This page written circa 28 July, 2006.
It's days like today I wonder "What the fuck have I done?".
It was obvious from before we left Santa Rosa that Crown Relocations was not the sharpest choice. The latest evidence of this is the fact that they told us today that they would not be able to deliver our possessions on Tuesday as arranged, but a week later. The woman on the phone sounded embarrassed, as she should have been. The problem? Discovering some spiders when they opened the container and having to wait days to arrange fumigation. Like this sort of thing is a surprise? The real problem is that Kiwis do not flock to the competition in response to miserable and vague service. Maybe so few people relocate to New Zealand rather than from it that the staff forget how it all works. (Green side up, green side up!)
Next, Kay does the final inspection of Mystery Creek with the vendor's agent. The agent, who is actually both a nice person and apparently quite sensible, told Kay that he had to advise his client that he could not remove the inbuilt air conditioners and take them with him. Anyway, the junk that he was supposed to remove is still there, so we notify our solicitor, who is awaiting our go-ahead call. This is only a $500 problem, but I figure we should screw this turkey, he is giving us the runaround. After a day of faxes and emails flying around, our solicitor admits that the contract is worded so that we must settle or pay a penalty. Tonight I sent the solicitor a carefully worded email asking exactly how come we bothered to do an inspection if the contract (that he approved) left no possibility of witholding settlement. I guess New Zealand is not alone in having legal inadequacies, as we discovered Californicating.
If this was not enough, our internet prospects got worse. SatLan tested the signal strength, and Mystery Creek is out of their wireless range. Julie, the proprietor's wife, sounded as disappointed as I felt. Our Telecom DSL bandwidth to/from the US reached about 30/40kbps, and the gentleman from the independent survey company who phoned to follow up the apalling feedback score I gave Telecom admitted that he had switched ISPs too. We are going to be on a dialup connection at this rate, but from the results below, who'd be paying for DSL anyway?
Days like today get guys like Mussolini elected. That isn't the right response, because the trains kept no better time under Mussolini than his predecessor, but right now I'd vote for anyone from Martin Luther King to Adolf Hitler if I thought they would excise the dross... oh, yes, and pass a law making the road speed limits minimum instead of maximum values.
Mind you, what is really scary is that there is no shortage of Brits looking for jobs so they can get permanent residency. Must still be worse elsewhere.