So there was this Volvo right behind me as I drove down Grange Road. The woman driving it was trying her best to live up to theVolvo tradition – weaving all over road, trying to see if she could overtake me on the inside, for a couple of Ks down Grange Road.

We got to the T-junction at South Road, where the left lane can turn left or right, and the right lane can only turn right. I was turning right from the left lane. You following this? Okay. I saw the Volvo pull up behind me, noting its lack of indicator. Yup, the Volvo tradition. I was quietly pondering how outrageously difficult it is to use one’s indicator (the switch is, after all, right by your hand, which is normally located on the steering wheel in such situations) when she flashed me.

Why was she flashing me? Did she want to turn left and couldn’t figure out the arrows painted on the road, and therefore assumed I was in the wrong lane? Was she flashing me because I wasusing my indicators, and being a graduate of Volvo University Of Dodgy Driving she found it offensive and unnecessary to do so? The traffic light changed and we drove off, she turning right as I did, leaving me wondering what she was on about.

Around the corner was my destination:
. Of all the outdoors shops named after Asian cities, this is probably my favourite. This was the Hampton East branch, and don’t get me started on the stupidity of the locality of "Hampton East" extending to a point literally across the street from central

They have a sale on at the moment, and I wanted a jumper. The Kathmandu sales are well known, but I’m still struggling to understand some of the logic behind them.

  1. They seem to have sales every few months, and they last for about a month each. With the high level of discounts, I contend that you’d have to be out of your mind to pay full price. Or else they’re counting on the "Pack your bags, we leave for the Arctic tomorrow!" market.
  2. They announce the sale in advance, including within the store, so if you’re shopping there the week before, you have full knowledge of whether or not the product you’re going to buy will be cheaper (considerably cheaper usually – 50% is not unusual) if you just wait and come back.
  3. Further, I’ve been told by someone who should know that before the sale they start preparing sale goods, roping it off in isolation from the other stuff, so even if you are desperate to buy a particular item they won’t let you have it. "Sorry". "But I really want it! I’ll pay full retail!" "Come back on Thursday."

No matter, I found a nice jumper at half price, bought it, and went back to my car, whereupon a lady passing by pointed out that my petrol cap door thingy was open. Ah. Okay Volvo lady, I forgive you.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.