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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stinky noisy city

Last Thursday we heard from a friend that her daughter, my friend Karen, had an infected toe and was in hospital. Because Karen is diabetic everyone naturally wanted to make sure that she had nothing major going on with her feet. So, even though we didn’t want to leave Rangi this holiday, we decided that it would be a good idea to head to the city to visit Karen at Auckland Hospital (would you believe Ward 75!?) and stock up on things like bread that were likely to go off by Friday.

We’d been in email contact with Karen’s mum over the past few days and her message yesterday was that it would be better to wait until Wednesday as the specialists would be seeing her today and that she wasn’t expected to be released from hospital until Tuesday or Wednesday next week. As the family were hoping to leave for a holiday in Oz at Easter, this wasn’t good news.

This morning, before we headed around to the boat, I checked our emails and discovered an email from Aunty Sally. She’d received a phone call from Karen to say that she was being released from hospital today!


Of course this meant that we didn’t have to spend longer in the big smoke and could get our shopping done and catch the 12.15 boat back to Rangi. (We’ll be seeing the family on Friday.) So we set off for Auckland on the unofficial 10am boat. We weren’t alone on the ferry and we helped a young mum who lives on Motutapu Island with her bags as she struggled with her daughter (who’s only been walking a couple of months and will have the pleasure of being able to say that she’s walked from Rangitoto to Auckland – with mum in tow – before she was two).

After a stop off at the bank to stock up on cash, we went to the New World Metro supermarket, which is in the grand old BNZ building – or at least behind the fa├žade of the grand old BNZ building. It’s only a small underground store, doesn’t have a lot of variety, and has a confusing layout, but at least it’s Kiwi owned.

But we managed to forget the tea. So we went to the Aussie-owned Countdown that, I hate to say, is bigger, better, and easier to use. I bought the Lotto ticket that’s going to win at some point in the next ten weeks and a couple of $2.00 Instant Kiwis, while D.C. got the tea – liquorice, and berry. That is two separate flavoured teas, not an ‘interesting’ combination.

Next stop was to find some lunch. We were stopped on our walk by a couple of men trying to sign us up for to give regular donations for the Fred Hollows Foundation. For those of you who don’t know, Fred Hollows was a New Zealander who, for $25 per operation, has helped restore the sight of many people in poorer countries by giving them much needed cataract operations. (And when you consider that in New Zealand you either have to wait years the public service or pay thousands to go private for the same operation, that’s remarkable.) It’s undeniably a worthwhile cause, and if when we win Lotto we will donate to it, but in the meantime I stuck to my rule that I give to conservation and rescue organisations.

We wound up at the food hall in the Atrium on Elliot. I’ll admit that I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food so I had chicken strips with salad and Manuka honey mustard sauce. After that it was back down to the Ferry Buildings (seen in that background of that photo they kept on showing on the news of the pilot of the Malaysian Flight 370 that has disappeared – he must have taking a “selfie” on a Fullers Ferry). I bought us a spare $80 ten ride Rangitoto ticket and a gelato each, and then we caught the Ferry back to paradise.

And read for the rest of the afternoon.

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