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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A quick travel tip

I am putting this in as a warning to other intrepid travellers who may foolishly rely on the standardisation of the EU.

The issue I have is with electric plugs, and the adapters one uses to get power out. I am cunning, and I carry an Australian-standard power board with four outlets, and one adapter for each country I plan to visit.  We often have two cameras, two tables, one netbook, one iPod and two phones with us, so four outlets isn't excessive, but it's enough, provided we can plug the powerboard in, hence my tale.

I have edited and/or prepared 16,000 words of text in the past four days, and my mind is turning to goo, because it's all about serious physics stuff.  So I am doing some file-gardening, and I came across two pictures of EU standard adapter plugs, both of which work in Italy.

In theory, one adapter should do for the whole of the EU, because they are standardised.  The practice is different.

The problem is that the fat one is the EU standard, but the Italians often have skinny socket, and if you ram the fat plug in, you may break the socket.  A few of the sockets take both, but you need an adapter for the adapter, and these aren't easy to find in the middle of a city like Rome, because hardware/electrical stores are not in high demand among tourists.

The plug on the left is an adapter for the adapter, and they fit together like this:

Don't be alarmed, but do be wary!

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