not sleep well because of it. The forest station on the way up charged us Rs50 each, which we found out later they had no right to do.
18.10.2000 – October 18 Gaumukh
- • We “donated” Rs200 each to the Baba and walked back, which only took 4 hours as it is down hill. All the water that had been running yesterday had frozen. I had a sort of cold-water wash, too cold for a proper one. We had an argument with our hosts as they said that we had not paid for last night when we had. A priest also tried to rip-off Ric and charge him Rs100 for putting a red string on his hand.
19.10.2000 – October 19 Rishikesh
- • We boarded the bus back to Rishikesh at 7Am at a cost of Rs155 each. We arrived in Rishikesh at 8PM after a “nightmare” trip looking down 300 foot cliffs only 1 foot from the wheels. We caught an auto-rickshaw to the bridge, then had some cornflakes at Ram Café. We got a Rs50 (for both of us) hotel room with very thin mattresses, however it was the cheapest I ever saw. A bit sore from the bus trip.
20.10.2000 – October 20 Pahar Ganj
- • Cornflakes for breakfast, then to the bus stand and catch a bus at 9:15 for Delhi. It took 6 ½ hours. We then caught another bus to CONNAUGHT PLACE and went to the bank to get some money. I went and sent an email.
21.10.2000 – October 21 Pahar Ganj
- • I went to CONNAUGHT PLACE MARKET where I bought a short-wave radio and a torch, and then I went back to the bank to get some more money out.
22.10.2000 – October 22 Pahar Ganj
- • I met an Australian man in the café whilst having breakfast and he came back to our room and talked for a while. I emailed and managed to find a torch bulb for my torch, very rare in India. We walked up to a really big Hindu temple and had a look around.
23.10.2000 – October 23 Train
- • Went to New Delhi train station, booked ticket to Varanasi. Left on train to Varanasi at 1:15 PM. It took 13 ¾ hours. We got a bit squashed, 4 and 5 (6 and 7 at one stage) people in my side (supposed to be 3). However it was okay when we followed the sleepers out.
24.10.2000 – October 24 Varanasi
- • We arrived Varanasi at a bit past 3 AM. Auto rickshaw to Hanumans Ghat, slept on ghat steps. Got room at place in morning, 100 rupees for double. I e-mailed for 30 Rs per hour. The connection was not too bad. Ric paid for the room.
They were some fireworks at night, which sounded like a revolution.
25.10.2000 – October 25 Varanasi
- • I went shopping for blankets, but couldn’t find any good ones. There were some more fireworks at night.
26.10.2000 – October 26 Varanasi
- • I awoke sick. I tried to eat some cornflakes, but I could not. I lay in bed all-day only getting up at night, when I felt slightly better. There were fireworks all-night until 1:30 AM.
27.10.2000 – October 27 Varanasi
- • In the morning I walked to the burning ghats. I was ripped off 60 Rs. I walked to a Moslem mosque; it was very hot on the way back. There were some more fireworks at night. I think maybe I’m getting a cold.
28.10.2000 – October 28 Varanasi
- • I walked to the train station and bought a book “Trains at a Glance”. On the way back from the train station I was conned into going into a silk seller’s shop. I decided to go to place. It is a bit complicated involving two trains and two buses. I will try to leave 11:30 PM Monday. I sent e-mail and the connection was very slow, it actually took one-hour 15 minutes. I have slightly blocked sinuses.
29.10.2000 – October 29 Varanasi
- • I did nothing much. I bought some Pringles, which are very expensive in India. My cold does not seem to be eventuating; I only have lots of phlegm on my chest.
30.10.2000 – October 30 Train
- • I went to the train station to book a train at 8:30 AM. It cost 10 rupees to get there and 15 to get back. It was 140 rupees for the train. I booked out of my hotel room, 300 rupees in full paid. I caught an 11:30 PM train that was 90 minutes late, departing at 1 AM. I arrived in Satna at 7 AM. I am now travelling alone without Ric, who is still in Varanasi.
31.10.2000 – October 31 Satna-Khajuraho
- • I arrived at 7 AM. I booked a 50 Rs bus. The bus was near new; plastic wrapping was still on the seats. I left at 9:15 AM taking 4 hours. I paid 50 Rs for a room with three beds. I paid 10 $ US for a ticket to see temples, very expensive for India. I stayed at the Hotel New Bharat lodge. To Brussels of the train had had enough and were flying home. I had an okay dinner of spaghetti plus vegetables. I worked out my finances (I have spent $412 approximately so far). Probably on track I hope. The room has attached shower and toilet (Australian style toilet but no flush of seat, and the shower has no rose).
01.11.2000 – November 1 Khajuraho
- • Some local Indian boys drove me around on a motorcycle, showing me all the temples. I checked out of my hotel at 12 noon. I caught a 90 Rs bus at 4 PM, and also paid five Rs luggage charge. I arrived at Jhansi train station at 9 PM. There were no English signs, only Hindi. I booked a normal ticket to Agra, which cost 71 Rs. I slept on the station until 2 AM so as to not get to Agra too early. I hopped in a sleeper on the train anyway, and had no problems.
I arrived at Agra 6 AM then caught a 20 Rs rickshaw to the Tag Ganj.
02.11.2000 – November 2 Agra
- • I had 20 Rs cornflakes for breakfast. I then got a 50 Rs hotel “Shajahan”. However there was no water as they use electric water pumps and when there is no power, or early in the morning the water has not been pumped up to the roof. I went to bed early.
03.11.2000 – November 3 Fatehpur Sikri
- • I went to the Taj Mahal, which was free as the Moslems were rioting demanding that it be free. I then got a bus to place, leaving at 10:20 AM. It was a three and a quarter hour trip. I looked at the free temples, as it was $10 US for the others. I left at 12:40 PM in a private car. I moved hotels to Gulshan Lodge for only 25 Rs per night. It is a double room with a speed-controlled fan, not too bad. I went to Agra Fort but as it was $10 it was too expensive. I stayed up until midnight talking to a few people on the roof. I got the e-mail of the Hong Kong man «edit» who gave me the free ride back from Fatehpur Sikri.
04.11.2000 – November 4 Vrindavan (Brindavan)
- • I had a good breakfast for 15 Rs at the hotel. I then caught an auto rickshaw for 20 rupees to Idgah bus stand. From there I caught a 9:40 AM bus to Mathura. It was a one-hour 20 minute trip not too crowded arriving 11 AM. I then caught a five Rs tempo to Vrindavan. The local boy helped me locate Tulsi Nivas hotel, but I could not find the manager. My feet became sore from wearing thongs, so I had to wear my shoes. I walked to the ISKON centre and got a room just passed there for 50 Rs, very basic, not even a mattress. I looked at the temples and chowmein for tea. I had some kind of lung pain (hopefully just indigestion) so I went straight to my room at 6:30 PM. I slept well even though I do not have a mattress, not waking until 9 AM.
05.11.2000 – November 5 Pahar Ganj (Delhi)
- • My lung appears to be okay. I went bead buying. I saw at least 15 air-conditioned tourist buses in one group. I left the hotel at 12:30 and got a five Rs tempo to Mathura. I waited 2 PM at the train station catching a 4:45 PM train for 50 Rs. It was a two-hour 20-minute journey arriving at 7 PM. I got a small place for 50 Rs called Vidyapeeth or “Hakak Stones” or something. It feels like home being back in Delhi. I had macaroni cheese for dinner at place cafe. I sent and checked e-mail, printing out mums address list. I got a go to bed. I e-mailed at the 10 Rs place, which was not too slow.
06.11.2000 – November 6 Pahar Ganj
- • Beans on toast and cornflakes for breakfast. I walked up to Connaught Place and stayed there for hours. I bought 150 Rs earphones. I went to Keventers Place milk bar and had a milk shake and had a vegetable burger. I went to Citibank and withdrew 10,000 rupees. I still have 68,624.38 Rs left. I bought 10 postcards for 20 rupees. I looked at pressure stoves. I booked a ticket for Jodhpur tomorrow. I spent 30 minutes in the silk shop plus 20 minutes with the Kashmiri. Oh well it is a cheap room. I did 2 hours of e-mailing at the cheap place and wrote postcards and mums letter. I also bought a 25 Rs Bible.
07.11.2000 – November 7 Pahar Ganj-Jodhpur
- • The Kashmiri man came and tried to get me to pay 150 Rs for my room. I refused and only paid 100 rupees. I left the hotel at 9:30 AM. I e-mailed and then went to the Post Office where I posted one letter and nine postcards. I then walked through old Delhi to the Delhi train station. I arrived one hour early and the train left on time. It was a 12 hour 35 minute trip arriving at 5:50 AM in Jodhpur. The train cost 225 rupees. It was okay, after 3 PM – it wasn’t too busy although I had a perverted bunkmate.
08.11.2000 – November 8 Jaisalmer
- • I got on a bus from Jodhpur at 6:30 AM. It was a four-hour 50 minute journey. I got a hotel room for 35 rupees at Jaisalmer. The bus cost me 92 rupees. I had an amazing (by Indian standards) lunch. I found an ice cream shop, and had a soft serve in a waffle cone, and a chocolate cake from a German bakery. I got blocked sinuses and it hurt to raise or lower my head. I had an okay dinner.
09.11.2000 – November 9 Jaisalmer
- • I still have blocked sinuses. I had cornflakes and milk (twice) for breakfast. I lay in bed reading my Bible/dozing until 3:30 PM. I then got up, listened to the news, packed and prepared to leave the hotel. I felt sick and went to the toilet, feeling immediately better afterwards. I also bought some more toilet paper. I paid for the room and the hotel man gave me a lift on his motorcycle to the bus stand. The bus cost 142 rupees, left at 5 PM, and took 10 hours and 20 minutes to get to Ajmer. The journey was uncomfortable due to the bumps hurting my head because of my blocked sinuses.
10.11.2000 – November 10 Ajmer-Pushkar
- • I arrived at Ajmer at 3:30 AM. I caught an eight rupee bus (one half-hour) to Pushkar. Due to the many people (because of the camel fair) accommodation was very scarce and very expensive so I caught another five rupee bus back to Ajmer. After much looking I found a 60 rupee room which was very small but okay. My sinuses are still blocked, maybe a little better. I met another pervert in a Jeep. I went to Pushkar and walked around, looked at the camel’s etc. I came back at 6:30 PM.
11.11.2000 – November 11 Ajmer-Pushkar
- • I bought milk powder and Chocos for breakfast. I then went to place again, where it was extremely busy. I was nearly trampled. I e-mailed but the e247 server was down. On a city bus on the way home I was pick-pocketed. I think I would have had < 250 Rs in my wallet, plus my pen. I met an American/Indian. On the positive side I had the best lunch I have yet had in India. It was an “eat all you can” buffet.
12.11.2000 – November 12 Bharatpur
- • I left Ajmer at 7:30 AM and caught a 7 hour and 30 minute bus to Bharatpur. I went to the train station but they did not have any computer booking facilities available. The bus cost me 130 rupees. I got a room at “Babble Guest House” for 50 rupees. I bought a bag of milk, full cream, extremely good milk, better than Australian milk. I finished off my Chocos, very nice, tasted like it was with cream. I will go to bed early at 7:30 PM.
13.11.2000 – Monday 13 November – Bharatpur (Keoladeo Bird Park)
- • I went to Keoladeo Bird Park at 6:30 AM. It was very cold. There are notices all around warning of a Tiger, which has taken up residence in the park. Little signs showing how to tell a tiger dropping and what their paw prints look like and what to do when it tries to eat me.
I left the hotel at 11 AM after staying at the bird park for 4 hours. I waited on the side of a road, with one Indian telling me that the bus wouldn’t stop and I had to take his rickshaw to the bus stop, and another Indian telling me it would stop and not to listen to the other. Typically Indian. The bus did stop, both Indians grinned at me and one hour and 20 minutes later I was in AGRA. I just wanted to get back to Varanasi as fast as I could. I tried to get a train to Varanasi, but they were all booked out. Not surprisingly as I was trying to get one with only an hour or two notice. This is also a popular route. I took a train to GWALIOR, planning to catch a connecting train from GWALIOR to VARANASI. It’s a very long-cut way to get to Varanasi – but that’s one of the joys of travelling in India. I didn’t feel like sitting in AGRA all day, so I just took the train. I left at 3 PM, taking one and half hours to get to GWALIOR. I sat with a group of National Service Cadets, who were all very interested to learn about my travels and meet an Australian. The GWALIOR-VARANASI train left at 5:28 PM, only 3 minutes late.
14.11.2000 – Tuesday 14 November – Varanasi
- • The train trip from GWALIOR was a pleasant seventeen hours, much of which I slept. I really enjoy sleeping in trains. Something about the clickety-click and rocking motion is very soothing, especially in a hectic India. I arrived in VARANASI at 10:30 AM and caught a rickshaw from the train station to the main ghat. I made my way straight to the Shiva International and found Ric still staying there. It was nice to see him again. I went down the little alleyway, which serves as a main thoroughfare and checked my emails and sent a few (on a very slow 30 rupee per hour connection). I managed to get a little room below the one Ric was staying in for a low 40 rupees per night. It is hard to describe, it is a small room behind a temple, jutting out over the Ganges River.
- • Ric is feeling a bit sick; he thinks he might have flu. I bought some cornflakes, 24 rupees for 200 grams, and 7 rupees for 500 mL of fine Indian milk.
15.11.2000 – Wednesday 15 November – Varanasi
- • I had cornflakes for breakfast, followed by a nice quiet relaxing day. I didn’t do a thing all day, making a pleasant change from my hectic travelling of the past few weeks. Ric patted a horse’s rump and got kicked. He was fortunate to not get injured. He still has a slight flu.
16.11.2000 – Thursday 16 November – Varanasi
- • Ric and I took a rickshaw to the train station to book tickets out of Varanasi. I was planning to go to CALCUTTA and Ric was planning on going to BOMBAY (MUMBAI) and then on to MADGAON in GOA. The ticket booking computer was inoperable, some kind of network problem, so it took two hours for us to book our tickets. We just sat in line with the rest of the tourists in the tourist booking office, and waited. And waited. It’s quite a common thing to do in India, waiting.
It cost 255 rupees to CALCUTTA and over 600 to GOA.
- • After returning to the ghat area, I wrote an email to Sarah and Silas, and got one from Shan saying his Gramps was unwell. I also bought some butter, then to top it all off, I was bitten by a dog. It was a nice white fluffy dog, on a leash and all, which is in itself a very rare sight in India where most dogs are beyond mange. Fortunately (in a country where rabies is common), it only bit my shorts.
- • Here is a little bit about Indian Rail.
- • Many Indian trains have a “tourist quota” set aside for foreign tourists. The train station will sell you a book “Trains at a Glance” which lists all major trains and their departure times etc. throughout the whole of India. The June 2000 – June 2001 book cost 25 rupees, is 192 pages long, and comes with a free foldout map. If you really must know every single train, the 300 pages long Indian Bradshaw, which is published monthly, lists each and every single passenger train that runs on Indian Rail. Larger stations have separate ticket booking windows to deal with tourists and other minorities (such as “freedom fighters”). Ladies may barge to the front of the queue (and will do so). If paying in rupees, an encashment certificate must be shown (which is obtained when changing foreign currency into local currency) and a passport must always be shown to obtain a tourist quota booking.
There are three main types of passenger train in India. Mail, Express and Passenger. Express and mail trains average 50 km/h while passenger trains only manage to average 30 km/h. On most major rail routes, super fast Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express trains run. These average around 130 km/h, which is convincingly faster than trains in Australia. Very convincingly on sections where the track is slightly warped and the train gets up a nice wobble – at 160 km/h or so. I would tend to sit in the door of the carriage, watching the country going by, and hanging on very tightly.
There are basically two classes or rail travel, first class and second class. But within them, there is first class and then there is first class air-con. Then there is a slightly cheaper air-con two-tiered sleeper, followed by air-con three-tiered sleeper and air-con chair car. Second class comes in reserved sleeper, and unreserved. Unreserved is NOT recommended. Seats are wooden slats designed to hold four people. They will be holding eighteen. And that’s before you get on the train and try to find a place for you to sit. Second class sleeper, which is how I travelled most of the time, has two cushioned benches facing each other, each of which will have four people reserved to sit on them. The backrest folds up at night to make a bunk, there is another bunk near the roof, and the seat itself becomes a bunk. Thus six people can sleep in a berth, and eight can sit, and will hold reserved tickets for the seats, but this won’t stop their being anything from two to six more people squashed in. It is a constant battle to ensure one’s seat remains sittable.
For anyone that thinks India would have a substandard rail system, here are a few statistics:
Indian Railways are the largest rail network in Asia and the world’s second largest under one management. Criss-crossing the country’s vast geographical spread, Indian Railways are a multi-gauge, multi-traction system covering over one hundred thousand track kilometres, 300 yards, 2300 goods sheds and 700 repair shops. Its rolling stock fleet includes 8,300 locomotives, 39,000 coaching vehicles and 350,000 freight wagons. It runs some 11,000 trains everyday, including over 7,000 passenger trains. That’s more than 7,000 passenger trains, which carry a bit over 10.5 million passengers between 7,100 stations. Every day. It is also the world’s largest employer, with over 1.65 million employees! They carried 4.2 billion passengers in 1999 and predict a 60% increase for the year 2000. That would bring yearly passenger carriage up to about 6.7 billion passengers, or 18 million passengers every day.
When I was there, track quality was considered better than the equivalent British Rail.
The standard menu on Indian Rail trains, when I was using them was:
Indian Railways Catering Services:
Tea with tea bag (150 ml) Rs. 3/–
Coffee Rs. 4/–
Mineral Water (1 Litre) Rs. 10/–
Standard breakfast (Veg.) Rs. 15/–
Standard breakfast (Non-veg.) Rs. 18/–
Casserole Meal (Veg.) Rs. 25/–
Casserole Meal (Non-veg.) Rs. 30/–
Janata Khana Rs 6/–
Economy Meal (in refreshment room, i.e. at a station, not onboard) Rs 12/–
Veg. Thali Meal (in refreshment room) Rs. 25/–
17.11.2000 – Friday 17 November – Varanasi
- • I had a relaxing day and just lazed about. Everything a tourist needs is situated along the one street just outside the door. This street is more like what we would call an alleyway, only about two metres wide and cobbled. It is lined with small restaurants and shops selling everything from cigarettes to fire works, and many other shops, some very tiny. There are a few radio repair shops, a few silk selling shops (VARANASI is famous for its silk) and a couple of cobblers. Some of the shops are nothing more than the space required for a man to sit. They pack them in as many as can possibly fit, and then put a few more in the spaces left over. Add to this all the buffalos that walk down the alleyway, which is less than two metres wide in many places, remembering that the buffalos haven’t been house-trained and you get what most westerners would agree is a real experience.
- • There was a wedding party right next door to my room, just outside my window in fact. All the women made loud noises and much music until 2:30 AM. I did manage to get a bit of sleep though. Indians seem to really like bright lights; they use millions for something like a wedding. I have been getting up at 6:30 AM to buy milk; it’s only available between 5 and 7 AM and then again in the evenings. It is 7 rupees for full cream, and 5 for the others. All are 500 mL sealed square plastic bags, vitamin C enriched and stronger and creamier than Australian milk.
18.11.2000 – Saturday 18 November – Varanasi
- • I had another nice restful day. Ric’s flu seems to be better. I did some washing in preparation for leaving on Monday, and the exciting event of the day, I bought another toilet roll for 36 rupees. Indians don’t use toilet paper. The vast majority don’t have flushing toilets either. A water basin with a dipper in it is provided, and a bucket to dip into, and also to flush with.
Toilets are at ground level; one squats upon them.
- • The days feeding frenzy started with cornflakes for breakfast and an ice-cream and chocolate bar for morning tea, followed by chocolate pudding, cheese pizza and banana and chocolate pancakes for lunch. Some more cornflakes were eaten for afternoon tea, they are so scrumptious with the wonderful milk the Indians have. It really makes our Australian milk seem like dishwater.
- • I went to bed nice and early at 8:30 PM, but next door woke me up with drumming and loud music at 4:30 AM. They are still celebrating their wedding. Ric said they had made noise all night up to 1:30, so I must have slept through it all.
19.11.2000 – Sunday 19 November – Varanasi
- • After the rude awakening at 4:30, it was a quiet morning. I had a nice lunch, another cheese pizza and vegetable chowmein. I paid for the room, 190 rupees for 6 nights, which when worked out with the 50 rupees I already paid comes to 240, which is 40 rupees per night. It always pays to work out exactly what you are being charged in India. Honesty is simply unheard of throughout the entire country. I don’t think they see it as dishonest; it’s a similar theory to tax evasion. It’s not bad... it’s just how one makes a living.
- • Sleep came at ten past eleven, with my alarm set for 6 AM, so I can get up and buy some milk before it is all gone. Apparently elections are going to be held tomorrow, and the shops might be closed. Dinner was chowmein, which costs 20 rupees; the lunchtime pizza was 25.
20.11.2000 – Monday 20 November – Varanasi
- • I checked my emails nice and early, then Ric and I left the “Shiva International Guesthouse” (I recommend it if you’re ever in Varanasi, cheap, clean, and a nice family) at 10 AM. Being Election Day, nearly everything was closed. All the roads were shut, no traffic was allowed; so Ric and I were forced to walk to the station. It took us an hour, arriving 11 AM. Ric’s train for BOMBAY (MUMBAI) left on time at 11:30. I left my luggage at the station cloakroom for 7 rupees and went for a bit of a walk around, having not seen this part of VARANASI. My train left at 5:36 PM, only 46 minutes late. It cost 225 rupees and will no doubt lead to more adventures.
21.11.2000 – Tuesday 21 November – Train
- • I particularly chose this train because it would arrive in CALCUTTA at 7:30 AM. It is supposed to be hard to find a good room in Calcutta so I wanted a whole day to look around. After a nice sleep onboard the train, which I really enjoy, we stopped at MASAGRAM around 8 AM. It is a very small place, not much more than a group of shanty shops and a concrete platform. We didn’t get moving again until a quarter to one. A Welshman, and American and I nearly set out on foot to find a road and hitch, as we figured we couldn’t be too far from Calcutta, having been supposed to arrive at 7:30 AM. Apparently there had been another engine further on which had broken down on the line, and because of this delay, when we did get going again already scheduled trains kept stopping us. That’s a serious limitation with rail; it’s really hard to pass another train on the same line. This made the train trip into a 22-hour saga.
- • We arrived in Calcutta at 3:30 PM, some eight hours late. The station isn’t far from the river, and a quick ferry trip brought me to the other side of the river, and a short ten-minute walk from there took me into the tourist area of SUDDER ST. There are no cycle rickshaws in Calcutta; instead there are human drawn rickshaws and automobile taxis. This means it’s very expensive (in Indian terms) to travel about the city, except by bus or tube. The people who draw the rickshaws have an average life expectancy of something like 25 to 30.
- • After a good two hours of walking and asking, I finally found a room within my price range. It was a very small 100-rupee room at the grandly named Central Guest Inn, just off Hotel Plaza. It seemed a nice clean, but very small room and I was happy to have found it. I collapsed into bed shortly after, at 8:45 PM.
22.11.2000 – Wednesday 22 November – Calcutta
- • I woke up and went to look for breakfast. It is colder here, there are people sitting on the corners of the streets with chopped up 44-gallon drums with last night’s rubbish burning in them, to keep warm. This is in the very centre of one of the world’s largest cities with a population of over twelve million, it is so smoky that my eyes sting. There is a very high incidence of chest and throat disease in Calcutta. It’s not hard to work out why.
- • I found a place that sold corn flakes. They are really rare in India; it can take quite a long time to find some. Milk is cheap here; there are even two brands. I got a litre for 11 rupees. After breakfast, I went looking to see if I could find a cheaper room, and to have a bit of a look around. I did eventually find a 75-rupee room but didn’t know if I would wake up alive if I stayed there. I paid my 100 rupees for tonight (check-out is usually 10 AM although some places offer check-outs 24 hours after check-in) and went and had a look at HOGG MARKET, and a few other markets around about the area. Hogg Market is a large underground market, selling everything imaginable – and quiet a few unimaginable things.
- • After lunch, I found a large and old British graveyard and had a look around it. There are some pretty big and grand graves, small marble and granite buildings really. I also bought a large 250-gram bag of cashews for 60 rupees. Not long after going to sleep, a mouse running over me woke me, and it had also eaten my cornflakes. I wasn’t too impressed, but in Calcutta there isn’t enough cheap accommodation to be overly picky.
23.11.2000 – Thursday 23 November – Calcutta
- • After waking, I paid my 100 rupees for tonight, and signed the book. All foreign tourists in India must sign a book stating where they came from, where they plan to go next, and including passport numbers and such like. I skipped my cornflake breakfast on account of the mouse eaten hole in the bag and went to the Indian Museum instead. After paying the 150-rupee entry fee, I spent the next two and a half hours engrossed in a very interesting display of nearly everything imaginable.
- • Built in 1874, the Indian Museum is a grand and imposing colonial building with a very impressive facade and India’s finest collection of treasures. It was evident that some sections were urgently in need of funding, and restoration work was underway on one section of the building. It then being lunchtime, I left in search of a fabled Hare Krishna bakery that had been recommended to me. After an awful lot of looking, I decided that it was not to be found, so went to St. Paul’s Cathedral instead. Built between 1839 and 1847, it is one of the first important churches in India, and also quite impressive. I also came across a rarity in India, an air-conditioned supermarket, aptly named the AC Markets. What would be totally normal in most other countries, is touted as a speciality here.
- • I then made my way to the famous Victoria Memorial, probably the most impressive reminder of India’s British past. A huge white-marble museum, stepping inside instantly transports one from bustling Calcutta to the centre of London. Amid huge pillars, and in near silence, one can meet the busts and paintings of nearly everyone who is famous in British-Indian history. It is truly an amazing experience, the extreme difference between outside the grounds, and inside.
- • A quick walk past the Calcutta Cricket Ground (Ranji Stadium) brought me to the Eden Gardens. It is here that the tame ’sacred’ rats live, and like most rats, they enjoy being fed. The gardens are nice and peaceful, in the centre of the MAIDAN. Originally a large area cleared around a fort, to allow clear shooting of cannons for defence, the Maidan is now a large grassed area, with a few gardens and sports fields, following alongside Calcutta’s Hooghly River and a nice place to walk.
- • At the southern end of the Maidan is the Birla Planetarium, apparently one of the largest in the world. This sounded pretty impressive to me so I went and had a look. 20 rupees got me a 40-minute show, during which the sun set, the stars rose and rotated, and the sun rose again. I’ve never been to a planetarium before, so had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.
- • There isn’t much in the way of nightlife in Calcutta. Or to rephrase that, what nightlife there is in Calcutta, I wasn’t game to find out, so I went and watched “Perfect Storm” at a local cinema with the Welshman I’d met on the train (name withheld by memory department for reasons unstated). This is the first movie I’ve seen outside Australia, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The cinema was very large compared to Aussie ones. Huge in fact, with a balcony upstairs part which cost more, and a large back downstairs area which also cost more, and the cheapskates place down the front, which is where I sat of course. The seats up the back where very plush, but mine were fairly standard. The movie and sound seemed much the same as back in Australia, although the screen was necessarily larger.
- • On the downside, I got a very sore throat and blocked nose, all the symptoms of a bad flu coming on, around lunchtime. I think all this pollution isn’t doing me any good.
24.11.2000 – Friday 24 November – Calcutta
- • I payed my 100 rupees for the room for tonight then went and booked a train ticket to PURI, leaving Saturday night at 9:45 PM, which cost 194 rupees. I then made my way down to the zoo on the metro. This underground metro is India’s only underground city rail system, and in stark contrast to all the other city rail systems, it is spotlessly clean and efficient. It cost a princely three rupees to get to the nearest metro station to the zoo, then a hot several minutes walk until I got there. Another two rupees saw me into the zoo compound, which is quite large. It is a little bit daggy, looking as though a budget increase wouldn’t hurt anything, but contains a large collection of animals (most of which seemed alive) housed in semi-natural surroundings. Altogether, a large and interesting zoo, I spent a tiring few hours walking around it.
A few Indians stopped me and asked to have their photos taken with me.
- • I still feel quite affected by the flu, or pollution, and quite worn out from walking so much. My throat is very sore; the pollution really is terrible here. In the evening I tried to email, but e247 (the email server) was not working. Internet is very slow, and reasonably expensive too. As night came on, and with nothing to do after darkness had fallen, I went and watched the movie “SHAFT”; which didn’t impress me very much. The theatre, on the other hand, did impress me. By Australian standards, it was very large, with an upper balcony and two different lower sections, all of which had different pricing structures. The music was very loud. Straight after the movie finished I went to bed, at 11 PM.
25.11.2000 – Saturday 25 November – Calcutta – Train
- • I woke up and set off on my traditional pre-breakfast search for milk and cornflakes. I sent and read my emails for 25 rupees. I heard that Sarah wants to go to Perth to do school? I caught a ferry to HOWRAH, then a three-rupee bus to the BOTANICAL GARDENS at about lunchtime, having checked out of my hotel at 10:40 and sending an addendum email to Mum about Sarah. I stayed at the botanical gardens for nearly four hours, wandering around. They are very big (apparently 109 hectares), with some areas really nicely set out, and other areas nearly forest. This is where Darjeeling tea was developed. I saw what is claimed to be the biggest banyan tree in the world and about 200 years old. It has a circumference of about 400 metres. That is BIG, although it looks more like a small grove of trees, than a single tree.
- • I caught a bus and ferry back to SUDDER STREET, where I met the two men I’d met on the train on the way into Calcutta, and we went and had dinner. 7:15 PM saw me on the ferry across the river and back to Howrah, where the train station is. I had a few more of my traditional cornflakes with milk while waiting for the train, which left on time at 9:45 PM, and I chuffed out of Calcutta.
- • Just as the train was leaving, there was a fuss in the next compartment, and some police came. Apparently a man had left his bag on his seat, walked out of the carriage and stood at the door waiting for the train to leave. While he was standing there, another man walked out with his bag. Hardly surprisingly, he was a bit miffed, and called some police that were standing nearby.
26.11.2000 – Sunday 26 November – Puri
- • I slept well on the train, arriving in PURI eleven hours later. It was nice to be out of the smog, horror and expense that is Calcutta, and back into true India again.
- • After a quick walk from the train station down to the beach where the guesthouses are, I found a 40-rupee room at the “Nilambu”, near “Z Hotel”, which seems ok with an attached bath and shower. I then went for a walk along the beach, enjoying the relative peace and tranquillity in stark contrast to the past few days in Calcutta, and bought some mosquito coils, 15 rupees for 12.
- • Puri beach is both lovely and vile. At one end, there is a fishing village, and at the other end, there is a tourist village. The beach at the fishing village end is covered in dead fish, dugongs, and faeces, and there are many scary dogs in the village itself, who look as though they might bite. Why have toilets when you have a beach that automatically flushes once every high tide? The tourist end has nice sand, sunburnt and overweight tourists swimming and sunbathing, and tourist shops.
- • I did some washing, had a reasonable lunch, lazed about, had a reasonable dinner and lit some mosquito coils to scare the mossies away. Normally I’m not so worried about mosquitos, but in India who knows what they might do if you are bitten. I have lots of phlegm on my chest, which is giving me a bad cough as I try to remove it. I don’t think I’m coming down with the flu or anything like that, I think it’s just what happens after staying in such a horribly polluted place as Calcutta.
- Comment by Ned – Thursday 5 June 2003, 6:06 PM
- The way it’s going now, it looks like I might never get the time to finish this.
- Comment by Ned – Monday 15 December 2003, 2:35 AM
- Finished :-)
27.11.2000 – Monday 27 November – Puri
- • I lit another mosquito coil in my efforts to prevent even one mosquito from biting and infecting me with some terrible disease, and got up to go find some milk while it’s still available and had some cornflakes and went back to bed.
- • Having spent the past few hours working out possible timetables so I know how long to stay so that I can arrive in Goa at the right time, I decided to go for a walk and look at some temples.
- • I watched a beautiful sunset over the sea, and thought about nostalgic things like home, love, life, God and all that is. This is the same ocean that laps on the shores of Perth, where we can see the lovely sunsets while looking towards India, but here I am in India looking toward Perth seeing the sunset, I’m not sure how. I ate dinner at the “Peace Restaurant”, a nice restaurant built on a sand dune overlooking the ocean.
- From the menu
- • From the menu at the “Peace Restaurant”: “All good things are worth waiting for”, “Most people gain weight by having intimate dinners for 2 alone”, “The world is something that went from being flat, to round, to crooked”, “All this beer drinking will be the urination of me”, “The lunch pack of Notre Dam East here, he’s a sandwich man”.
28.11.2000 – Tuesday 28 November – Puri – Konark
- • I got up early and caught a bus to nearby KONARK. Unfortunately, it cost $US10 for foreigners to get into the temple, which is simply ridiculous, so I looked from without. Apparently, it rained back in Puri while I was away, and everyone is telling me stories about floods and devastation down south.
- • I returned to Puri, had lunch, and worked out some train times.
- • It began to rain, amidst all the news of big floods, closed railway lines, drownings, and storms. People are telling me I could be caught here for a while before the rail lines open again, which didn’t bother me too much, so I lit my mosquito coil, dozed, and slept for a while, as it rained for a few hours. After the rain, I went for a walk down the beach, where it was nice and clean and peaceful – lonely even. There is something about the ocean, I nearly felt lonely.
29.11.2000 – Wednesday 29 November – Puri – Bhubaneswar
- • I got up early, and, after the traditional cornflakes, caught a bus to BHUBANESWAR, and made my way to the train station. The earliest train I could get is tomorrow night – running at the worst possible time, so I caught a bus back to Puri and went back to the “Nilambu”. I bought a 4-rupee pen. Typically, on my last day in Puri, after asking at a shop that had twice before told me there was no milk in Puri, the third time they told me about the milk shop. I have been getting up at 5:30 AM to buy milk every morning, when I could simply have gone to this shop.
30.11.2000 – Thursday 30 November – Bhubaneswar
- • I heard on the news that there’s a big storm near to Madras, which will, hopefully, be gone by the time I get there. Also, there’s lots of widespread flooding.
- • I leave the “Nilambu” and catch a 12-rupee train to BHUBANESWAR, where I walked around a market area for a while before going to a museum. The museum surprised me by being remarkably good – it must have been amazing back in British days when they were building all this magnificent stuff all over the world, in places that aren’t all that much anymore. I believe the days of the British Empire may well have been the most impressive we’ll see for a long time.
- • The train left an hour late, at midnight.
01.12.2000 – Friday 1 December – Chennai
- • After an enjoyable twenty hours and forty-six minutes, I detrained in CHENNAI – an expensive place where it’s very hard to find accommodation. I’d met a few Swiss girls on the train, who were a bit worried and had no idea where to go or what to do, so I took them under my wing and we all went to the Salvation Army Dorms, who, after we told them enough woeful tales, took us in for 70 rupees a night. We were put in 13-bed rooms, which were nearly full – the girls in a separate dorm. Foreign girls and Indian men do not mix.
02.12.2000 – Saturday 2 December – Chennai
- • I went and emailed at a 15-rupee place, where I got an email from Shan saying his Gramps had died. Diana, an American woman I met at the Salvation Army place, who had gone to India with her boyfriend but had recently split up and was now on her own and a little bewildered, wanted to find a travel agent so she could figure out how to get to Australia, so we did that.
- Spencers Plaza
- • I went and found Spencers Plaza, which is very big, with a western style supermarket, complete with air-conditioning and actual proper scanning checkouts – amazing.
- • I changed $US50 at 46:15 getting 2308 rupees, and then went for a walk around Chennai to see what it was like, having a good time in the process. Diana and I had a strange, romantic dinner by accident – we’d popped into what appeared to be a normal Indian style restaurant, but were ushered into a large ornate back room where we were served hand and foot. We were the only people in this large ornate hangover from British days, with our own waiter. The food was nice too.
- • 2K308
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03.12.2000 – Sunday 3 December – Mamallapuram
- • The three Swiss women and I left the dorm, and, for 40 rupees, crammed ourselves and all our luggage into the one rickshaw, which took us to the MAMALLAPURAM bus, which left at 8:45 AM for a two-hour trip.
- • I got a 50-rupee hut at “D Neelakandan Dhevaki, 5 Radhas Village”, which looks quite good. It’s sort of a house-stay type of place, catering to long-term tourists who want to relax at one of India’s famous east coast relaxation beaches. Funnily enough, I met an Austrian man I’d met on the train to Puri, and a few times on Puri beach, jogging around the beach here. I walked around Mamallapurum and did the touristy thing, looking at some temples and things like that, and then went and walked up and down the beach. It’s a touristy place, but quite small and very nice.
04.12.2000 – Monday 4 December – Pondicherry
- • I left my hut, having already been out to find milk, during which time it rained and I got soaked. A one hour forty-five minute trip later and I was at PONDICHERRY, and after much walking in extreme heat I finally found a 60-rupee room at the “Ajantha Lodge”. I waited until it was cooler and then walked around and had a look – it’s an uninspiring city, even the beach is all rocks.
- • I thought I’d struck gold – I found a shop that sold cornflakes by the kilo, so I bought a kilo of the world’s worst, hardest, most inedible cornflakes. They were so bad I couldn’t eat them so I gave them to a beggar. Cornflakes and milk are both quite hard to find in India, and I was always on the look out for both.
05.12.2000 – Tuesday 5 December – Tiruchirappalli
- • I left Pondicherry on a bus, arriving in TIRUCHIRAPPALLI five hours and fifteen minutes later.
- • I found a 60-rupee double room at the “Modern Hindu Hotel”, and walked around Trichy, which seems like another uninspiring city with no major sightseeing things listed in the “Lonely Planet” book. I bought some more cornflakes, which were edible this time, and did some washing. I wouldn’t bother with Trichy again.
06.12.2000 – Wednesday 6 December – Madurai
- • I left the hotel and caught a three-hour bus to MADURAI, and then a short, very crowded city bus to the train station, where I found a 55-rupee room at the “MMS Lodge”.
- • I paid a 150-rupee deposit on my room and found an email place where, for 30 rupees, I got this email from Ric: “GoaArambolOMShantiresteraunt”.
- • I then went and saw the 2000-year-old Sri Meenakshi Temple, which is suitably impressive. Occupying six hectares, it is comprised of 12 incredibly ornate towers ranging from 45 to 50 metres high. Madurai is the cultural capital of the Tamil peoples, and has been an important trading centre at least as far back as 4 BC when the Greeks had an ambassador there. As with most of India, it’s changed hands continuously over its history, never actually being a part of the whole of India until it came under the control of the British East India Company.
- • I went to bed early and the hotel was a bit noisy, but not too bad.
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07.12.2000 – Thursday 7 December – Rameswaram
- • I left the hotel and caught a 38-rupee city bus to RAMESWARAM. Tamil Nadu is the only place in India, and I wouldn’t be surprised, the world, where the buses run all the time, all night long, never stopping, and you can get anywhere cheaply and relatively easily. It was a three hour forty-five minute journey, one part of which was along this hugely long bridge out in the ocean. It’s a strange feeling to be driving along through the ocean with land a very long way away.
- • I got a room at the “Santhana Lodge” for 50 rupees, which seems to be ok, with an attached toilet and a bucket shower – which I availed myself of, before doing some washing. I wandered around, looking at their impressive temple, which forms the centre of this small town poking way out the side of India, half way to Sri Lanka, and wandered up the beach and generally just relaxed and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of India.
08.12.2000 – Friday 8 December – Kanyakumari
- • I left the hotel and caught a bus to TIRUNELVELI via TUTICORIN, then another bus to NAGERCOIL, then another short bus to KANYAKUMARI (Cape Cormorin) – a total of ten hours travelling time. What actually happened was that I missed the bus I was meant to catch, and not wanting to bother waiting, I hopped on the next bus at random – something you can do when in what must be the best bus-serviced state in the world.
- • I ended up in places that I suspect Europeans have either never been – or not in living memory. The people would peep out from behind buildings, run, and get their kids to show them the strange white man, then if I looked their way they’d pull back behind a building and hide – a strange experience. Some of the braver brought their kids out for me to see. Then, after passing through this strange time-warped area that the world seems to have forgotten I chanced upon what you’d expect to find in a place like this, an immense rocket liquid propulsion facility, and then shortly after, an enormous wind power farm, which seemed to go for miles. The only way to describe this entire experience is “strange”. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to find I’d been stuck in some sort of time warp effect – the two contrasts are just too much, but it was amazing. Then, to top it all off – on my last bus trip, having been through areas where no one seemed to have ever seen a white man before, let alone could speak English, I had an in-depth political conversation with an Indian professor and was invited to sample his hospitality – and daughters.
- • I went to bed at the 50-rupee dorm I’d found at the “Youth Hostel”. I am the only person in the entire hostel, which is attached to the posh “Hotel Tamil Nadu”. They had to open the hostel especially for me. This whole day has a strange surrealism about it. I also found and bought some expensive Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, which were very nice.
09.12.2000 – Saturday 9 December – Kovalam
- • I left the youth hostel and looked around a bit before catching a two hour thirty-seven minute bus to TRIVANDRAM (THIRUVANANTHAPURAM). I got a 60-rupee room at the “Bhaskara Bhavan”, which seems ok with an attached toilet and shower, but no shower rose – but can’t be too fussy.
- • I caught a bus to KOVALAM BEACH and had a look around. It’s funny, it’s almost identical to the Daintree area back home – this beach could be Cedar Bay, and the surrounding bush is the same too. There are many tourists here, with very few clothes, and lots of sunburn. I have a funny feeling the Indian “lifeguards” standing on the cliffs with their binoculars probably aren’t looking for drowning men, and if you’re a drowning woman, you might be better off not getting rescued. I only stayed three hours and then headed back to Trivandrum, where I emailed for 30 rupees, but did not send a general email, only a few replies to people.
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10.12.2000 – Sunday 10 December – Bus – Kochi
- • I caught a bus to VARKALA, where I stayed two hours. It is a true tropical paradise in all sense of the word. Walk through the beautiful rainforest-like scenery and out onto a perfect sandy beach, then out into the perfectly clear water, while naked women lay sunbathing, or strumming guitars in small grass huts or reclining in hammocks under the palm trees. I wonder how much longer places like this can exist – apparently Kovalam used to be like this only a few years ago, now it’s full of fat, blotchy American and British businessmen pretending they’re in paradise for a week.
- • I then headed on to KOLLAM (QUILON), stayed for lunch, and then continued on to KOCHI (COCHIN).
- • I found a simple single 70-rupee room at the “Basoto Lodge” with a common bath. Check-in was 4 PM, with a 24-hour checkout. I went for a walk and bought 500gm Kellogg’s Cornflakes for 75 rupees, and then headed off to bed.
11.12.2000 – Monday 11 December – Kochi
- • I bought some milk and had my cornflakes, before changing $US50 at 46:20 to 2310 rupees at the State Bank of India, ERNAKULAM. I took a ferry to Fort Kochi, where I looked around for a while before heading back to the hotel where I showered and checked out at 4 PM.
- • I reserved a seat on one of the fancy comfortable tourist buses for MYSORE, which cost me 210 rupees plus a 5-rupee reservation fee.
- • The eleven hour fifteen minute trip in the “Ultra Deluxe” coach was comfortable – apart from the freezing cold. It got so cold in the morning that I had to stay awake rubbing myself to keep warm, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it, my bag being packed away somewhere.
- • 2K310
12.12.2000 – Tuesday 12 December – Mysore
- • I arrived frozen and found a 60-rupee room at the “Hotel Durbar”, in Ghandi Square. I caught a bus up the 1026-metre Chamundi Hill, walked down and then back up the more than one thousand stairs that pilgrims climb to improve their karma, and then went to the Indo-Saracenic Mysore Palace with Francis, a 28-year-old Québécoise I’d met. The palace is amazing, all gilded gold, stained glass, mirrors and gaudy colours amongst the marble and elaborate woodcarvings.
13.12.2000 – Wednesday 13 December – Bangalore
- • After a three hour fifteen minute trip, I arrived in Bangalore where I found a 75-rupee dorm at the “Bangalore Guest House”. I emailed home for 30 rupees, and then went and looked around Bangalore and booked my bus for tomorrow. Bangalore is one of India’s “modern” cities, dubbed India’s “silicon valley”, and it shows. I went to MG road, City Markets and watched “Mission Kashmir” in Hindi at a huge, very impressive and extremely loud, screened theatre for 35 rupees, which is expensive for India. The movie went for two hours and forty-five minutes including the intermission, which all Indian movies seem to have. I really enjoyed it even though I didn’t understand a word – I think it’s a brilliant film. I left my alarm clock here in the rush to leave at 6:30 AM.
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14.12.2000 – Thursday 14 December – Hassan
- • I arrived in HASSAN after a three hour thirty-four minute bus ride, and then another bus to HALEBID, then BELUR. I looked at some temples at both Belur and Halebid, and sat in a nice English-style park and read my Bible at Hassan. So far, I have been offered every known form of Marijuana, LSD, Opium, Speed, Ecstasy, and today “White Cake”.
- • I caught an eight hour fifty minute bus, which was quite bumpy, and I didn’t sleep at all, although I did doze a little.
15.12.2000 – Friday 15 December – Hampi
- • I caught a short bus from HASSAN or HOSPET to HAMPI and got a 50-rupee room at NETRA. The room was ok and the food fantastic. I walked to all the temples and so on, except the Lotus Mahal, which cost $US10 to see.
16.12.2000 – Saturday 16 December – Bus
- • I left the hotel and caught a short bus to HOSPET and then a nine and half hour bus to GOKARNA, arriving past 7 PM, in the dark, where I found the most basic room yet, for 30 rupees. It was just a mat on the floor, and an amazing toilet. A cat came in and slept with me, and I had to light some of my mosquito coils for fear of the mosquitos.
17.12.2000 – Sunday 17 December – Gokarna
- • I walked up to the beaches, which is quite a long walk and it was very hot. Nearly everyone was white, with lots of small children – this being the only place I’ve seen any sizeable collection of young Europeans in India. There were many topless and nude people, despite that being illegal in India, and I saw the best sunset that I’ve ever seen. There were no waves, but the water was nice and clear and a good temperature.
- • I am now sunburnt after swimming and walking. I’ve decided on my domestic policy for when I get home. There are some nice dogs with pups and a nice cat here.
18.12.2000 – Monday 18 December – Panaji
- • I feel sick. I’ve left the hotel. The man next door also feels sick. I’ve caught a bus to MADGAON, then on to PANAJI, where I’ve had extreme difficulty finding a room. I eventually found a 60-rupee room, plus 10 rupees for the tout I was forced to use, at the “Venus Lodge”. It’s very small and basic, but it’ll do. I change $US50 at 46:10 to 2305 rupees and sent email for 30 rupees.
- • Silas sent me his Cairns address.
- • 2K305
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19.12.2000 – Tuesday 19 December – Arambol
- • I caught a bus to MAPUSA, then on to ARAMBOL, a two hour seventeen minute journey. I met Ric at the OM Shanti Guesthouse, and am now sharing a room with him. They had to push-start the bus each time it stopped – it’s pretty funny push starting a full size bus, luckily, there are so many Indians. It’s very nice and somewhat funny to be travelling around a foreign country knowing that you have a friend from home who is also around somewhere, and then meeting him again like this. My timing was perfect – I’d just got sick of the incessant struggle of travelling, finding accommodation, fighting off Indians, and being a tourist and needed some relaxation.
- • I ate a 30-rupee Cheese Macaroni, 15 rupee 7-Up and 35-rupee veg spaghetti.
20.12.2000 – Wednesday 20 December – Anjuna
- • I went to the ANJUNA flea market with Yvonne, a lovely Swiss woman, on an Enfield 500. They have all these Enfield motorbikes, modelled after something not made anywhere outside India for the past fifty years, but still produced here, it’s funny. They have all these Second World War era trucks too, that they still produce new here, having bought the factories from the Germans after the war.
- • There was a rave party in a bamboo forest – what a spin out. A huge forest of bamboo in the middle of nowhere in India, with a clearing in the middle, and the bamboo splattered with iridescent paint and surrounded by ultraviolet lights while German and American DJ’s play incessant music all night to thousands of tripping foreigners. It’s a mind-blowing experience, literally for some people.
21.12.2000 – Thursday 21 December – Arambol
- • I caught a bus back to Arambol and walked on to the next beach, relaxing and enjoying myself.
22.12.2000 – Friday 22 December – Mapusa
- • I went to MAPUSA with Neil, a British man who Ric had been talking to for a while before I arrived. We went and checked out the Mapusa markets, swam in the ocean, and bought more cornflakes.
- • I had dinner with Yvonne and Jeff, both of who have now moved into the OM Shanti Guesthouse.
- • All I remember is chocolate milk
23.12.2000 – Saturday 23 December – Arambol
- • Ric went to a wedding. I walked up to the big Banyan tree on the hill, and wandered around exploring the amazing beauty and peace that is here.
24.12.2000 – Sunday 24 December – Arambol
- • Neil and I went looking for Masala Dosa’s, that famous southern Indian meal that neither of us has yet had. We ended up having to go five kilometres south, but it was definitely worth it. I am quite sure Indians have the best food on earth – and they make it so cheaply and easily.
- • Yvonne and I climbed a nearby hill and watched the sunset – which is somehow different over a new ocean, before heading down and having dinner. This is a truly amazing place – it is like a small enclave from the horrors of the world. Most of the people here are either Indians who are just so chilled it’s amazing, or Westerners who spend half the year in their home country, and the other half here. There are Italian restaurants, owned by Italians, German bakeries run by Germans – in fact there’s pretty much everything you could want in the way of food.
- • Yvonne and I stayed up all night, as there was a party next door, which began at midnight and didn’t finish until 8:45 AM.
- • Veg Cheese Spaghetti, 35 rupees.
25.12.2000 – Monday 25 December – Christmas Day
- • I had apple pie and ice cream for breakfast, followed by five samosas. I am very tired, which isn’t that surprising seeing as I’ve pretty well been not sleeping – and didn’t at all last night. Neil came around for dinner and we stayed up late. This place is just so peaceful; there are no worries on my mind. It’s also my birthday; I guess my body must be 20 years old now, if you don’t include the time within the womb.
26.12.2000 – Tuesday 26 December – Boxing Day
- • I got up ridiculously late, in what is soon to become normal, and Ric and I didn’t get out of our room until 3:30 PM, lazing about and talking. I went for a swim and finished off the day with a buffet dinner.
27.12.2000 – Wednesday 27 December – Arambol
- • I checked my email for forty minutes at a rupee a minute, and then changed $US50 at Rs 46/– into 2003 rupees, and paid my OM Shanti bill, including the room up until tomorrow. There was a wedding next-door, with lots of loud music at 7:30 AM and most of the day. I went for a long swim – a very long swim, not getting out of the water for six hours or something ridiculous, and now I’ve got water in my ears, sand in my eyes, and I’m so worn out, but wow, the waves were good and I’m so happy and peaceful.
- • Cheese Veg Rice and Coke
- • 2K3
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28.12.2000 – Thursday 28 December – Arambol
- • I did very little. The norm here seems to be to laze, chill out, sleep in, sit around in the shade of palms, and swim in the perfect ocean – finishing the day off with some fine dining and a late night talking or partying.
29.12.2000 – Friday 29 December – Mapusa
- • I went to the Mapusa market. The bus was very full, and I had to stand all the way. I bought a blanket cum ground sheet for sleeping out.
30.12.2000 – Saturday 30 December – Arambol
- • Yet another perfect day in paradise.
31.12.2000 – Sunday 31 December – New Year’s Eve
- • I checked my email, but e247 was down. I received an angry email from Mum and Sarah.
- • We had a party next door, which was somewhat dampened by the police turning up and doing a bamboo charge – the Indian equivalent of a baton charge, and confiscating some of the sound equipment. A nasty scene was only just averted after the Indian police had charged us all with their bamboos, hurting several of us, and then found themselves surrounded and grossly outnumbered by some very angry westerners. Subsequently, the party didn’t start on time and was stopped several times, and it also rained on and off, but was a truly beautiful way to see in the New Year
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