Mar 292007

Today I reached a point in my travels where I kinda thought I needed to stop for a while so I did some research into flying out of Japan and moving my dates back from New Zealand, skipping the side trip to South Korea and China – it’s hardly worth it for the time I’d have. I still wasn’t discounting a trip to Vanuatu, but then I checked my bank account! Yes, that put me on a downward spiral for the rest of the day I think. Every flight out of Japan to Bangkok I can book from here is around £600 plus, except one special I need to book by Saturday. My flight is ok to move though, with several dates out of New Zealand to Tokyo at the mid to end of May. I can’t seem to get access to any specials as I am not in Japan – sometimes I can’t understand the travel industry – surely a price available to one should be available to all! My last ditch is an email to an agency in Tokyo, otherwise I’ll be booking the special before I leave Christchurch I guess.
With this knowledge, I headed into town to get some extra pegs for my tent from R&R, check out car tyre prices, and pop into immigration to ask a few questions about their Skilled Migrant option. It wasn’t too helpful to go in there as there were no clear answers, but I found out the timescale after initial expression of interest is around two months to be invited to apply. If I walked in there with a job offer and all the paperwork it could, in theory, be sorted in a day!!!!! One day!!!! Anyway, that was just some information I gathered.
I then headed to R&R and blagged some new tent pegs. My mistake was not walking past everything looking at the carpet and walking straight back out again. I had already been hit knowing that I had to spend $180 on three new car tyres tomorrow. Then I saw my ticket to happieness!! As I walked past them, they stretched their polyester and lycra material out to me and grabbed me by the balls….
‘Try me on’ the squealed.
And so it was, before I knew it I was buying a really cool pair of Earth, Sea, Sky travel trousers. But they are so cool – just the kind of things I love buying – trousers that you never see any other places, and you can’t get back home, and comfy as ‘wear for anything’ trousers. Just they were $150 (but I got a discount from that…). The kind of trousers that just make you smile when you slip into them! And I bought them from a guy whose family runs it, and whose picture is in the brochure. What an outdoors gear sucker!
At the same time I got three day old voicemail messages from Tom, my mate who has my winter walking gear somewhere on the South Island. That explains the lack of contact – bloody Vodafone voicemail delays!!

Anyway, turns out Tom is in Wanaka, and gagging to get up the hills, so I’m going to stick around here until Saturday then drive over there, going heavily against my ‘plans’ made during bottle of wine#3 in the house last night, and maybe stop at Mount Cook village on the way. I’m just hoping my car doesn’t star burning oil again (‘Don’t worry about it’ the garage said).

Still, Richard helped me fix my windscreen washers that ‘didn’t work’ this morning. After using his Japanese language skills and deciphering the lingo on the fuse box (seriously, he does know the language after spending the best part of three years there), trying the fuses, he watched me try the wipers one last time.

He then pissed himself laughing, and ripped the piss out of me.
Turns out that you don’t pull the control stalk next to the steering wheel. If you push the end in, it squirts water. It worked all the time. Hey….how was I to know? Most of the marking on the stalks are worn out!!!! Oh how I laughed….

Anyway, it’s been great stopping here for several days just chilling out and generally doing very little. We’ve joked that when I move in, one of his housemates is already supplying the plasma TV so the hot tub is my purchase. We’re meeting another one of his housemates after her work tomorrow then I’m going to see what Christchurch nightlife has to offer before hitting the road on Saturday. I also got an email from another guy I met on the Anoconnda boat in the Whitsundays who is back home in Dunedin so that’s someone else for me to look up if I do make it down there!

 Posted by at 12:20 pm

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