My last day in Canada was a bit stressful. Had hoped to sleep in, but awoke early. Even after a leisurely breakfast in bed (tea and toast) it wasn’t even time for my (now ex) office to open up on campus. I puttered on the ‘puter, then got into gear. My agenda was:
- Haircut and shave
- A wee shop
- Tidy the place
#7, it turns out, was the buggar. I had 2 free bags and was planning on paying $70 for a third. 3 x 23kg + 2*7kg (carry-ons; yay Star Alliance gold) = lots of stuff, right?
First luggage scale snapped in two, which is never a good sign. Bought a new one and the bags weighed in at 35, 28 and 27kg each. After multiple repacks I got it down to 23, 25 and 25: no matter what I took out of those other bags they weighed the same. Eventually I gave up and left 4 shirts and one sweater. I had my second ablute, got dressed and awaited my driver.
Driver gave me the loveliest, most personal card I’ve ever received and neither one of us could stop crying. The traffic jam enroute to YVR helped though. At check-in it turns out my scale was off by 1.5-2kg per bag. Poor shirts and sweater, left behind for no good reason. So I purged a bit from my carry-on into the checked bag, was through security and ready to board.
I’ve flown Air NZ many times and they’ve never disappointed. Nice 777-200. Comfortable seat, excellent meal (beef curry), exceedingly prompt and professional service, and the best cuppa in the sky. There was an empty seat next to me for my debris too. So after dinner and a movie, I took 2 sleeping pills and slept for almost 8 hours (even with a toilet break). Woke up, refreshed, had brekkie and we landed–almost an hour EARLY at 415AM!
The uni had sent a car for me, but my sister-in-law and the girls got up and surprised me with a welcome balloon–lovely! We agreed to meet at my hotel, where we had a bevvie (coffee for the grown ups; hot choco for the girls) and I gave them their wee gifties. The hotel is great: a nice sized 2BR flat with views of the Hauraki Gulf from my bed. Kitchen is well kitted out too. No bathtub; only a stall shower though 🙁
After breakfast and a chat with Himself on Skype (he’s currently in Ireland at his Dad’s), it was task time:
- SIM card for phone
- ATM card
- IRD (social insurance) tax number
- Keys and passes for work
- Bus pass
- Uni ID card
- Groceries for the next day’s brekkie
All accomplished in about 6 hours…except for one. I even ran into my new boss, with whom I’ve only Skyped previously–seems like a very good bloke. However, the ATM card didn’t work. I’ve been assured it will work as of 10 hours ago (a system refresh at midnight). So shortly I will go out and determine if it’s twoo.
Last night I met my friends Michael, Grant and Brian for dinner. The Thai food was so-so; the company was excellent.
I am loving New Zealand so far!