Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Sunglasses Saga

Day 1: No problem

Day 2: I return from my morning walk to put on more sunscreen, so I take off my sunglasses, watch, rings, etc. in the process and set them on the table in the room. Or so I thought. As I was trying to gather everything on my way out again, I could not for the life of me find my sunglasses. I picked up everything off the table, checked under the covers on my bed, and couldn’t find them any other place I thought they hadn’t ended up, but would be worth checking just in case. So I left with the mission of finding a replacement pair of sunglasses at the first store I could find. The problem with this goal is that this all occurred on Christmas Day in Australia, where most of the country shuts down to celebrate the holiday. The only shops that were open were the little convenience stores where everything is at least double the cost of what it is in a regular grocery store. After looking at approximately 4 pairs of sunglasses in 9 different shops, I decided to stall the purchase until at least the next day when more stores would be open and I would have more to choose from. Good choice. When I got back to the room, I went to open the window, and saw my sunglasses sitting on the ledge right next to the window. I immediately took back all my wishes of bad karma on the girl in my room who I figured must have grabbed them as she left the room 30 seconds before I did – why else would I not be able to find my sunglasses? Somebody else must have them, right?

Day 3-Day whatever: No incident

Fourth to last day in Australia: I went to the Blue Mountains, and was very thankful for having my sunglasses with me, as the weather was quite conducive to easy forest walking – warm and sunny that is. As I walked back through the town to the train station, I kept noticing all the sunglasses displays and thinking back to my second day in Sydney when I had been convinced my glasses had been stolen and went out on a fruitless search for replacements. Good thing I hadn’t jumped the gun on that one.

Third to last day in Australia: My sunglasses have been lost/potentially stolen again. I remember distinctly taking them off inside the hostel room the night before, but my memory stops there. I have no idea where I’ve put them, and because I can’t find them, they’ve obviously (but accidentally) been taken by someone else in the room. I set out on another mad search for a replacement pair of sunglasses. More shops are open now that the holidays are fairly well past, and most still have sales going on. I settle on a reasonable pair (not the perfect sunglasses, but you can’t get those every time) and purchase them as my first errand of the day. The rest of my day commences, and I return to my room late afternoon and find my sunglasses oddly tucked away in my traveling pharmacy. Since I still have the tags on, and the receipt, and am well within the deadline for returns, I make a quick dash back to the store where I purchased the sunglasses to return them, seeing as a second pair of sunglasses is utterly superfluous when you already have a perfectly functional pair.

Penultimate day in Australia: My sunglasses break. One of the ear pieces snaps off. I ask for glue at the front desk, but they only have stick glue. She jokingly suggests just wearing them as they are, and surprisingly, they still work with just one ear piece. True, I do have to adjust them a lot more and hold them when a stiff breeze comes up, but I’m only spending another 36 hours in Australia, I can just buy a super cheap pair of sunglasses when I get back to Samoa.

Last day in Australia: I’m getting frustrated with having to adjust or hold my sunglasses all the time. I wander into one of the larger discount markets thinking to myself “I will only buy sunglasses if I can find an exact replica of my current pair of sunglasses – although one with two ear pieces instead of one – and for a good sale price.” Well, the very first stall I come across is a huge display of sunglasses. I get sucked into the first rack, trying on practically every pair to find the one that fits best. Then I realize there is a second rack for the same sale price, so I have to extend my selection. Then I realize there is an entire wall for the same sale price, and there I find – yes – the exact replica of my current sunglasses. Granted, my current sunglasses have a green border and the replacement pair will have a black and white border, but the size and shape of the lenses is exactly the same, and the fit is just as smooth and perfect. So after a trip bookended with sunglasses drama, I ended up with basically the same pair I started with, although one came from Target in the States and the other came from a discount/wholesale market vendor in Australia. Perfect!

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