I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
Note: These entries will appear out-of-order with regards to the rest of my journal.
Day 0, Melbourne, 2004-12-27 13:01 (GMT+11) -- Be nice to everyone
I'm going SCUBA diving interstate, and I'm bringing my own equipment. Even without tanks and weights, it still weighs a lot. The bag I carry it in is also reinforced, to protect it from damage, and so it weighs a lot as well. I'm only allowed 20kg worth of baggage in checked luggage on the flight, so I'm expecting to pay an extra tariff for the excess.
I arrive at the airport and things are pretty quickly, so I quickly get to the check-in counter. I smile, show my ID, mention that I have some heavy bags, and ask about how the attendant's day has been. First bag goes onto the scale -- 23kg. Yikes, I've still got another one to go.
The attendant asks about my weekend, we talk about the holiday season and what she has planned. Second bag goes on, 8kg, putting me over 30kg, so I'm looking at a $20 tariff. I ask politely if I may be able to remove a kilogram from one of the bags and put it into my hand luggage, so I can squeeze under the 30kg limit.
The attendant says that she has a better idea. Transfer some of the things from the lighter bag (8kg) into the heavy bag, and then I can take both my laptop and lighter bag as hand luggage. When I enquire she explains that yes, usually my hand-luggage quota would be filled by my laptop bag, but as the flight isn't full there'll be plenty of space to carry on a second bag. It doesn't matter that the bag is bigger than the allowed size, nobody ever checks that anyway, and she's giving me special permission.
I thank her graciously, and transfer some books from the light bag into the heavy bag, bringing it up to 25kg, and she checks it in for flight. My lighter bag now weighs 6kg, and I'm asked if she can weigh my laptop. Uh oh, I know that bag is heavy, I tend to carry things like spare batteries, chargers, wireless mouse, headphones, books, USB keys, cables, pens, pads, and all manner of bits and pieces as well as the laptop. The bag weighs in at 8kg, which is more than the hand-luggage weight limit. The attendant smiles, says that will be fine, and wishes me a good holiday.
Now, my checked luggage is still more than the 20kg allowed limit, so I ask how I'll settle the $10 tariff that I'm still expecting to pay. The attendant lets me know that for only 25kg it isn't worth charging me a tariff, even though I'm overweight with my checked luggage, as well as carrying on board twice as many pieces of hand luggage as I'm allowed on the ticket. One item of hand luggage one is oversized, and the other one is overweight.
I'm obviously thrilled not to be paying the tariff, and wish the attendant a very very happy holiday period and new year.
The moral of the story is that if you're nice to other people, they will be nice to you in turn.