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.
Diving is an equipment-intensive sport. Having your own equipment rather than using hire-gear has a number of advantages, including both comfort and financial.
For anyone putting together a kit of diving equipment in Australia one thing rapidly becomes clear. The cost of equipment overseas is significantly cheaper than purchasing it locally. This isn't restricted to just diving equipment, books, electronics, software, and other products are often significantly cheaper overseas.
Purchasing items from overseas has obvious economic benefits, but carries some risks and disadvantages as well. Obviously postage is longer and more expensive, and there are import duties and taxes. These are easy to quantify.
Some risks are more difficult to determine. Obviously when purchasing anything to wear, the possibility of a mis-fit is high. So when I examined the possibilities of importing a wetsuit, I put considerable thought into sizing and what to do in case something goes wrong.
Eventually it comes down to a matter of risk-vs-reward. I'm very comfortable with risk, and can happily say that I've benefited from taking calculated risks on a regular basis.
Today the wetsuit arrived, and sure enough it fits perfectly. It's extremely comfortable, very flexible, but most important of all, it's the wrong suit.
Without going into too much detail, I had ordered what's called a semi-dry that has seals around the neck, wrists, and ankles. The suit that had arrived was conspiciously missing these.
I've opened negotiations to work towards a resolution, but given the distances and timezones involved, I imagine that may take some time.
The worst case scenario is that I return the suit for a refund, and wear the costs of postage (potentially including duties and taxes). However I'm hoping this won't be the case.
This does put a bit of a hole in our diving weekend that's coming up.