So my trip to NZ started out “rough enough”. The flights there were fine, because I made great use of my Rules When Flying . I wasn’t even stopped going through Customs with a package of human remains and some prescription speed (NB Christchurch is the best place to not get stopped if you’re looking suspicious), although I will point out that I was “randomly selected” for explosives searches at all possible places throughout my travels. I guess people still associate tattoos with bombs. tsk tsk.
When I arrived at Christchurch, I was greeted by my 2 BFFs (although I feel a little bit unsanitary using that term) Heidi and Corrina, and they had fashioned this amazing sign:
So all was well, the body searching had been forgiven and forgotten. I called my booked hire car to come and pick us up, and was told by the guy at the other end of the phone that I had booked for January, not February. I immediately emailed him the webmaster booking confirmation with the dates clearly confirmed for February, and he was very unhelpful. Heidi took over the call and put on her “business” voice, which involved using such interrogation techniques as “can I speak to the Webmaster? Is the Webmaster even a person?” and “this car is booked, you made a mistake and now we are stranded, and you won’t do anything to help.” GO HEIDI!!! In the end, he wouldn’t offer us ANY cars and we were forced to try other companies, which was a bitch because this company had quoted $294 for 6 days with full insurance, and thats what I had budgeted for.
I will publicly name and shame this company, it is Quality Rental and they are NOT QUALITY. They were extremely unhelpful and because of them, I not only had to pay more for a hire car, we lost about 2 hours fucking around trying to get another car, and so were not able to stop at Kurow on the way down, forcing us to have to make a completely separate trip there on the Friday, and another $100 in petrol. The hire car company that we ended up using was http://www.a2brentals.co.nz/ and they were so helpful and lovely, I will definitely use this company again. So we got on the road and had a fun trip down to Dunedin, stopping for a few shandys and a few gambles. I must admit I was quite
fond of surprised at Heidi’s developed enthusiasm for the pokies. At a pub on State Highway 1, she left Corrina and I in the car with a bag of ready salted chips and a raspberry/coke while she played the pokies for 3 hours*
When we got to Dunedin I met up with Alysia, Benno and Kat (fellow Perth folk) and a childhood Dunedin friend Dr. Suneil “the cooler twin” (no offense Kamahl) Connor, C.A. to go to Vivace and “have a good time!!!!” Funnily enough, the owners wife Michelle actually remembered Alysia and I from back in the day, and she woke her husband Sunny at 1am to come and hang out with us. He kept the place open late just for us and it was a hilarious time.
Aotearoa, Part 2: “The Rise and Fall of the Goon Bag” is coming soon, and in the meantime I will leave you with an ancient Maori proverb to reflect on. “Kī tōnu taku waka topaki i te tuna”. My hovercraft is full of eels.
Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxox
* This may, or may not, have not actually happened.