My day started well enough since I did wake up, but it went down hill rapidly. My wife was setting out for a simple chore at the nearby shopping centre in Boxhill. The address of course is a clue being a suburb of Melbourne. I try to avoid Melbourne nearly as hard as I try to avoid shopping centres so when I suggested I might accompany her I failed to realise that it was akin to carrying a dead albatross under a ladder. She looked at me with a great deal of suspicion but seemed satisfied with my explanation that I needed a mini USB lead. The real truth was a much sorrier story, I was so bored reading Fifty Shades of Grey that anything was preferable to ploughing through another page.
So I left Erika James to her BDSM and went off to try some for myself at Boxhill. Like most shopping centres, the car park between level ramps are just a touch narrow for some of our newer citizens who some how have managed to get a license. I go right to he roof running the gauntlet at each ramp, let Erika try that for real masochism. My wife sets off on her errand while I leisurely inspect the Centre map for directions to Dick Smith. Looks easy, it is located in a separate section called the South Plaza, so I set off in a southerly direction - it cannot be too far. After walking about 2 km south I realise that there is not going to be a shopping plaza in what is now a residential area. Silly me to assume that the South Plaza would be south, so I turn back north and retrace my steps. Back at the North (?) Plaza I ask a passer by for directions to the South Plaza, he replies in Cantonese (or Mandarin, I am not fluent in either) and hurries off, no doubt worried about negotiating the ramps in the car park. Fortunately I find another centre map and deduce from it that the South Plaza is actually west of the North Plaza. I check the sun for west but that of course is a waste of time, there is clearly no sun. Come to think of it I have not seen the sun since I arrived.
Sun or no sun I know west from south and set out for South (West?) Plaza which I now find easily enough, Dick Smith here I come. I am distracted by a woman talking to some one I cannot see. I look carefully around but no one seems to be listening to her. Her conversation actually does make sense so perhaps her companion is just invisible to me - I cannot think of any way to decide if her partner is invisible to all or just me without actually asking some one. Which is what I do. The startled look I get in response to my question is sufficient to send me scuttling off without a satisfactory answer but the evidence suggesting that her friend was only invisible to me.
Invisibility is becoming a problem as I have arrived at Dick Smith but it is not there, I would ask some one but you recall I do not speak Cantonese. So I hurry back to the map to check, the woman is gone or maybe I just cannot see her now. A careful check of the map reveals that indeed Dick Smith is where I was so I go back for another look. The map is right Dick Smith is there carefully concealed behind some hoarding which announces 'renovations in progress'. When I enter the store once more I am invisible. Despite the fact that there is only me and seven shop assistants, clearly they cannot see me. So I rummage around the store until I find my trinket and head for the cash register, suddenly I understand now that as long as I have a credit card in my hand I am visible.
So I head off to the east credit card firmly clutched in my hand so that I am visible, it works no one actually walks into me now. I find the North (East?) Plaza but the entrance is now a blank wall, some one has bricked it over while I have been away. I decide to circumnavigate the building to find the entrance I know but soon find myself in a maze of narrow alleys. Shaken but not daunted I persevere and eventually emerge into a mall complete with an entrance to the Plaza.
The rest as they say is history. After some misadventures with signs that pointed down to the car park when I knew it was above me and a brief interval on the platform of a rail way station (true I swear it, I found a rail station under the Plaza), I arrive at the car park roof simultaneously with my wife. She looks at me suspiciously and says 'I saw you going down on an escalator just a moment ago, where were you going ?'. Happily because clearly I had been visible, I reply 'I went to look at the trains'. The look she gives me is not reassuring, apparently she does not know about the trains. Then again maybe there weren't any trains.
Perhaps I should also mention that the USB lead was the wrong one, my wife suggested we go back and change it but I did not want to push my luck.