Saturday, January 10

How to salvage a summer holiday

Given my last post you are forgiven for expecting this entry to come from a remote Andean valley or beamed out from atop Machu Picchu which, btw, is rumoured to have gone wireless.

But no, this post comes to you from my kitchen table in New Zealand, having aborted the summer expedition to South America and Easter Island after 5 days of wait and see as sickness ravaged our family ranks.

But in keeping with tradition, and as difficult as it is when you haven't gone anywhere, I will try to draw an ADR related story from our annual family holiday.

Like this one on post-decision dissonance in a Fijian tropical paradise or this from ZhongShan, China when we were too stressed to negotiate, or walking with 19 million others at Shanghai Post earlier this year, or even this post from last summer when we were trying to cross a back country road/rail bridge...

...there we were - just after Christmas - on a main highway at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand and crossing a one-way road/rail bridge. I remembered it from my own childhood, when Mum and Dad took us on a road trip in the family caravan... I eventually got to the head of the line of rubber-neckers half way over the bridge, only to observe two beefy looking high context campers facing each other off, both red from the sun and the conflict" [read more]

So as you read this I sit here alone, unwinding our summer break and negotiating (badly) its salvage with all those who made it possible in the first place, including;

>LAN Chile, who say the air tickets are 'no reembolsable, estúpido'

>the Santiago and Lima hotels along with the Santaigo walking tour folks, who say the same thing in English but more politely

>the travel insurance company, who seem to have talked to the airline, say we were 'stupid' to purchase non refundable tickets

>the travel agent, who says I told him to book the non refundable tickets

>the boarding kennels, who say Buster is booked in for all of January and who will take a lien over him if it all gets nasty

>my sister-in-law, who is geared up for a summer holiday at our family bach while we are away and threatens something similar to the kennels if we change that

the paperboy, who took a week to stop delivery and will take 2 weeks to start it up again, by the looks of it

> the rapacious bach owner at Wainui Beach, where we are now going to chill out, listen to our Spanish tapes and read our South American guidebooks

> and last, and most difficult, two sulky teenagers, both of whom are now on the mend and bored, who can't see how night time curfew applies on holiday.

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