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Shen's Trip - 2002 09 05 - Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi Everyone;

I got to Christchurch on Monday night, and my brother (Ki) picked me up from the airport and took me to my moms (Cherie) place. The first night I spend talking to Ki and Mom, and checking my email and surfing for a while, since I had been without a computer for a few days.

Sadly the only real person who had sent me any email was the CO, and that was only some forwarded jokes. Oh well.

On Tuesday Julian came round, and we drove into town and did some clothes shopping, and also found a place in town that will print digital photos to proper photo paper for $1 each. That was about 10 feet away from Hanafins, where it costs $4 per photo.

[Julian clothes shopping]

So when I get around to it I will have a whole bunch of photos printed off of all the stuff I have done since I got my digital camera. I also owe my flat mates a few photos from the law school ball we all went to.

Wednesday Julian and I went to Sumner beach, and also Taylors Mistake, a surf beach. The weather was fantastic, it was about 20 degrees (celcius) which is pretty good, considering it was the second day of spring.

Today we drove up to some hot springs in the montains. It was about a 3 hour drive up there, and we stayed for about 30 minutes. The water was a greeny color and had algee (sp) floating around in it and smelt like rotten eggs, but other then that it was really good.

Julian is down in Christchurch from wellington for a week on holiday, so I am quite lucky he is around. As well as giving me someone to hang out with he also has use of his mothers car for the whole week. Otherwise my week so far would have gone -
Tuesday - Watched TV
Wednesday - Played nintendo
Thursday - Busy day ! Watched TV, played nintendo.

Tomorrow we are going to have breakfast with Bjorn and then meet up for drinks in the evening. Probably James, Bjorn, Julian and I will all end up going out, which I think is pretty much a first, or if not it is a very rare occasion. It should hopefully be pretty cool.

I still have to sort out all my stuff, which I have had shipped down here. I have about 8 boxes full of clothes and computer crap, and need to pack it all away for longer term storage, either under my mothers stairs or in her garage.

Sending my stuff down was a crazy experience. The first place I called, a professional movers, wanted $350 minimum for shipping down 1 cubic meter of stuff (I had no idea at this stage how much stuff I would have). They also didn't know when they would be able to pick it up, so I needed to give them 1 week notice and they would come round "sometime" and get the boxes. Then they weren't sure when they would be able to deliver it, but it would probably take about a week.

Needless to say, I decided to check out some other options. I finished packing everything and ended up with 10 apple boxes of stuff.

I thought I might be able to take it all on the plane with me, but no one at the air new zealand phone line could tell me how much it would cost. I phoned their cargo service, and was put through to NZ Post, who told me it would cost $70 for the first 2 kg and $10 for every kg after that. As I had about 150 kg of stuff I figured that was a bit out of my price range. Also I wasn't entirely sure that was the cheapest price available.

It later turned out that it would cost $20 a box to fly it up, but they would go whenever there was some free space on a place to chch. I only found this out when I was checking in though, so it didn't do me any good. Also it would have meant several trips to the chch airport.

I then rang up Pheonix Freight, who my friend Bryce used to work for. I must have totally lucked out or something. My entire conversation went something like this:

Woman: "Hello Pheonix Freight"
Shen: "I want to send some boxes from Wellington to Christchurch"
Woman: "I'll just put you through to transport."
beep beep beep
Man: "Transport"
Shen: "I want to send some boxes from Wellington to Christchurch"
Man: "They travel at the owners own risk and have to be well packed"
Shen: "Ok, what does well packed mean"
Man: "You know, they have to be packed properly"
Shen: "Ok"
Man: "How many boxes do you have?"
Shen: "About 8"
Man: "Are they big or small?"
Shen: "Um, small I guess"
Man: "Ok, that will be $116"
Shen (aside): "Woo Hoo!"
Shen: "How long will it take?"
Man: "It is generally overnight"
Shen (aside): "Alright!"

Then I gave them my address details, and they came round and got my stuff an hour or so later. It got to my moms house at about 10am the next day.

The strangest thing was the matter of the $116, because the guy that picked up the boxes was very adament that he charge me that exact amount. I was expecting some haggeling over the exact price once they saw the boxes, or figured out exactly how heavy they were or something, but he showed up at my house with a docket with *** Collect $116 on pickup *** written on it and underlined, so I guess the deal was final.

I notice that I have just cracked a 1000 words, so I guess I should wrap this up. Don't want people giving up on reading my stuff on the first letter!

I'll include a few pictures from the last few days to wrap things up.

Keep in touch,
Shen

[Shen]

[Mad cat]

[My obsession]

[On the way to sumner]