Over the past two days I increased my lag in respect to my schedule even more. So it comes that the day before my planned visit to Sydney I am about 200km away, way before the first main highway that will bring the nice dense traffic. But I should have no problems with getting up early.
The further away I got from Queensland the more expensive got the fuel, and the more dry is the scenery. Honestly, if it wasn't for the driving on the wrong side of the road and the occasional price shockers I would have thought to be in California at its worst, so there are no bonus points to be gained here. This lack of natural thrills made it even easier for me to continue with my very leisurely approach to life - I stopped several times in National Parks but not to photograph but to read. This way I have finished off Cradle - I would say that like all Clarke/Lee cooperations it was quite a bit stretched at times, but often also funny, many good one-liners. I would give it a B+.
On Monday I visited a local branch of the rental company and asked what to do about the antenna and wheel cap. As expected (and prepared for) I am liable for the antenna; however, supposedly I am also liable for the wheel cap. I think that's ridiculous to have to pay for pieces of a car that spontaneously falls apart. From other experiences I thought to get raped by the rental company if they were to charge me for the two things, and so I went to a local store and bought a new antenna, which I successfully installed in about an hour. For a first-timer, not bad. Now I again have a radio, what a joy - now give me reasonable radio stations, too. I also bought an original wheel cap, it's amazing how the Ford logo can cost you four times as much as a generic cap - well, will skip eating for the next few days. I will put it on just before dropping the car off, so that it doesn't fall off again :-)
The late afternoon was spent showering and packing. Shower was fun as there was nothing to put the water container on, so it was done with two 1L bottles which were repeatedly refilled from the tank and held overhead. Packing surprisingly left the trunk quite empty - and that with the suitcase, huge travel bag, photo backpack and of course the wheel cap including packaging in there. It's amazing how an ordered approach can create space, but I guess travelling alone allows me to be chaotic.
With the book unexpectedly finished one night too early I now have plenty of time to write my project proposal for CS399, which was due last week but I got an extension because of my being abroad. I still wonder how to phrase my project in a way which will make the proposal acceptable in general, and even more importantly, how to make it sound worth 4 units instead of the normal 3 - I need this one graded unit to graduate. So I will put all my poetic and political capabilities together and as usual, see what happens.
The nights have been getting progressively colder here, too. Last night, once again sleeping in the car, I even felt it necessary to start the engine for about 5 minutes to create some heat; I am better prepared for tonight with two sweatshirts. The weather forecast for Sydney predicts a cold and windy day, but at least dry, so they say.