Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

On the Brink

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Our luggage is enroute to Las Vegas with Ross. We’ll be the same tomorrow (Monday) afternoon. Bev’s looking forward to sharing some quiet moments with a casino machine and settling into a brightly lighted meal afterwards. I’ll sink my limit and then people-watch until it’s time to go to bed. We’ve arranged for Ross to bring back “laundry” – the clothes we wear on this first step of the trip.

Picked up a voltage converter for Peg Leon, for whom we also packed away a jar of peanut butter. She has an old printer and it needs a converter, which was smashed just a week ago when it tumbled onto the tile floor of her home in Paciano, a neighboring village about 3 ½ kilometers from Panicale. Picked up an all-purpose plug with a built-in surge protector for myself to use with the netbook. Had purchased a converter and grounded plug at Radio Shack with assurances from the staff that they would do everything I was asking: the converter serves the printer and the grounded plug works throughout Europe. Bev read packages at home and made it clear to me that the converter was for NON-ELECTRONIC appliances only and spelled out clearly it was not to be used with computers, telephones chargers, laptops, printers, etc. The grounded plug I bought was made for use throughout Europe EXCEPT Switzerland and Italy. No questions please, because I didn’t get any answers when I returned them. All I can tell you is that the round prongs on the Italian plug are “thinner” than those on the all-Europe type. Got the correct ones (replacing the grounded plug with the all purposes plug with surge protector) at a nearby travel-supplies store.

Niggles like these can gnaw at you when you’re on the road. Before our freighter trip. Bev went to multi troubles to make certain she had a phone that works anywhere in the universe. When she tried to make a call in Southampton, the port where we boarded the vessel, it didn’t work. So she called the service number and spent an hour or so chatting with a pleasant service technician and followed all instructions and it was working in Southampton. It never worked after that. Back home, we learned that the knothead who sold Bev the phone hadn’t opened a switch enabling international calls, which Bev made clear and emphasized as the priority when she bought the thing. Similar thing happened to friend of ours from Toronto when he spent a couple of weeks with us in Panicale. So you buy telephone cards.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Europe, Travel

Tagged with , , ,

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