June 2024

The fun has started


The fun started at about 4:30pm today. Before that, not so fun. Let me explain.

We woke up really early this morning, 8am, to get our shit together for checking out, and preparing for the airport to let us know if the bag was getting dropped off or not. We had a plan – if they had found my bag, it would be arriving at 9am on the same flight that we had arrived on the day before. If that was the case, they’d be able to drop it off to us before noon and we’d be on our merry way. If that was not the case, we’d spend all morning on the phone with VISA figuring out how much they’d reimburse us for losing luggage. That wasn’t the prefered scenario, but we really didn’t have much of a choice. I had a few things I need to buy anyways, so this would give us a chance to get those things for free!

So, 10am rolls around, and I call the airport. They have no idea where my bag is. The flight was actually delayed, so they’d let me know in about an hour.

11am, I call again. They still have no idea where my bag is.

Noon, I call again. No bag, but the woman I spoke to will try to go find it MANUALLY (the computer systems here lick). She’ll call me back in 15 mins.

12:30, I call again. They found it! They’ll send it out before 2pm. The wanted to confirm that we were still at the Fat Camel. We were. We told them we’d wait in the lobby. Awesome! Things are looking up!

2:15. Bag hasn’t arrived, so I call again. It hasn’t even been sent out, because they aren’t sure where we are, even though we confirmed that we were at the Fat Camel. It’ll be sent out right away, be there before 3:30. At this point, we need to pick up our van by 3pm, because they close at 4 and they need an hour to do the paperwork and inspection and stuff. So now we go over to the van place and get that process started, waiting for the stupid luggage to arrive at the hostel. Luckily, the van place is about a 2 min walk from the hostel (totally random event that was NOT planned for).

3pm. We are doing the inspection on the van, and Kenna thought I should go back to the hostel to check if the bag made it. The guy at the front desk informs me that there was a call for me and they’d call me back in 10 mins. I wait 10 mins, and sure enough, they call. They need to confirm that it is, in fact my bag, and that I am, in fact, still at the Fat Camel. What is wrong with these people?! It hasn’t been sent yet. Let’s see… I’ve called them about twenty times to harrass them about my bag, and they need to call me to confirm that I’m ME, and still at the FC? Seriously… so finally, the bag is getting shipped out priority urgent.

4:30. Bag finally arrives. The fun begins. RIGHT-HAND DRIVE! Let me tell you about our van. Well, it’s pink, with a few hindu gods on it and it’s called….wait for it….HAPPY DIWALI! Kenna thinks it is a hilarious sight me driving this thing. We have gotten tons of thumbs up and waves on the road…quite some sight we are! Anyway, Happy Diwali has been pretty good to us, and we love her dearly.

Kenna feels much better after we got the bag and picked up Happy Diwali.

Kenna feels much better after we got the bag and picked up Happy Diwali.

So anyway, right hand drive…. Friday night, 5pm in Auckland rush-hour traffic, and Scott has no idea what the hell he’s doing. Luckily we got an automatic (upon Kenna’s urging) – not that I’m afraid of driving stick or anything, it’s that the stick is in the left hand. I dunno about other guys, but I’m used to using my stick right-handed. No left-handed action here.

After an hour of pretty harrowing driving on the wrong side of the road in Auckland, missing turn after turn because of my inability to change lanes and figure out how the hell society functions in an opposite environment, and in a van four times the size of my car, we finally get passed our destination and have to U-turn (at a point where I almost creamed somebody passing me on the right – not used to that either). We’re glad we missed the destination, because the scenery we were at was breathtaking. Kenna’s bad navigation skills come in handy again! Just kidding, Kenna. I’m sure it was a result of Kenna having had about 500 calories total intake in 4 days.

Happy Diwali.  He's loves to chug the gas.

Happy Diwali. He (she?) loves to chug the gas.

So now, we are reading in our dinky little camper van, with the sound of waves pounding about 50ft from us. We’re in Waiwera, about an hour north of Auckland. I guess Waiwera has some natural hot pools, and they built a resort around it. We went and hung out at NZ’s version of an outdoor West Ed waterpark complete with hot pools. Gotta get up early for the sunrise over the water and distant islands, apparently it’s stunning. Will post pictures!

This is view we're looking at right now.

This is view we're looking at right now.

3 comments to The fun has started

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