Sunday, 8 May 2011

Things I Should Know By Now About Travelling

I am a procrastinator by nature.  There are always just so many things I would rather do than what I should be doing at any given moment.  I am not a seasoned traveller compared to some: I have been on a few road trips to the U.S., I've been to England 3 times, but I don't travel very often.  However, I have enough experience to know that packing is something one should not leave to the last minute.  But do I always do what I know I should do?  No, not always. 

Last night is an example of this.  I began the day with good intentions: I had put a load of laundry in the washing machine the night before, and was intent on doing all my laundry during the day so I wouldn't get stressed out.  It started off well.  I did 3 loads of laundry.  While one of them was gettin' sudsy, I went to Shopper's Drug Mart to buy a new camera.  My old, faithful Kodak digital camera I have had since I was 17 was slightly broken ... still working, but the dial that selects photo/video settings broke off when I dropped it at the Brickenden Awards (I never even took any pictures that night, so the breakage could have been avoided.  Alas, I digress ...).  I purchased an Olympus FE-47 camera: it was light, portable, and small.  Just what I wanted.  Until I got home and read a few reviews of the product; most turned out to be average to poor.  So I decided to return it.

When I brought the camera back to Shopper's, I was told that electronics were non-returnable items.  Note: the sales associate (although friendly and helpful when I purchased it) did not tell me that I could not return the item, there were no signs indicating it was non-returnable, and the receipt did not specify this either.  (Apparently you have to go on the website to see the exceptions for returns.)  I was frustrated and not at all impressed.  After coming home, angrily calling head office (and getting a machine) and leaving an angry review about the customer service, calling the store and speaking to the manager, then speaking to the owner, I was asssured that the owner would call Olympus on Monday to see what could be done about a return.  Only thing that sucks is ... I am in Quebec as of Monday for 6 weeks!  I returned to Shoppers, for the third time that day, to speak directly with the owner and explain the Quebec situation.  My dad is going to be sorting it out with them instead of me as I will not be in the province.

So then I returned home, more than a little miffed and kind of tired.  So I hung out with my sister and bro-in-law until dinner.  Then waited for my extended family to arrive for cake for Mother's Day.  By then, it was late and I didn't get to the laundry until 10:30 pm.  I was officially packed by midnight, and (to my knowledge at this moment) I haven't forgotten anything.  Except(!) I couldn't find my Diva Cup!  I had it wrapped up in tissues because I had forgotten the little cotton bag at my condo.  It's possible that I misplaced it.  Or that my mum mistook it for a used Kleenex and chucked it :( .  Another reason to pack in advance: if I had, I would have known it was missing and could have searched for it/bought a new one.  Oh, boo-urns ...

I have learned some lessons from this experience:
- always do your laundry at least two days before you leave
- ALWAYS ask about a store's return policy when you purchase something.  Even better, if it's a more costly item, such as a digital camera, spend some time looking at reviews of products BEFORE you buy.
- don't leave everything to the last minute*

*Indicates I probably will not follow this advice in future.

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