Personal Tourist Information
Wind: East sou'east F3 gentle breeze
Weather: sunny, mild
As per usual, the morning maintenance was attended to, which included cleaning the BRM's heat exchanger. I had been meaning to do this for a while but when I went to do it in Guam I could not find the O-rings I had purchased in Cairns for the job. I knew they would eventually turn up but it had started to worry me when eventually might be. Well that eventually was today so now the job is done for the first time.
About mid-afternoon I pursued my ashore objectives, firstly to visit the tourist information centre which the Lonely Planet Guide claimed lay on the second floor of the Ferry Terminal in the port, there to hopefully find some answers to various questions I had, mainly about logistics. I found the building without difficulty after a bit of a hike, but at the second floor there was no sign of a tourist information centre and all was very quiet. I examined some brochures that were scattered about, but they were all written in Kanji, and though the pictures seemed to indicate that they contained some tantalisingly interesting information their meaning was completely opaque to me. A sign indicated that there was a free wi-fi available at the Ferry Terminal and while I was setting my netbook up a little old lady came up to me and enquired cheerfully what it was that I wanted, or at least I presume that is what she was asking me.
To me the conversation seemed almost completely pointless. The lady persisted in talking about goodness knows what. I think she was under the impression that I had missed a ferry. I tried my best to communicate with her, trying to tell her that I was looking for the tourist information office. I really had no idea what she was saying and I did my best to be polite and to smile while at the same time feeling a little frustrated at yet another person persisting in talking when it must surely have been obvious that not a word of meaningful dialogue was being exchanged between us. She soon disappeared and I got on with trying to see if I could make use of the free wifi network.
After messing about with the netbook for some twenty minutes it became apparent that the wifi network was a bit of a con and I could not get a connection. It was at about this point when the little old lady returned with a young man in tow. It turned out that he was from the tourist information centre which was no longer located in the ferry terminal. He, Eijiro, spoke excellent English and invited me to get into his car and he would drive me to where the Tourist Information centre was now located. It seemed my little old lady had in fact discerned what it was that I was after but because I was clearly as thick as two short planks she had taken it upon herself to go and fetch the tourist information centre to me. Initially I thought that she might have walked a short distance to fetch Eijiro but after sitting in his car for about fifteen minutes, we left the township and sugar cane plots and potato fields whizzed by. It became apparent that my little old lady had indeed gone some ways out of her way. Of course, it also occurs to me that she might have phoned Eijiro (by now I knew him by his nickname of Age, and that he had spent three years as a dive instructor in Cairns), but regardless I was rather dumbstruck at the trouble that was being gone to on my behalf. Once at Age's office he invited me to ask him whatever questions I had and he would attempt to help me. First was trying to get an internet connection. He had one in his office which he invited me to use and also advised me that I could use the library which was very close to the fishing harbour where Sylph was tied up. The next problem I asked him about was getting the problem with my netbook sorted out. Before I knew it Age was driving me to a computer repair shop. It seems I must be the only tourist on the island for the moment, for I was certainly receiving very personalised service.
It is getting late, so to summarise the rest of the day, the netbook has since been left in the hands of the computer repair man, Age drove me to a hardware store in pursuit of another item I was after, than back to Sylph, and tomorrow he will visit again and give me a tour of the island. Later in the afternoon we will pick up my netbook, and then I believe I have been invited to dinner. Quite amazing really.
All is well.