A couple of months ago J had a trip to her orthodontist. At the time it was quite something - we'd been locked out of NSW because of the Covid-19 border closure and the border restrictions had only just started to ease.
Yesterday it was my turn for a trip to the dentist - nothing special, just a regular clean and checkup, but because I damaged my jaw coming off my bike forty years ago, I sometimes have to have a bit more of an examination where they check for any developing problems from my accident. To do this means going somewhere with a specialist x-ray machine that can do whole jaw scans, and these days produce a nice little 3D image.
So not surprisingly I go to the same specialist dental practice in Albury as J goes to.
As before, rather than queue at the main border crossing in Albury where there's often a two or three kilometre queue I want round by Howlong, where there were only three or four cars in front of me at the border.
Again the NSW cops were friendly, relaxed and efficient, and I was across in a couple of minutes.
I'd given myself plenty of time to get to my appointment, which meant that despite the 80 odd kilometre drive (as opposed to a more normal 40) to the medical centre I was half an hour early.
It was a warm October day, so I went and sat in the Botanic Gardens across the road and checked my phone. NSW was the same as before - no compulsory mask wearing, but still with hand sanitiser everywhere and limits on how many people could be in a location at any one time.
As restrictions had eased on our side of the border since our last visit the contrast was not so stark as it had been - we've become used to the sight of people being able to once more sit outside and have a coffee with friends.
Still it was pleasant to not have to wear a mask - even the medical centre didn't require mask wearing, although understandably quite a few people were wearing them.
In the event, the checkup was fine. No problems had developed over the nine or so months since my last checkup, so the whole visit took less than an hour.
Coming back, I crossed back into Victoria using the main Albury Wodonga crossing. There were no checks entering Victoria so traffic moved fairly normally going in but there was a massive queue for traffic going into NSW, reminiscent of crossing borders in pre Schengen Europe ...