Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More Of An Update Than I Expected

Okay, so due to total boredom I'm caving to a 2nd post for the day :)

The total boredom is due to the fact that since the 3rd March when I changed departments I have yet to do very much. The official line (from my new boss) is that they are wrapping up their current projects before starting on new ones. Mine are all new, upcoming ones and they have yet to start. And let me point out right here that even once they're started, my job does not commence immediately. So who knows how much longer it'll stay like this ... I guess I should be sorta grateful, but I'm even becoming bored of the internet at this point! And I just know that when the projects do start there's going to be more work than I probably know how to do (well, maybe ... ?) and I can't even start on any of it with all this spare time. So freakin' typical!

And then ... The Real News: The Burst Water Main. Yes that's right (folks who don't follow my Twitter), Brad The Plumber went out to visit our gushing stream (previously referred to as the walkway to our front door) and established that the problem was Gigantic. It's a burst water main ... it requires excavation. And the whole complex's water needs to be turned off a) before this can be fixed and b) before the water bill hits a kajillion Rand. Brad The Plumber unfortunately couldn't find the water mains switch and the water has been pouring out at a rate of knots at *least* since 5am ... the Maintenance People from the Managing Agents (Status Mark, so far completely unimpressed with them) were apparently heading over to check it out at 12. So that water has been wasting for at least 7 hours now! Shocking. Our little Complex Dude (the guy at Status Mark in charge of our complex) has been unavailable since at least 10:20am ... and counting. Does no one realise that the longer they delay this the more likely it is that no one in our complex will be showering any time soon (at home at least, Varen & I will be hitting the gym for use of their hopefully available facilities). Sigh. Being the naturally cynical person I am, I'm just not convinced that this will be resolved soon enough.

And then ... Fingers Crossed Opportunity Number One: Finally a Payout. I also heard today (after much nagging on my part!) that my travel claim (of approximately 9000 Rond) should be paid out before the end of the week. Now previously I have yet to get a date attached to this fabulous prospect so I'm ever hopeful. But considering I got back from the UK marginally over 2 months ago ... this is tarnished somewhat by it's long-overdue-ness. So, finger's crossed.

Which means there must be ... Fingers Crossed Opportunity Number Two: My 2008 Travel Plan. As I've said previously, I like to plan one big annual overseas holiday. And so far we've got nothing booked for 2008 :( It's a little more complicated since Varen moved into Contract Work because every hour he's not working, he's not earning. So, not only does he have to save for the mammoth sort of trip I like to do but, he also has to save a little bit extra to cover the money he won't be earning while we're off gallivanting around the globe. Not ideal when trying to plan a holiday, let me assure you. And I certainly hope he doesn't become a blithering wreck while we're supposed to be away relaxing by calculating what he could've been earning! Already certain aspects of proposed trips have been translated into rand amounts not earned. Sigh.

Anyway, we were thinking of Peru ... I so have to get there someday. But it seems like the expansive 21 day trip I had in mind works out to be a trifle too expensive when you include the flights (they just kill us lowly folk from South Africa!). Plus Varen thinks 21 days+ (for flying time) is just too long to be out of the office and not earning. Fair enough, I can compromise ... there are still plenty of places left on my To Do List :)

So it's now come down to these options (feel free to vote via comments and offer any recommended must-see's and or reviews):

1. The Trans-Siberian Railway
I found a lovely 14 day tour from Moscow to Beijing with Russia Experience that even includes a day of Husky dog-sledding (yay!). We would also add on an extra day in Beijing to visit the Great Wall of China (seems a little silly to go all that way to the same city and not see it!). Sadly however, it doesn't look viable to extend the trip (and obviously the expense) to pop into (by "pop" I mean take a 12 hour over night train trip!) X'ian to see the Terracotta army.

This holiday covers (from my Life List): Ride on a Husky driven dog-sled (yes, that's a recent addition!), See the Great Wall of China and Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

2. Spain, Portugal and Morocco
But I also found two very nice tours that travel from Spain, via Portugal to Morocco. The first is a 15 day tour with Intrepid Travel and the second is a 23 day tour, also with Intrepid, that includes the first tour as well as some additional areas in Morocco.

This holiday covers
(from my Life List): Travel to Morocco, Travel to Portugal and Travel to Spain

So with 3 things I really want to do in both trips, it's mostly coming down to prices ... so, fingers crossed while we wait on the quotes. I just know it's going to be the flights that screw us again tho because we won't be booking a return flight for either as both trips end in a completely different country than they start!


Unknown said...

Difficult choice. All those places are fantastic. The only thing I know is that everyone who has visited Portugal, Lisbon in particular, cites it as the most beautiful city they have been to. For me, I would choose Trans-Siberian Railway. Simply because it's further away from me (I live in Europe), so there are lesser chances for me to go there. Plus, you can see those great cities and at the same time the vastness of Siberia. Exotic.

Anonymous said...

Both of those sound so amazing, good luck in your choice!!

Anonymous said...

OMG. Do the Spain one. That sounds lovely!

phillygirl said...

@all - yeah they are both such fabulous choices (along with what I'd had planned for Peru) so it probably really will come down to pricing and tour availability to suit us - we're really particular about trying to include a public holiday in our trip (less leave required!).

After spending the afternoon armchair traveling with the itineraries, I can't pick a winner ... but the 15day Spain, Portugal, Morocco option is becoming less of one ;)

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