On Sunday the 18th after more than 5 weeks in NZ, we decided it was time to leave. And as expected, our plane reservations did get confirmed, and Emirates did send a chauffeur to pick us up and take us to the airport. Does Air
We had hoped to spend our final nights in
As you well know by now, we very much enjoyed
A few more observations. When we first told people we were coming to NZ, we were often told that we would love the country, but would find it ‘a bit behind us’. This may well be true, but what we found are cities that are not defaced by graffiti; where you are not constantly hassled for spare change by street people; and where there are public toilets everywhere. We found a country which has abolished the penny and the nickel, and rounds every bill to the nearest 10 cents, using ‘the Swedish Rounding System (5 cents or under is rounded down, and six cents and over is rounded up). There is no paper money to be easily counterfeited. Instead, the country uses plastic notes, manufactured in
Generally speaking, employed people in restaurants, the hairdressing industry and taxis do not depend on tipping, since they earn a reasonable salary. Speaking of taxis, they are clean, and plentiful. A number of years ago, the taxi industry was deregulated, and today there are many different companies charging different rates for different levels of service. On Friday night, we took a taxi from downtown to the hotel. The flag rate was 99 cents, and the total fare came to 5.60. (Yes, I gave him $6!) On Saturday night, we asked the restaurant to call us a cab. A large silver Ford arrived with the driver in a suit and tie. The flag rate was $6, and the total fare was $13.60 for a similar length trip. (Yes, I gave him $14, particularly since the driver gave me a comprehensive overview of the taxi industry). Peter Ladner and Suzanne Anton should take note. When the industry was deregulated, all of the valuable taxi licenses were made worthless overnight. However, soon new companies opened up, and just as happened in the airline industry, they offered different fare structures and different levels of service. While I’m not sure we need to go quite this far in
In two years Sally and I plan to come back to NZ. While we managed to see much of the country, we missed so much more. We want to play more golf, and enjoy more wines, food, accommodation, spas, and magnificent scenery. And of course, see some more sheep. I hope that you will have come here by then, but if not, you are all invited to join us. February 2009!