Sunday, 4 July 2010

Umbrellas and Fleece

Credit cards
An umbrella, some warm fleece trousers and a 2,400 watt heater were the first three items we purchased upon touch down in New Zealand today.

The temperature in Auckland as I type is a wet and blustery 11 degrees with promise that the mercury will drop still further.  Oh for the warmth of my 'adopted city' Singapore.

We had an inauspicious start at the Avis counter at Auckland airport when a rather bombastic Indian manager refused to release our pre-booked vehicle to us as we did not have a credit card.

The fact that Avis had accepted our booking and reconfirmed it with out needing credit card numbers cut no ice with him.  Our plan was to pay cash for the rental in advance, as other companies are quite willing to accept this transaction process.

The reason we do not have credit cards at the moment is that we cleared our accounts and cut up our Singapore cards before we left and it will not be until tomorrow when we visit our local bank that we can arrange for an NZ Visa card.

Finally in desperation we rang a friend and got them to provide their credit card details to Avis; only then could we take the car and make our way tot eh Botany Motor Inn in Dannemora, South Auckland where we are no domiciled.

Another friend paid a us lightening visit to welcome us and left us two packets of nuts to much upon.  A good choice of vittles!

Tonight's supper will be a fresh NZ Camembert cheese, pumpkin soup and soy and linseed toast.  I shall be resplendent in my Chinese fleece pajamas that I bought in Singapore's Chinatown.  This is the first time that in nearly forty years that I have worn trousers with fly buttons and my manual dexterity is not what it once was!

The remaining challenges include finding a place to live, buying a car and coming to grips with the difference in time zones.
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