|Photo courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald. But mine were better!|
Snapping photos all day long with kangaroos and koalas can really make you tired. After a great dinner and long day walking around the animal park here in Perth, Australia I absentmindedly left my camera sitting on the restaurant table alongside a pile of empty plates, platters, and beer samples. Wanting to review all of our amazing photos I dug through my canvas bag for my camera only to remember I left it sitting on the restaurant table. We made a call and luckily they had found my orange memory taker and attached a paper with my name and number to it before putting it in their lost and found box. Because we weren't very close to Fremantle and it was getting late, my friend let them know we would be picking it up the following day. So the next when my friend got off work he drove me over to pick up the camera however we were told that it wasn't there anymore. After a very unconvincing conversation with the manager I left feeling angry and upset that the staff had been so dumb as to put my camera somewhere where it might be stolen by one of their own staff members. I was told that maybe the manager had put it in a secret location, but that they couldn't get a hold of her. The next morning the manager on duty finally stated that one of their staff members had stolen the camera and that he felt embarrassed and terrible about the whole situation. My camera was gone. All of my lovely kangaroo, dingo, koala,wallaby, and goat photos were lost forever. And someone working for their restaurant had taken it.
The restaurant decided to take $500 from each staff members tips and to hold a staff meeting that day encouraging the thief to return the camera to a secret location. The next morning I took a boat ride in the river from Perth to Fremantle only to be told that no one had returned the camera. The restaurant agreed to pay me $520 cash so that I could go buy a new camera and memory chip before leaving Australia and continuing my travels. They also agreed to ship my camera back to me if it was ever returned.
It's unfortunate that I lost all of my precious memories at the animal park in Australia, but it was definitely a lesson learned. When you start traveling and spending long days walking around and get little sleep the nights before you can easily leave something behind. From this day on my camera will be attached to my body with the dorky neck camera strap. I was able to purchase the same camera from a store here in Perth. And then when I got home I was wiping off the lens and my anal eyes noticed a speck of dust trapped inside the lens of the camera. I went back to the camera store the next morning and showed them the small piece of dust. However, I really didn't want to exchange the camera for a new one because they didn't have anymore orange ones. The entire point of having this camera is so that I can take it in the water with me and the bright orange casing is great in the water. All of the photos appeared to be perfectly normal and there was clearly no problem with the camera. I am just such a perfectionist that I can see the tiny piece of dust and it drives me crazy! The men at the store said it really was ok because the camera can't focus enough to ever catch the piece of dust in a photo. I walked around downtown Perth the rest of the morning taking photos and testing everything out to make sure there were no further problems.
Finally, I settled and went home with my brand new camera, perfectly new but with a tiny piece of dust in the lens. At least I have a new camera and didn't have to pay for a new one. I need to learn to not be such a perfectionist with everything in my life. And maybe this camera is the start of that! So for those of you traveling, remember that when you are tired you are more likely to lose something. So triple check that you have all of your belongings before getting up from a restaurant, bus, plane, or wherever you were hanging out at.
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