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patham

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  1. Because real coffee afficionado's drink it black - that's why. Ergo - the frother is not essential as the true addicts don't need one in the first place. The one thing that grates me about coffee-culture in Aus, is that the coffee snobs all have their best local, whom they claim to have the best beans and roast etc. When you ask how they take it, and they reply flat white - what they are really rating is the damn milk and not much else!
  2. The cross -rates may still be relatively OK. The AUD and NZD have also dropped recently versus the USD.
  3. I think I would be too squeamish to self-inject. However, having had one excruciating gout experience (ankle & below but mainly the big toe) I would have had no reservations in doing so. I reckon that if I had Patches' level of home DIY woodworking gear I would have just amputated the offending limb at home with only a disprin- it could only have felt better. I sent the Mrs off to get emergency steroids, but in the rush she locked herself out the house. I think it took me 10 minutes to walk the 10 steps to let her back in. I have huge empathy now for anyone who has experienced that - its no joke. And I have sworn off the offending dietary item - fresh OJ. A colleague had a gout episode when he was in the middle of nowhere QLD, on a cattle station which was base camp for studies for a green fields mine site development. The horse steroids the owners scrounged for him worked a charm !
  4. Could well be true, although as time goes on you have less and less interaction with real humans in the Aus airports. Its all self-serve biometric scanners, and you only see a real person when the scanner refuses to accept the passport. But the queue managers who are the only BF staff most people see do seem to be the shouty ones. My last Zim passport had barely perceptible (by eye) printing error in that the left hand side of a zero in the biometric number was printed marginally thicker than the right. Unfortunately when run through the Australian scanners, this digit would be scanned as a "1" 9 times out of 10, and then the check-sum algorithms would flag a data inconsistency. So I would first get called up by the duty officer, and then get accompanied to the forensic focussed office, with the magnifiers, super duper scanners and other CSI paraphernalia to be checked out. Luckily the first time this happened I was carrying a whole ID file with me, so had reams of old passports going back to childhood, birth certs etc. so I was able to convince them I wasn't a forger, together with all my bank cards, drivers license etc. Learnt that these secondary ID was essential back-ups to be carried on international flights! Long story short, these interactions were always pleasant enough, and it was just a delay to allow for in layover planning. The TSA in the US have staff that really span the spectrum from amazingly friendly/tolerant to those with pent up aggression that is just searching for an excuse for an outlet. Never make the first joke with a TSA person.
  5. I thought that was pretty typical weather from my grand total of 2 weeks in the country (in a November if I remember right). Not 4 seasons in a day, but 4 in an hour.
  6. /S = ON Slowbee- did you not get the memo from Matt & Admin ? You're gonna get this thread locked up by using the C word and bringing up current events (a double no-no)- and then where are we "when-we's" of the good old hub days meant to go? /S = OFF
  7. I miss old Torpedo 7, they were my go-to online shop here, just a shame they decided to pull out of Aus.
  8. I use a Thule Easy-fold XT3. Back in SA I had a Thule hatch hanger-on style and I really didn't trust it for long trips or heavy loads (more than 1 bike). As I now carry 3 x dual-suss, I don't want that load on the sheet metal. The in-thing now in Aus looking at the trail head car-parks is to buy an expensive 4x4 dual cab, and put a tailgate pad on !
  9. Slowbee, all I know is that NZ trails are typically one or two levels up (in terms of technicality) from what I ride here in Aus, which is a level up from Gauteng. My answer is that I used my 100 mm full sus XC bike for 2 years here, but I lost confidence after an OTB and a suspected dislocated jaw (PS - no-one tell the wife - that was an unreported injury). I then moved to 140 mm travel and slacker geometry trail bikes which I think are better suited. My son has had enough of 140 mm, and is waiting for the next batch of 160 mm Jeffsy's to arrive,, but I think I am at my gnarly comfort level. Having said that - it depends where you are on the [skills/ability/confidence vs nominal bike capability] matrix. There is one dude I see on my trails on a custom built zero-suspension touring bike (relies on thick tyres and a flexy truss -shaped front fork to absorb the knocks), and he seems to do fine. He said after doing many, many thousands of km on that bike, it just feels natural to him and he can't consider changing. And there are one or two XC hardtail race snakes who zoom past me (twice- because they do laps!), and they just have the skills to handle the terrain with the bike they know. So in short - the Epic probably not ideal, but you could make it work on selected rides. I do think you will be able to sell it in Spez & marathon mad SA for far more than if you sold it in NZ.
  10. My first full-suspension bike was bought nearly new (on the hub nogal). I had done the research, it was a bit of a boutique Canadian brand, but there were agents listed in all the big cities. A few months afterwards, the brand (or its distributor) withdrew from the SA market and I was left unsupported. Back then I had enough spare time to be my own maintainer, could trawl the internet for hours searching for equivalent hangers, could find some-one to custom make vesconite pivot bushes and hardware etc. So I got by, but with needless effort. So there is a downside and a hidden future burden to having an unsupported brand bike. The experience has also made me steer clear of boutique brands, I am now sticking to brands that are too big to fail, and have a dealer in nearly every suburb. What a pleasure to go into the LBS, ask hopefully if they have a replacement bolt for part XXX, and they just reach into the random reclaim box and give it to you.
  11. This is my philosophy on other drivers who are too hesitant and in so doing create their own hazard. I can handle good drivers, I can try and accommodate the errors of bad drivers, but its hard to deal with someone who can't make up their mind and is hence unpredictable.
  12. I agree on this part- its the random boxes of junk that are the worst. Far more trouble than the beds etc. In our rental on arrival we had an entire room filled with boxes of stuff. And in the end you realise that if you could live without the stuff that's in the boxes for 6 months, you probably didn't need it in your life anyway.
  13. To follow on from this. Yes, most furniture from SA is too big for houses in Aus & NZ. But certainly in Aus, furniture is either cheap flatpack rubbish, or expensive Indonesian rubbish, or ultra expensive. So weed you stuff out for size and quality, but try and bring your quality stuff over. Life is too short for flatpacked, wobbly kitchen tables. I don't regret brining the rhodesian teak outdoor set, the kiaat dining room set (which is now the lockdown office furniture) and buffalo leather couches. But I will admit that these possessions can limit suitability of the available housing. In Aus, most older houses do not fit reasonable family sized fridges. What many people do here though is have the daily use "slim" fridge in the kitchen, and keep the big fridge/freezer in the garage. As theft rates are low (but certainly not zero), many folk in the suburbs park on the street and use the garage for storage. Don't bother with the dishwasher (I think) - looks like many are built in. We used a 40 ft container, but the guys packed very efficiently into the front half, so there was loads of room left over. And I will admit we brought too much. You have to weed out the boxes of university correspondence that you haven't looked at for 20 years before you move! Garden tools, ladders etc we all left behind. Mainly for bio-security - those items often get pinged and then you get charged a cleaning / disinfection fee that is too high relative to the replacement cost.
  14. I reckon this is just a Darwinian stress-test to weed out the weak - so good work so far! But I have heard stories of people that have had to get into Aus or NZ recently needing to do unreal amounts of arrangements and planning up to practically the last second to get flights, COVID tests, quarantine accommodation and visa's to line up with not only the eventual destination but also the intermediate transfers/stops along the way. Especially now that reasonably direct flights don't exist any more. For example, it now seems easier to route from Europe to the US, then to Aus rather than via Asia.
  15. Looking back - the ideal time to emigrate is when you are young, with no commitments, and bullet-proof. Although for many people, that also means you don't have the skills to qualify for migrant programs (if heritage/ancestry pathways are not available). I am also from Zim, and my move to S.A. was a soft one (went to study there, and never really went back), and was painless seeing as my belongings fitted in one suitcase, and one up from the Hitchhiker's Arthur Dent, I also had a towel and a duvet. Easy-peasy. Next move to Aus, when its house, spouse & dependents and 20+ years older was orders of magnitude more difficult. But no regrets on the move, or on the timing. Sure life would have been easier/better if we had moved 5, 10 or 15 years earlier, but its pointless beating yourself up about it. We're not fortune-tellers and we all made our decisions with the best intent at the time.
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