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400 Day LETS Odyssey
Copyright � James Taris

JAMES TARIS around the World- (2003-4)

Francine (left) and I were featured on TV's prime time show, Brisbane Extra,
when they screened a special program on LETS. Next to me is
the cameraman and the show's interviewer.

AUSTRALIA - [QLD] Logan, Brisbane, (Wk.1 of 3 weeks)
Week 53 of World Tour

Four Minutes Of Fame

After 12 months of travelling through 12 countries on 4 continents, arriving back to Australia wasn’t without its fair share of excitement.

Soon after the plane left Auckland, on transit from San Francisco to Brisbane, the pilot made the following announcement after going through some bad weather.

“Some of you may have noticed some sparks coming from the left wing of the aircraft. There’s no need to worry. We’ve just been struck by lightning.”

And it didn’t help much when he added that it was a normal occurrence and the plane was designed to handle it. My only delight was that the movie they were about to show was Mooseport and not Airport!

Jessie was waiting for me at Brisbane Airport. Even though she wasn’t hosting me, she became an invaluable part of my tour when, at the last minute, she agreed to be my Queensland Tour Organiser. And she’d done a marvelous job.

“On Tuesday we’re going to Brisbane for a TV shoot. Brisbane Extra is a prime-time Channel 9 program and they’re doing a special on bartering. They’ll be featuring LETS as a part of the program and they want to interview you about your world tour. It’ll be televised this Saturday at 5.30pm.”

Wow! What a home-coming welcome. They say that getting recognised for your achievements is most difficult in your own hometown. And even though Brisbane was 2,000 km north of Melbourne, I felt very much at home now I was back in Australia.

Two days later, Jessie drove me from Logan, where I was being hosted, to Francine’s Massage Clinic in Brisbane, about a 45-minute drive north. The camera crew was arriving at 9.30am, and we made sure we were there before they arrived. Most of these so-called documentary style shoots are always pre-arranged, so I was going to be casually visiting a LETS member to get a massage, without using cash, and the TV crew were just going to happen to be there to capture the trade. Sounds a bit tacky, but it always works because the viewing audiences have grown to forget there’s a director and camera crew behind everything that’s screened on TV.

Finally, Saturday, June 5 arrived, and Jessie drove me to Marg’s in Brisbane where I was to meet with some BrisLETS members and then watch the TV interview at 5.30pm. We had a room full of members by the time the show started, and we waited patiently until the LETS segment came on at the end of the show. It had been promoted all through the week, and was the highlight of the 30-minute Lifestyle program. Anyway, the 30 minutes of interviews with Jessie, Francine and I got edited down to about 4 minutes of viewing time. But that’s normal, and 4 minutes on prime time TV is better than 40 hours on community TV.

This was confirmed when I went to collect my photos from a photo shop on Monday morning. As soon as I walked in to the store, the girl behind the counter said, “I saw you on TV the other night.”

So flattering.

This article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey

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