St Augustin

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Who lives sees much, who travels sees more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TRAVEL TIPS: Washing your clothes when you you use the hotel washbasin?

We've all been there: your business trip gets extended by a few days, and you're a day or two short of clean clothes. Since very few hotels offer an overnight laundry service, it's time to spend the evening washing your clothes in the sink.
But there are a few things you can do to speed the process up and make it less of a drag.

Play some music while you're washing

Even if all you have is your phone, you can take advantage of hotel bathroom acoustics to make music sound less tinny. Place the phone's speakers facing a tiled corner, and the reflection of the sound will amplify the small speakers to something that sounds much better.

Don't bother with washing powder

You're probably in a situation where you didn't know in advance that you'd need to be washing your clothes in the sink, and we don't reckon there's a lot of point carrying around special washing powder "just in case". Some hot water in the sink, a good squirt of hotel shampoo or shower gel, and a vigorous scrubbing will get your things clean.

Start with the largest and heaviest piece first

Always start your wash with the thickest piece of clothing you're getting clean. For us, that's usually a t-shirt or undershirt. While you're washing everything else, it'll get a head start on drying.

Fill up the tub with clean water for rinsing

If your hotel room has a bath, fill it up with clean water for a final rinse of your clothes after getting most of the suds out in the sink. An extra rinse in a large volume of water will get all the bubbles out.

Wring, wring, wring… and then hang

Give each piece a good wringing once it's washed and rinsed, and then hang it as vertically as possible to let the water drip down through the garment before giving it a final wring. We find it's useful to let each piece drip while we're washing the next one. 

Squeeze out water in a rolled up towel

Once you've finished wringing, put a large towel on a flat surface. Place the still-damp garment on top of the towel, then fold the towel over (or use another towel) to sandwich your piece of clothing between layers of towel. Give it a good roll one way, then swap towel sides so the dry sides of the towel are on the side of the damp clothing.

Use the iron to dry things out quickly

If you're washing natural fibres, a good hot iron is a great way to speed up the drying process, and it's especially useful for collared shirts. Try ironing on top of a towel placed on the ironing board, otherwise the board's fabric cover will get damp. Make sure the iron's clean, though -- try it out on a towel first to make sure you don't get grubby marks on your clean clothes.

Hang clothes from the air conditioning vent

To get things dry, hang them on a coat-hangerin front of the air conditioning vent so that they catch the force of the fan. That way they'll dry faster. Bear in mind that this is probably a bad idea for white shirts, since the vent could be dusty. Hanging them from the curtain rail inside an open window (in places with relatively clean air) also works well.
How often do you end up hand-washing your clothes? Got any particular tips for your fellow readers? Share them in a comment below!

Thanks to the Australian Business Traveller.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

L'Aussie Travel is visiting Fiji! Finds a Bollywood takeover!

Bula from Fiji!

So here I am in Fiji, in the middle of a 6-week stay, courtesy of a fellow blogger who invited me to house sit. Good deal! Hadn't been to Fiji before, so this is a great opportunity to check it out.


If you missed him on facebook,
this is the Fijian policeman
next door. Cute uniform!
Bollywood has overtaken Hollywood as the biggest movie maker in the world and I was surprised to see a Bollywood takeover of Fiji. There are currently several productions taking place (four simultaneously) and locals count themselves lucky to be asked to play extras for the princely sum of $30 (AUD $15ish) per day. Wages in Fiji are very low, even for professionals like policemen and teachers, so the Fijians are happy to earn a little extra to be an extra (pun intended). Anything that helps a struggling economy is a positive if you can get over the fact that to most of us such low wages reek of exploitation.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised at the popularity of Bollywood movies here, as 37% of the population of Fiji is Indo-Fijian compared to 57% of native Fijians. Every day there are Bollywood movies showing wherever you go to visit or eat as most of the businesses are owned by the Indo-Fijians. There are Bollywood movies on the television if/when I turn it on during the day. Not to mention the shops and handicraft stalls where you can buy saris and look the part! (Psst, I got to try on a sari of Nas’ and report it is very uncomfortable when you’re not used to it!)


Fiji consists of two largish islands, Vanua Levu and Viti Levu (where Nas lives and I'm hanging out). Vitu Levu has Nadi (the tourist capital) where Nas has her home, and Suva, (the political capital). However, these are just 2 of 300+ islands. The scenery is what most people consider paradise – golden sandy beaches, reefs, jungle-type mountains complete with waterfalls – all making beautiful locations for movie making.

Long before Bollywood invaded Fiji’s sparkling shores, Hollywood was here! Here are some movies made on the Fijian islands which you may recognize:

  • ·         Robinson Crusoe (1932)
  • ·         The Blue Lagoon (1948)
  • ·         The Blue Lagoon (1979) - remake
  • ·         The Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)
  • ·         Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)
  • ·         Cast Away (2000) – the island (Monuriki) is now unofficially called Tom Hanks Island and after a day trip there everyone wonders how Tom and his volleyball could drag themselves away. There is actually an island already called Castaway Island so they can't change it to that!
  • ·         Contact (Jodi Foster’s ‘heaven’ sequence)

For the Bollywood fans, the major movie currently being shot around Suva, Nadi and the islands, is Table 21, starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Tina Desai.

The reason why Hollywood stopped choosing Fiji for locations is because of the instability of its government. Since independence from the Brits after 96 years of colonial administration , then the first steps to Fijian self-government in 1960, there have been four coups, with Commodore Frank Bainimarama in charge since he declared himself President in 2006. Democratic elections are set for 2013. Registration is currently underway. Great news!

Maybe Hollywood will return!
As will I. On our go-to list for next week:

·         Cocktails, dinner and watching the fire dancers at Denarau (an island close to Nadi Town)
·         A bus trip all the way around our island, Viti Levu – via the Queens Road to Suva, then return via the Kings Road through the mountains.
·         A full day sailing on the Seaspray 83 foot classic schooner, visiting 9 islands, including a traditional Fijian village.
Plans are known to go awry, but that’s the plan for now! As you can imagine, there’ll be some awesome snaps.

The lucky couple at Denarau where you catch the boats for the islands.

Moce (Goodbye) and Vinaka (Thank You) for reading a little about Fiji.

This is reposted from my Denise Covey, L'Aussie Writer site, as I just paid a visit here to see that many people have been visiting. Sorry! And my background had gone silly, so I deleted it. All fresh and clean now!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

L'Aussie Travel is linking with L'Aussie Writer for now.

Gidday Mates!

2012 is going to be a big year for me - short story submissions, a short-story collection to be published and novels to finish, so please visit me at Denise Covey_L'Aussie Writer. I will not be able to maintain all my other blogs for the near future. For all my posts, even travel related, I will use L'Aussie Writer.

Thanks you for your loyalty and patience.

See ya later!

Denise, L'Aussie.