Then reality struck home. He could get lost and we'd miss our flight. With an enormous effort, I threw off the bedclothes and stumbled to the bathroom. The Oral B's final moment. Farewell little tube friend. You have been brave and true.
Off we set. It was already hot and sunny. The weather lady had predicted a scorcher followed by a storm. We knew our way to the cathedral more or less. We only went up instead of down once. That was easily corrected. Late night ( or early morning couples?) walked through the park. Hubby's eagle-eyed sight focused on one young lady having her bare bottom caressed by her fervent admirer. Oh I say!! I fear I blushed at this revelation. In the park too Mr Darcy.
Safely inside church, it seemed the priest was in a hurry. He was probably hungry and in need of breakfast. The female reader showed no such inclination. Like a Hollywood star in an audition, she drawled over every word. She put such expression into her voice. Everyone sat up and listened. Although not many had chosen the early morning Mass, they did reflect the diverse community. It's not every day you have real surfers sitting alongside the Silver Surfers.
Mass over and it was a hasty return for breakfast. We had the usual hassle with the lift card. Up-down-up-locked. Still no green light. It was such a relief when another guest managed to get his card to zoom us to the correct floor. Time for me to play with the fun 97% fat free pancake making machine, then to layer my beautiful efforts with syrup and bacon. Yum-mee!!
With a full tum and a happy heart I set about the unique method of packing a million clothes us family history book, clothes line, two pegs, umbrella, medicines, bowl, mug, knife, fork and spoon into my suitcase. Other bits were squashed into the small haversack which had been scrutinised for any pieces of random fresh food. Nothing was going to stop my entry to New Zealand. Or was it??
We checked out and asked if we could use the business centre until our lift arrived. Not a problem. I went online to check our flight. BIG problem. It didn't exist. I double and triple checked. Still not there. I tried to phone Plane Man. It was obviously his day off. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. What would we do? The ever-calm Hubby told me not to worry as it would be sorted. I was not so sure.
Our transport to the airport arrived spot on time. Once there we looked on the departure board. Still no sign of our flight. We found a voluntary help desk. Two elderly volunteers in yellow Hi-de-Hi Campers' blazers looked very smart and tried their best to assist us. They thought it was an oversight. The flight was in their book. In their book it might have been but going in the air it definitely wasn't.
That fact was confirmed by the very jolly Qantas worker. It had been cancelled on the 8th October. According to their records, they had tried to contact us at Bangkok Airport. Well, they hadn't tried very hard, had they? We had been to their check-in desk, sat in the airport and flown with them for several hours but no one had mentioned it!!
To add insult to injury, when the check-in lady, being a kindly soul, asked her supervisor if she could give us vouchers for food or drink, she refused. Her reason - they had tried to contact us. How? Where?? Surely they had our email address. No, they don't use emails. What sort of world do we live in? Can you tell from my tone that I was not a happy bunny. Airport food and drink was not going to be cheap.
Still, I had to try to be positive. We did have a seat on a later plane to Auckland and we could take advantage of Wifi to email, blog and send a very special card to our daughter. We had just heard that she was sporting a black eye. That probably accounted for the severe pain I had in my eye one day recently and the nagging worry until I heard from her. Just one of my odd traits I am afraid.
Hunger pains struck. I went on an exploration trip to see what we could afford. I had little left in my purse and I didn't want to have to empty my haversack all over the floor to find my 'Norfolk Island' pocket money. After visiting all the outlets, I returned to the one closest to us. The waitress must have noticed me checking out the opposition. Now she kept me waiting and waiting. Revenge I supposed. Any other day I would have walked away but I bit my tongue and smiled sweetly when she deigned to serve me.
Eating and drinking had the usual effect. I needed the washroom. Hubby sent me off in the right direction. 'After the didgeridoos,' he said. Whether it was the sight of those enormous long hard sticks with their Aboriginal art work, I shall never know. The only toilets I could see were barred by a blue barrier belt. I thought that perhaps there was a gap at the end of Gate 9 so I sidled through, pretending that I was on a flight leaving from there. No gap, so then I had to sidle out but somewhat faster as my toilet urge had grown. An airport worker was approaching. I consulted her and immediately felt very foolish. I turned 180 degrees. There they were. I should have turned left after the didgeridoos. Airports always confuse me. I think I should go on an airport phobia course. I am fine once I get on the plane.
My nerves were rather frazzled following the lack of flight fiasco. Now I watched anxiously to see if we were going to be delayed. I had heard that a storm was brewing and I wanted to be away before it broke. Guess what? We were delayed. Dark storm clouds gathered. We were boarding slowly, row by row, as there was a tremendous heat in the walkway to the plane. The staff did not want passengers to be overcome.
Our row was called forward, we thought. No, that was another flight with a masculine caller. At least our lady had a sense of humour and deepened her voice when it was our turn. Down the ramp we went. Now I know what a turkey feels like at Christmas, except I wasn't being stuffed.
Seated, seatbelt fastened and 'Man of Steel' selected on the movie list. We took off. The plane shook and rattled. I tried hard to concentrate on the film. Out of the corner of my eye, the lightening flashed. I needed something else to distract me from the weather.
My wish was granted in the form of a robotic attendant. He could turn on the charm at two paces. Click. There was the smile. Click. Smile gone. On to the next customer. Click. Smile on again. He knew the set routine inside out but was none too happy if you diverted him from that. An icy look would briefly appear before the set grin came back. 'I'm sorry madam. We don't have ginger beer, just ginger ale. Oh, you just want WATER, then. Oh, ok.' He was so smarmy and irritating. Bring back the elderly attendants from the lady flight!!
I do dislike missing the end of flights. It looked like this was going to happen. Constant interruptions from flight staff halted the film. Yes I knew we were approaching Auckland. Yes I knew my seat had to be in the upright position. Was I bothered what temperature it was there? I had a coat if it was cold. We were descending. Touch down and..... End of film. Perfect timing if a little stilted.
Customs and Immigration at Auckland were an absolute dream. Joking and laughing, they let us in. Hubby with his tea-bags, me with my beads. All declared and accounted for. Our bags had been rather slow in arriving but it had been fun watching the unusual luggage. One family waited for their bows and arrows, having participated in an international shooting competition in South Africa. As they didn't appear to have any animal skins, I assumed they were only aiming at targets.
It was past 1am by the time we came out of the airport. Instead of taking the City bus which could have dropped us anywhere, we joined forces with an Asian family group to travel on a minibus which would take us right to the door. Only one female spoke English, so she acted as the interpreter for the rest of the party. We never did find out where they were heading as we were the first to exit, right outside KCity Road Travellers, our backpacker stop. We were very relieved to find that the late night door code worked. It would have been a night in the police cells otherwise.
Up two flights of stairs, past the Sensual Room (what?!) to reception. An envelope containing the key to Room 8 was waiting for us. What would we find? A large room with a rail for clothes, one double and a single bed. Our double was soo comfy with sweet-smelling, clean sheets. Our heads hit the pillows and we were fast asleep. We had arrived!!