Modern Dystopia


Back Breaking Baggage

I was browsing through my Google stats and noticed that someone visited my site after looking up “baggage limit in china airlines Sydney”. Wow, what a bizarre search to return my website I thought.

Of course I do have an article talking about my experiences flying China Eastern Airlines. So obviously there’s a link, but what I find amusing, in my own quirky way, is that it made me think of the back breaking load I subjected myself (and the airline staff) to.

China Eastern Airlines has a maximum baggage weight of 20kgs for economy class travellers. When my bag was weighed on departure it came in at a whopping 31kgs! The check-in assistant didn’t blink an eye, she simple slipped a ‘Heavy, 2 person lift’ tag on it and sent it on it’s way to give some poor baggage handler a hernia. I was, quite naturally, relieved at not being asked to pay an excess baggage fee.

Returning from France I topped that even, with 32kgs! My carry on luggage luckily wasn’t weighed, because I estimated that to be about 25kgs all up as well. With camera, books, laptop and leather coat etc.

Did I get lucky? or are Chinese airlines a bit more relaxed about these things? perhaps it was the fact that on each and every leg of my trip the planes weren’t full. So they had a bit of extra capacity. Anyway, there you go. To the person that was wondering about weight limits, I hope this gives you an answer, albeit not an official one. if you want to check out their actual site and I realkly think they’re a fine airline to fly with, go here: or here:

Global Updates – Not Quite.

Why is it so hard do do such a simle thing?

I’m about to head of to France, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of all the modern gadgets and tools at my disposal. My plan seemed simple, use my mobile to quickly update my blog with images and movies of my travels.I spent a bit of time the other night setting it up, my Flickr account accepts uploads via email and now automatically posts those updates on my Blog, which in turn updates my Twitter status.

The next step was to get a cost estimate on the data usage. Well in theory, I should be able to check my data usage with Telstra, and with a cost per Mb calculate just how much a video or image upload would cost me. 2 hours on hold and being transferred around the Telstra help centers, and I’m giving up. For some reason, telstra have no records of any data usage on my phone since the 20th of last month. Of course, they’re happy to tell me I’ll get billed for it, when they find it. but those test emails have been to no avail. They can’t tell me how big they were.

In the end it’s academic. I found out how much the data rates for International roaming are. 1.5c/Kb. yes, that’s right, over $15/Mb !! A single image upload could cost me $40+ from my 5MP phone. Even sending compressed ones would be ridiculous. Let alone uploading short movie clips.

With this relevation, I went looking around for other oprions. Surely there must be some plans with the dta centric traveller in mind. But no. Other carriers like Three, Optus and Virgin are even more expensive at 2c/Kb. No-ones data plans cover international roaming, so your paying for every byte! Three actually have what ‘looks’ lie a good deal, until you realise that it covers only a few counties, none of which are France!

In the USA, AT&T have a couple of plans that would almost suit. Even then you’re looking at at least US$100 / month for about 20Mb of international data.

So, no instant blog updates from me. I’ll have to wait until I’m in airports with free wireless on my laptop, or actually at my mum’s place and using her internet.

The age of global communications, wireless internet and all these other fantastic things is upon us, but it’s not ready for the masses yet. It’s still a tool for the well funded business traveller.

oh, and if anyone can offer suggestions, find a way for me to accomplish what I seek to do, I’d love to hear from you.

Medieval Weaponry

Medieval weaponry

Originally uploaded by Gomisan

Fun in france 2007. Watching demonstrations of siege weapons! This video of Seige Engines in action was shot at St Brisson in the Loire valley. Although they were only bombarding a forest with melons, it’s easy to imagine the effects of these weapons in their time.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Get me back to France!

After my short trip to France last year, I really want to get back. Even more so because my mum has now moved their permanently AND she is getting married there in July!

chatillon postcard

Things have been really tough financially this year though, so my savings are a meagre $700 out of an estimated $4000 that the trip (including airfares) will cost me.

So… live vicariusly through me, sponsor my trip to France and i’ll send you a special photo taken just for you. Hey I’ll even include your name in my book of photos which I’ll be self publishing when I return!