Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Money goes Mobile

It was 10am so the backpackers' breakfast had been cleared away.  We had only just emerged from our slumbers.  I went to pay our dues.  Realising we had not eaten, the receptionist rushed away to fetch some food.  Bread, ham, spread, jam (rhymes well) and - hurrah - crunchy peanut butter.  It was like meeting an old friend.  

We had to visit the ANZ bank to prove who we were and validate our account.  It was a long walk down the steep Queen Street.  We passed a park where hundreds of cardboard boxes had been placed.  This was a protest about changes in gambling laws.  Either that or they were expecting a lot of homeless people over the weekend. 

At the bank, our enquiries were met with polite smiles then we were asked if we had an appointment.  We hadn't.  Oh dear!  This just happened to be the busiest branch in Auckland.  Step in the Deputy Manager.  He directed us to a member of staff who was unable to help as he had an appointment in five minutes.  (How long does it take to check a passport and a bank statement?). He did, however, check to see if anyone else was available.  We were sent, like naughty children, to sit on the chairs in the corner.  

Reappear Deputy Manager.  He had made an appointment for us at the branch across the road and would escort us.  (By now I am thinking he could have sorted it himself!). No worries.  At least they were helping.  Outside the door and across the road we went.  He introduced us to a lovely young woman then left.  She sorted everything, including Internet banking.  Not another password to remember.  At our age it's not easy.  Once, when purchasing a Motorhome, the bank asked for my password over the phone.  My mind went blank.  I whispered to Hubby,'What's our password?'  From down the phone, an angry voice shouted,'I can hear you!  You are not allowed to ask anyone.  Now I shall have to ask you some questions.'  The next twenty minutes were horrendous as I racked my brains to remember my unmemorable, memorable answers to questions.  That was all sorted finally and we did buy the Motorhome.  

We were almost sorted at the bank too.  There was just the small question of the bank cards.  We had assumed they would be handed out there.  No, they would be ready in 3-5 days.  Even we didn't know where we would be by then, so we made a wild assumption and said 'Katikati'.  Our cards would be delivered to the branch there.

After sorting out the bank account, we walked further down Queen Street.  We checked out various shops for mobiles, wifi and any other devices we might need.  Being unable to communicate with loved ones knocks me for six.  Goodness knows how the early travellers survived being unable to know how people were or what was happening in Coronation Street (tongue in cheek for the latter).  

Unable to make decisions, we took a walk down Memory Lane to see the harbour and the backpackers where we stayed seven years ago.  That brought back happy memories of our travels in Spaceship Leia.  No, I am not fantasising.  That was the name of our converted people carrier.  Back seats removed and a bed frame inserted.  Hinges at either end for storage of haversacks, pots and pans.  It even had the world's tiniest fridge.  We had considered a spaceship for this trip.  Old age, new hips and night visits to the WC would have made it impractical.

However, a vehicle of any description would have been appreciated as we wearily plodded back up the hill.  Hubby offered his hand now and again when he saw I was flagging.  As a reward for reaching the summit, we visited a couple of charity shops, before heading for the eating mall.  We had a choice of several Asian cuisines.  We chose the Makaysian section because we haven't visited there yet.  Perhaps we will in the future because the food was so tasty.  I was also impressed with the waitress' mind-reading technique.  Before I could ask for it, she produced a bottle of ginger beer and said,'For you!'  Now, had she been on the plane that had none??  That was a nee-nah moment.  Obviously a trainee fortune teller.

Wearily we ate our meal using the chopsticks.  The cashew nuts were much easier to direct into the mouth than the long noodles.  I must ask the lovely Danni for a lesson in using them properly next year.  

Both plates empty, we only had a few yards to walk back to the hostel (metres to you young things).  A hot chocolate seemed like a good idea.  We hoped to sit on the verandah.  Our hopes were dashed as too many people were smoking out there.  The sofa and tv zapper were firmly in the bottoms and hands of some young things.  Mugs in hands, we retired gracefully to our 'apartment' to check the Internet and have some much needed sleep! X x 

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