Posted by Unknown |

In Wellington now.

Today has been quite a day. To give you an idea where I am, Jo and I are sitting here in a pokey and smokey, internet cafe in Wellington, about 2 minutes walk from our motel (The Gunhappy Shooter's Motor Inn, or something like that). The monitors are all grubby and everything on this computer is in an Asian language that I don't understand. Even the Internet Explorer messages are in another language, I have to say "yes" and "no" to all these things I don't understand. At least I think it's "yes" and "no" I'm saying. At least I understand the little "X" to close windows. This became particularly useful about five minutes ago when I got a pop up with a lovely video of two people practicing the art of procreation. I hope they were married. If they knew they popped up on my screen they'd probably be frightfully embarrassed. They should have sex in more private places. Next time they pop up perhaps I'll warn them that they left they're webcam on, happens to the best of us.

We left our lovely motel in Northcote, Auckland, at 7:55 this morning. We had to pick up the hire car at 8am, so we were running a little late. After spending many funny minutes trying to find "Scotties Car Rental". We arrived at around 8:30 and there was a distinct absence of Scottie-types.

They turned up at around 8:45 thinking we were planning to pick the car up at 9. Little did they know that we were actually planning to be at a church on the other side of Auckland at nine (luckily we weren't too late, Auckland is small enough that you can leave for one part at 8:30 and arrive in another part at 8:25, it's a bit like Parramatta on wheels, without the wheels.) We had a few issues getting the car (they tried to give us a manual, but neither Jo nor I drive manuals), and they told us that the insurance didn't cover us if we were drinking, on drugs, speeding, or Australians. I'm hoping the last bit was a joke.

We made it to the church at 9:18 and managed to arrive after the Sunday school had left, and the worship (musical kind) had finished. We were visiting friends and they had kindly saved us seats in the middle of the church (big charo-type church) and in the second row. That was nice of them. Everyone then knew we were visitors.

After church we set off for our trip with lots of lollies. I slept then drove. I liked being able to drive, was fun.

Around somewhere or other in the middle of New Zealand, we were driving along happily and I was contemplating overtaking a truck when I noticed a truck swerve suddenly, the car next to it was also swerving, and a dog came out from under its wheel. I noticed the van behind the car get very close, then it slowed down and was not so close again. The back of the car I noticed was a lot more compact that I remembered it being. Everyone slowed down very fast and I pulled out my best defensive driving maneuvers (Jo said she was very impressed). The truck kept driving and the car and van that had smashed into each other stopped in the middle of the right hand lane. We pulled up beside the car and asked if they'd be alright (the van looked fine). They said they'd be fine. We drove forward a metre before they asked us if we had a mobile. We did, so we pulled over (that was embarrassing as I had used up all my good driving on the emergency before).

I put on my hazard lights (very exciting) and we hopped out of the car. I went over to give the woman my phone. "Would you like the phone?" I asked.

"Call the police" she said

Suddenly I felt very stupid and like an bad traveler.

"I don't know the number. I'm from Australia"


I called and the voice on the other end asked if I wanted Police, Fire or Ambulance. "Police" I said (I've never got to do that before) then the crash lady took the phone off me and talked hysterically to the police. Her husband drove their car to the side of the road, it wasn't looking too good. The smashed up boot was ripping up the rear tires. Then the driver of the van came over to visit. He was a Maori man driving a bunch of interlectually disabled adults home after a day trip. They were all very nice and made the side of the road experience even more fun.

Eventually an over abundance of Police turned up and we were thanked and told we could go on with our holiday.

"Enjoy your holiday" the man said.

"We will"

"Sorry you lost the rugby" said the woman.

"Sorry you lost worse" replied I.

And then we were off. All in all it was quite an addition to our journey.

(The dog that got hit seemed fine. He ran off before anyone could help him.)

Following that we traveled through very Middle Earth looking country. I kept having to say "Frodo" in my best Shire accent at varying intervals.

We saw two very big snow-capped volcanos. Absolutely awesome. Makes me want to become a mountain worshiper. Yay God and His glorious creation. It really was a beautiful sight. The whole drive was pretty good.

In some town Jo and I ate dinner in a greasy Chinese fish and chip shop. The two men who worked there were lovely. I didn't eat much. I arrived feeling like I was going to vomit, didn't eat much, and left feeling closer to vomiting more than before. Jo drove from there, and I slept.

Now we are in Wellington and staying in our wonderful motel. Jo has left this crazy internet cafe, and no-one here has yet spoken English. I feel like I'm back at school. Or overseas. Very overseas. I'm enjoying it though. I like feeling like the odd one out at times. Not very often though.