Adaptability – always a good thing, whether it’s switching effortlessly between riding a pushbike and flying an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, or helping a European hairdryer power up from an American wall socket. No prizes for guessing which of those scenarios most resembles the daily grind of the Skross family of adaptors.
Electricity is a pain in the arse to the traveller. 2-pole, 3-pin, earthed, 220v, 120v, 2.1 amp … “WHY CAN’T IT ALL BE THE SAME??” we cry. Well, then we might as well all use the same money and speak the same language – it’s all part of the rich tapestry of travel. It is still a pain the arse though, especially in these modern times when half your pack weight seems to be taken up by chargeable electronic devices: your phone, tablet, camera, laptop, iPod, speakers, even a portable power source. Back in the old days the most technological item in your arsenal was your torch and now even that simple piece of kit is an over-complicated beast with seven modes, three power options and bright enough to light up the moon. Even your passport has a chip so that your identity can be stolen and sold to a Somali immigrant and before you know it you’ll be arrested in Woolworths for piracy on the high seas.
I digress. Some sort of travel adaptor is clearly necessary for most travellers, and after a thorough search of the internet I found this little Swiss beauty – the Skross World Adaptor EVO USB. Why was I searching the internet, contributing to the death of retail? Well, because of Australia’s progressive/antiquated nanny-state legality, that’s why, where adaptors which do not convert voltage cannot be sold. Adaptors with inputs and outputs for all the gizmos in the world, such as this Skross thingummy, are not clever enough to also convert the voltage coming from the socket to that exactly required to safely power the gizmo. So rather than trust her good citizens to read the destructions and use the device safely, she has ruled to ban them altogether. What’s next – ban hedge trimmers in case some idiot tries to use one to shave?
I digress. The consequences of voltage non-conversion are ignored or safely dealt with by most of the rest of the world, but what are these potential consequences? Well, if the power output is 110 volts and one plugs in a 230 volt hairdryer, the device *gasp* might not work properly! Imagine that hairdryer only blowing vaguely warm air weakly across your fair locks. Noooooo! Thank you over-protective Australian government – you’ve saved us all from a horrific fate! I’m being flippant, of course. Try the same experiment the other way around and the resultant surge could blow the fuse or melt the power cable, set fire to the curtains and burn down the guesthouse, and possibly the entire slum district in which it is located. Stranger things have happened, such as the time I inadvertently caused the collapse of the Argentine economy by over-exerting myself in the bathroom. Damn that butterfly effect.
If, however, you decide to risk your life by using this adaptor, you will also get the benefits of its twin USB outlets – a boon for 80% of the common travellers’ charging needs. And the elegant lines and ergonomically-curved buttons and sliders are worthy of H.R. Giger, the famous Swiss biomechanical artist and designer, even more so were the unit moulded in the shape of a twisted penile shaft. Maybe a Giger/Skross collaborative special edition adaptor is in the works? The possibilities are endless.