Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A couple of days ago (to be more precise, it was eight days ago) I was backing up our data stored in the desktop computer (more than 6 hours backing up and classifying data, files, songs and stuffs) and my wife told me if we needed to buy another AC adapter for her notebook once in Australia. I didn’t took it too much seriously and told her “yes, I guess so... Why?”
She just said it thoughtfully: “Well, if we need another adapter for my notebook... aren’t you going to need another for that external drive you bought at Amazon?”

All of the sudden my world got solid frozen... Why didn’t I think of it before getting it? There is some chance of incompatibility with the Australian electrical system!

Thankfully there is this website were explains very well all the electrical problems our electronic devices may or may not suffer once in Australia.

Here is the answer:

Basic information of Australian electric system
Voltage: 220V – 240V (US and Canada 110V – 120V)
Frequency: 50Hz (US and Canada is 60Hz)
Plug type: I or V (http://www.kropla.com/!i.htm) (US or Ca uses the A&B http://www.kropla.com/!ab.htm)

Sum up.

  • If your electrical devices have AC/DC adapters check the specs for the multi-voltage label. This label says you will need just a plug adapter from A&B (or the one used on your country) to I or V plug type because your adapter already transform the electricity for your device.
  • If you have compatible electricity systems with different plug type, all you have to do is get one of those adapters.
  • If your device is 110V-120V or the frequency is different, you will have to buy an electricity converter (which isn’t recommended because consumes lots of electricity) plus in some cases, the proper plug type.
  • Most of the hair driers, iron and those stuffs with inner electric resistances used to generate heat is better to be sold and get a new one in Australia. Otherwise get the converter paying high price for your electricity consumption.
How do I know if my device is compatible with 220V-240V?
Check the label at the back of the AC Adapter or device; could be also be found in the user’s manual. The keyword is “INPUT” which contains information such as:
Input: ~100-240V 50/60Hz 65W: If you find this info. Your device is multi-voltage.
Input: 115/230V 50/60Hz 200W: your device is US compliant. These devices commonly has a switch at the back, all you need to do is switch it to the 230V side.
Input 120V 60Hz 2.8A: Means your device is US only compliant (just supports the 120V standard). You will need a converter in case you want to use it in Australia.

What type of plug adapters do I need?
The picture shows the Wa-16 travel plug adapter for Australia, Chine and Argentina compatible with the I Plug (the V plug doesn’t have the middle stick). But keep in mind you may be needing an converter in most of the cases.

More Information check out this website

Hope you find it useful.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some days ago I was checking the Nora & Henry’s blog reading about the traditional or national dishes that everyone should enjoy once in the Salvador… but, some thoughts started to wonder my mind about the kind of food I will be missing every now and then once I get to Australia, such as:

“Pabellón”. The dish that any Venezuelan could remember for the rest of his/her life is the pabellon. This dish consists in a portion of black beans, rice and shredded meat or beef. Also have some variations such as the “pabellon con baranda” (Spanish for pabellon with guard rails) which adds fried sliced plantain or “pabellon a caballo” (Spanish for pabellon riding a horse or horseback riding) which adds a fried egg on top for the rice, beans and beef “riding the horse”. No doubt about the “pabellon a caballo con barandas” (Spanish for pabellon horseback riding with guard rails... you surely will understand that is a mixture between every pabellon dish). The pabellon surely is one of my favourite plates among the rest of the Venezuelan dishes because combine the sweet of the plantain and the beans (sometimes you add it sugar on top or white cheese... depends on your mood) with the neural flavour of the rice and the salty and spiced flavour of the shredded beef.

Arepas. How to describe what an arepa is... The arepa is somehow bread without being bread. The arepa is.... arepa! Hahaha, no description could fit in what an arepa is. But it is made with corn flour (or rice and corn flour) with a cup of water and a pinch of salt, is flat round shaped and cooked on the budare till it sounds like a drum. Then is it half split open and filled up with almost anything you might want at the moment... Cheese or meat or jam or avocado or chicken or jam tomatoes and mayo, etc; you make your own arepa’s flavour; the important is the existence of the arepa itself the rest is just a contour or add in. This is my second favourite dish and the one I eat more often (almost daily).

“La cachapa” or Corn pancakes. This is an extremely traditional dish in Venezuela made out of cord grits mixed with some sugar and a pinch of salt… Some people also like to mix it with flour and milk (as a real pancake). It is cooked in a hot “budare” (a rounded flat piece of steel) till is brown, then is filled up with white cheese or “queso de mano” (the exact translation is hand’s cheese, but is a tender white cheese with taste of ricotta but saltier). The cachapa is commonly expended at “road stores” and I could say that no one who comes to Venezuela leaves without to give it a taste to this exquisite dish.

Empanadas. The empanada is made with the same flour as the arepa with the difference that is totally flatten when raw, then filled up with anything you may want (rice and black beans, shredded beef, cheese, cheese and black beans also known as domino empanada, shredded fish, etc) and then is fried till gets a light brownish colour. This is more commonly eaten at Margarita’s island as a must, but it is widely know and eaten as breakfast around Venezuela.

The “hallaca”. A traditional Christmas dish, the hallaca is... well... is.... Hahaha, let me go to Wikipedia to take the someone else’s description. “An hallaca typically involves a mixture of pork, beef, chicken, capers, raisins, olives and onions wrapped in maize (cornmeal dough), bound with string within a plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards...” The hallaca among other dishes of the Venezuelan cuisine requires many hours of intense work and unites the entire family to make some of it (typically on family can make several dozens of hallacas, enough to the entire holiday season and sometimes to endure the holidays and the first days of the upcoming year. What else could I say?... Oh, the hallaca has great taste and texture and some Venezuelans living overseas makes decent living just by selling a bunch of this per day.

Well this is enough for today... I think I will have to write another post continuing the qualities of the Venezuelan cuisine.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Before going further I would like to share with you what family, personal and citizen values should be [but first, you should know before reading, this are thoughts and reflections of my current hometown and society].

Someone’s values will define his/her the character, charisma and the type of person. The three types of values should not be confused nor mixed, but in conjunction makes a perfect citizen, neighbour, employee and family member. The opposite representations to those values are the capital sins (or seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, pride, envy, wrath, sloth, lust) and somehow you can measure the importance the society gives to the personal and family values existence just by taking deep examination into the common citizen behave.

Well, the last couple of months I have been comparing the current Venezuelan society against the one I knew in my childhood. The result reassure that my decision to migrate to a healthier and well structured society (such as the Australian one) is the best way to ensure mental health, prosperity and correct offspring formation. Sadly this values lost isn’t a process that begun with the current government (but it was an accelerator). The entire situation makes me feel worried about the family that stays here and my new family generation which will grow in such a polluted and valueless environment.

The current Venezuela is a land of nobodies, where the common thing to watch every day is murder, crime, prostitution, corruption, felony and effrontery. Even the simplest event (such as, a pregnant woman gets the bus and most of the people start avoiding to watch to woman just to not let her sit or get a comfortable position; people with some disability is ignored too (even though the government says they do so much for the people and those in need, this is a façade avoiding the reality than the family and personal values are gone). I got to admit the issue isn’t just the government fault; this is a 90% people faulty formation, degraded family structure and extreme poverty...

And what had happened with those members of the society, the motivators, educators and those whom inject into the society some values to avoid the total collapse? Those are being persecuted by the government because those are the very few who stands up against the felony and the corruption spotting the rotten society’s members… or as I am doing and some other families already did… choosing not to fight anymore and leave. Sad isn’t it?

If you’re thinking at this point… “You coward! Because of people like you is that your society situation is worst. People who decide to leave, people who doesn’t fight.” I just got to tell you: you might be right; I was coward and didn’t want to stand this horrible situation… this deploring situation. But fill up my shoes, imagine be in a self centered society where numberless citizen has been fired from their jobs because of believes, mentally tortured and persecuted, which every day worst educational systems and more cultural damage… year after year for decades… Don’t you give a thought to moving out? What you think?