Posts Tagged ‘rant’
Stress and I are bosom buddies right now. The last few weeks have been a real low point in my relationship – I’m quite looking forward to having the wedding over, work wrapped up and the house packed up. I’m trying NOT to freak out about things that really don’t matter, particularly as the two top of mind items are ridiculous and are things I would NEVER have imagined to be a problem: a) bridesmaid dress and b) flowers. Lord knows there are plenty of other, bigger, non-wedding related things to worry about.
But let’s not dwell on that. On the plus side, one thing that’s been plaguing me for the past month or so has finally been resolved. Let me walk you through Exhibit 1 of How Not To Do Business.
We’ll set the scene. One of the countries I’m set on visiting in Europe is Greece. I’ve even booked flights already from Italy. I figure we’ll carve out a day or two in Athens and spend the rest of the time on Santorini. Knowing that it’ll be a busy time in the Mediterranean, I book a lovely lodge through Hostelbookers, one that’s named after the proprietor (who shares a moniker with the main Soprano).
A few days later, I get an email from an employee on behalf of the owner.
“There seems to have been a mistake on the web site when you booked. It should have been €20 per person per night. [name redacted] is willing to split the difference with you and to let you have the room at €15 per person per night. I hope that this is agreeable and we will be able to greet you on sunny Santorini this summer. Please let [name redacted] know when and how you are arriving and he will pick you up at the port or airport. We are very sorry for the misunderstanding.”
Well, that’s not thrilling news, but it’s not an outrageous rate. I ask for confirmation of what the new balance payable would be at that price (it’s all complicated slightly by the fact I’ve already paid 10% of the original booking price, in NZD rather than euros).
I don’t hear back that week. That’s fine, it’s Easter. But THREE weeks pass without a peep. Amidst the rest of wedding + travel planning, I dash off another email asking for a reply.
On Friday last week, I received this:
“Sorry about that mix up. Of course we will honour the original price of €10 a night.
We are looking forward to greeting you on sunny Santorini.”
followed by this on Sunday (this time from the owner himself):
“hallo.the new prices is 39 euro the night.and no tranfer…sorry about that”
At this stage, quite frankly, I’m pissed. The lack of communication, the back and forth between the person supposedly handling the booking and the proprietor jumping in like a loose cannon, and the jacking up of the price … I’ve wasted enough time and headspace on this debacle.
I’m not sure what the usual policy for operators is when prices are wrongly advertised, but if I’d been able to get a straight answer from the beginning, I might have been okay with paying full price – the originals were outrageously low. Unfortunately, the entire thing put me off. I’ve written off my 10% deposit and booked us a room at another lodge, which will hopefully NOT result in a repeat experience, or I may just lose it.
I get the concept of ‘island time’. It was drilled into us while we were over at Rarotonga a couple of years ago. Things move slower. Stress and rushing about just don’t happen.
I’m sure it’s the same on other idyllic islands around the world. But I don’t think that’s any excuse to neglect the basics of business and customer service.
Got any bad business/customer service stories to get off your chest?
I’ve had money on the brain even more often than normal lately (not helped by Women’s Money Week!) thanks to some financial setbacks.
- As you might remember, T had a SUPER AWESOME brush with death recently on his motorbike thanks to some idiot boy racer. After a few weeks of being off work/on half days/off again due to medical certificate snafus, he was finally sent back to work on full hours, thank the heavens – because as an HOURLY worker with no built up leave right now, him being off work was hurting. (As we’ve learned, ACC has a minimum 7 day stand down policy. Not that is matters, since they refused to cover this incident. A complaint is being filed about the handling of the case, which T’s company is going to handle going forward since we’re leaving the country.)
- His bike, which had just been rebuilt with new fairings in anticipation of selling it, also had about $1k knocked off its (cosmetic) value in a second due to that accident.
- Since then, he’s been avoiding even looking at the bike, which still needs a couple of things done to it to get it running smoothly. That would have been fine, until his friend, who was keen to buy it as is, went and bought a car instead. With just a couple of weeks left, I do not see it a) getting fixed up or b) sold. [insert rant about useless males]
- A couple of long-shot travel blogging pitches/sponsorship proposals went nowhere. Ah well.
Still in the works: my post about financing our trip. I want to be able to present the most accurate numbers, so I’m putting it off until as close to our departure as possible.
On the plus side, I don’t need to pay my wedding venue or wedding celebrant until the week before the big day, which is nice for cashflow.
Got any financial wins or losses of your own to share?
This week’s links:
In the wake of Dove’s new campaign (which I adore), Emily Jane pens a beautiful post on self-image and self-acceptance.
The Asian Pear makes a reasoned case for not driving. (Being shacked up with T, I have a car and driver, but personally would probably drive once a week to the supermarket, if that.)
Kelly Abroad recounts her New York love story from the very beginning.
Some snippets of sage career advice via Publishing Trendsetter, most of which are relevant to all workers, regardless of industry.
Make a Living Writing was on fire this week, collecting true tales of woe from a bunch of content mill writers and reminding us that we all have our own crosses to bear, even when we don’t publicly broadcast them.
When did I last link to A Practical Wedding? I can’t even remember. Let me rectify that. This week’s post on how to be in love is simply sublime – and timely for me, as it’s been a rough week on that front.
Americans, it’s been a hard week. My heart goes out to you. I saw the infamous uncensored Jeff Bauman photo earlier this week, and while I can’t unsee it, there have also been many photos and stories chronicling the depths and breadths of human generosity. And one of the few (only?) Boston bloggers I follow, Sweet Caroline, published a photo montage from Boston that’s really quite lovely.
Tags: blogging, money, rant
ZOMG. The wedding ring buying process has totally exhausted me. What follows is one of the most painful and awkward retail experiences I’ve ever had.
- T decided he wanted a tungsten wedding ring. They seem to mainly be sold online, so we look at Simply Suave, MaD Bling and Man Up Jewellery (and then see Google ads for the former everywhere online afterwards. Bless you, retargeting).
- We also visited the mall for a looksee, and turns out Michael Hill also sells tungsten rings. We get to see them in person and try them on. T likes them, but I don’t like the price ($500). But Jenny, our awesome salesperson at Michael Hill Jeweller Lynnmall (New Lynn) tells us that they are going to go on sale the following month. She takes our details and promises to call when that happens. Seriously. She is the shiz.
- T doesn’t like the idea of buying a ring online, even though they are WAY cheaper, so we wait. At one point I go back to the store just to check (and no, they’re still not on sale) and have a quick chat to a different, male staffer, who gives me a little more information on the specifics of the tungsten ring buying process while I’m there.
- Suddenly the end of February rolls around, and we decide it’s time to just buy both our rings online (I’m getting mine on Etsy).
- But wait! On February 28, Jenny calls and texts to let us know the tungsten rings are half price. We hotfoot it over. There’s a big sale on and the store is totally packed. She’s busy at the bracelet/necklace counter – physically separate from the ring counter – with a stream of customers. I catch her eye and smile (though she probably doesn’t remember or recognise me) and wait in line.
- Male staffer who I talked to on my second visit seems to be the only salesperson NOT occupied. He zeroes in on me; I shrug him off and tell him we’re being taken care of. The second time around he finds us looking at the tungsten ring page of a catalogue which was lying on the counter, and goes for the kill. Jenny is still busy, so while I inform him that she had been the one dealing with us, we end up going along with him. Not only do I feel terribly guilty, it also turns out to be a huge mistake.
- This guy (I won’t name him) is useless. Fast talking (came across as kind of sleazy), and downright incompetent. He promised to call us when the ring arrived instore, but forgot to get our contact details (I had to prompt him). Then he forgot to give us our receipts, and texted T once we had left the store to come back and get them. According to T, however, the guy was NOWHERE to be found when he returned. But by that time Jenny WAS free, and helped him sort things out (reprinting the receipts, etc). He apologised for what happened, and apparently she understood, though no doubt she was pretty gutted.
- The next day Jenny texts me again asking when we’re going to come in. Cue back and forth messages while I recount what happened (even though she spoke to T, obviously she wasn’t sure if we were the same couple she originally spoke to. She must see dozens of people a day…
I can’t tell you how awful I felt. She gave us top notch service, and I gave in to the pushy sales guy who swooped in while he could. I FAIL. I hope she didn’t miss out on too much commission (how much would they earn? And is that reduced during massive sales (50% in this case)?
This week’s links:
Via Alexandra Franzen: how to say no (nicely) to anything
Amber Naslund explains how to get paid for your expertise
Newlyweds on a Budget enjoys a Pretty Woman moment
Plagiarism is well and truly alive in the PF community. Financial Uproar goes into all the dirty details
Housesitting as explained by Traveling 9-5
Do you need hours to marinate food? Nope, not according to Stonesoup
I think this is beyond me, but someone should try making A Wandering Food Lover’s colourful pasta and reporting back
Finally, here is a Venn diagram explaining how to find happiness in your work
Happy weekends, all!
Tags: blogging, money, rant, shopping
It would be really nice to attend a wedding in which the couple was made for each other and we as guests fully supported the union. It’s sad to say that of the two I’ve been to (and one that I had to miss due to being out of town), none quite meet this benchmark.
“Non crazy chicks are boring” is a line I actually heard at the most recent one. Not surprisingly, this is a couple who thrive on drama – or at least, their entire relationship is built upon it. That, and the child they have together. But there’s a lot to be said for stability, especially when you already have a family. And while a little craziness can be fun, abusiveness is never kosher.
Because objectively, that’s what that relationship is. Abusive. While he’s not the only guy we know to be in a seriously unhealthy relationship – my female friends thankfully all have good taste, apparently – the other three I can think of have at least had the sense to get out. This one decided to commit for life.
And somehow, I get the feeling that saying a few vows in front of a pastor is not going to magically fix things. Just an inkling.
Abusive = overly controlling (whether that’s born of insecurity or something else, I don’t know. I’m talking setting arbitrary curfews like a parent rather than a partner, taking all your partner’s money, and so on), as well as physical abuse (manifested through blows, attempted choking, smashing of all your possessions, etc). Not all of these apply to the guy in question specifically, but these are all things that have happened collectively to the four friends I’m thinking of who’ve been in unhealthy relationships at one point or another.
Making things slightly more tricky is when mental illness plays a part. (To my knowledge, it was/is a factor in some of these cases, though I’m not of course saying mental illness is or should be a barrier to happy relationships. Please don’t think that’s what I’m getting at. What I am trying to say is that being a human punching bag, literally or figuratively, is not helping either of you). But it is not an excuse to put up with abusive treatment.
Guys (and gals). You deserve to be in a healthy and loving relationship, one that makes you feel good about yourself more of the time than not. When a restraining order is part of the mix (and you STILL go back?!), if you’re being regularly thrown out of the house, if your possessions are being unceremoniously dumped on your best man’s lawn while you hide inside his house, ALL IS NOT GRAVY.
Despite anything we say or do, sometimes they hang on in there – it’s hard to watch and stand by but sometimes that’s all you can do. Is there anything more frustrating than hearing a friend justify their partner’s unacceptable behaviour?
Though of course you can never really know unless you’re put in a situation yourself, these would be my dealbreakers:
- Prohibitive amounts of debt (subjective, I know)
- Other irresponsible money habits
- Not accepting you for who you are
- Being overly controlling OR dependent on you
- Doesn’t put you first (or second. Sorry, I’m still putting on my lifejacket first if the plane goes down
- Violence of any kind. T is more than twice my size, so this would be an absolute non-negotiable. (The odd bruise caused by him picking me up with too firm a grip, – I’m delicate like an overripe fruit and was basically one giant walking bruise the year I played soccer – is excluded.)
And that’s about all I have to say about that.
With a slightly heavy heart, I ask you – what would your relationship dealbreakers be?
Tags: life, rant, reflections, relationships
Sometimes T’s costly financial habits get up my nose.
- Snacks and drinks. He doesn’t like drinking water and most of his money goes on random food purchases and Coke/juice/flavoured milk. I won’t lie, it frustrates me. Technically he has his own allowance, but still, sometimes spends extra out of the account on stuff. That’s when I get annoyed.
- Tailgating. This can be an expensive habit. New Zealand drivers tend to be heinous tailgaters (2 second rule, guys! 4 seconds on the motorway!) and he is up there with the worst of them. Amazingly, only one of the car accidents he’s been in was caused by following too closely (all of the rest can be chalked up to even worse drivers out there. On Sunday night he had a narrow brush with death – I’m kind of glad he was on his bike, because if he’d been in the car it would probably have been written off and I just can’t deal with something like that right now. OTOH, he’s a bit banged up and since he has yet to seek medical attention, I may be staying home today to deal with that).
- None of his sunglasses ever lasts longer than a few months – not because they break, but because he loses them. I have no idea how or where. He also used to lose his wallet on a regular basis (which he’s outgrown, touch wood) and every so often wakes me up in the morning with his muttered curses at having misplaced his keys. Worst of all, most of his phones have been replaced due to loss rather than breakage or upgrading. This distinguished history includes losing at least one phone out a car window on the road.
But look, I’d like to think I’m gracious enough to admit to my faults. Here we are, then:
- Imagine this: the pantry is bare or we just don’t feel like eating toast (because that’s all that’s left). I’m more likely to buy food rather than go grocery shopping like I should.
- I cannot keep track of cash. It’s hopeless.
- I have a tendency to throw good money after bad. Blown the grocery budget on cheese? Eh, what’s another week over budget? Or another breakfast straight from the bakery?
What are your weaknesses? I want to know…!
Tags: money, personal finance, rant, spending
Seriously. I don’t care about Valentine’s Day at all.
As a singleton, it’s a surefire way to feel terrible about your aloneness.
As a couple, it’s about stupid societal pressure to validate your love through grand, sweeping gestures.
Me, I’m not one for overdone romantic schtick. (But then again, I’m not engaged to a millionaire. Maybe things would be different if we played in the world of private yachts, holiday homes and personal chefs. We exist in a much more humble and down-to-earth dimension.) The best thing I could possibly imagine (on Valentine’s Day or any other day) would be to come home to dinner and a freshly scrubbed house. Literally.
Valentine’s Day is about expecting guys in particular to go all out and to plan insanely amazing days for their partners. And as girls, are we supposed to feel let down or as though missing out – or as if our BFs are lacking – if they don’t come up with extravagant gifts and gestures?
Thursday will be just another day, as we more or less ignore it. Maybe we’ll go out to eat, and maybe I’ll go watch The Princess Bride down at Silo Park with some friends.
Tell me, how do you feel about Valentine’s Day? What’s the most/least romantic gesture anyone ever made towards you?
Tags: life, money, rant, relationships
It’s been a little while (too long?) since I last got my rant on.
Here are a few things that are getting up my nose (I’ve been saving these up):
- People sending me random LinkedIn connection requests. I’ve been getting quite a few from people I share connections with but don’t directly know and have never met or dealt with. If you think connecting could be mutually useful, then let me know why you think it would be beneficial! Otherwise your generic message is going into LinkedIn purgatory.
- People who, when tweeting their own posts out, include “via @[ownusernamehere]” at the end of the tweet. I get why you do it – in case people RT it, you want your handle included. But this is just WEIRD. Sorry.
- People who clog up my timeline with their frequent tweets namedropping all their new followers, ostensibly to thank them. ANNOYING. I may end up unfollowing them. Personally, if I start following someone, seeing a tweet like this would annoy me far more than it would make me feel, I dunno, special. Maybe that’s just me.
- People whose Twitter streams are basically just a flood of headlines, links and Twitter usernames. It’s nice that you’re showing love to other bloggers’ posts, but Twitter is Twitter, and RSS feeds are RSS feeds. Show some personality! (If that’s what yours looks like, that’s quite possibly why I didn’t follow you back.)
- People who laboriously thank everyone in a post who linked to one of their blog posts that week. Again, I get that it’s all in the name of reciprocation. But it’s tiresome.
Phew! That feels better. Now, onto the weekend! Feel free to vent away yourselves in the comments.
Tags: rant, social media, technology
Perfectly Cursed Life does a regular series of Open Letters on Fridays letting off steam. You can see them all here, or my first installment, here.
I am deeply, deeply mortified that I called you Rebecca, not Rachel, on your first day. To my shame, I still find myself starting to type in ‘rebecca’ in the recipient line of emails to you. And I realised I referred to you as Rebecca when talking about you to a coworker. I have no idea what is wrong with me (this is truly a first), and you were kind enough to reassure me that it’s a common mistake that you are well and truly used to (nobody should be conditioned to respond to a different name!) but I will console myself with the fact that a blogger I’ve read for years actually named her blog after this very bizarre affliction.
Worst supervisor ever
I understand that I gave you permission to email spam me after I made a donation to you. But sending me an email with this subject line utilising my own name (even though no doubt it is merely a coincidence) is the HEIGHT of creepy. For the rest of you, substitute the name for your own first name, and imagine seeing that in your Gmail inbox – what would your reaction be?
This is how the rest of the email went:
Bemused of Auckland, New Zealand
Dear rabid American on Facebook
I do not wish to engage in America-bashing. The US has plenty to brag about as the pre-eminent top dog in the first world. However, I am not sure race relations is one of them. Yes, New Zealand has its own race problems. Inequality is very real; Maori and Pacific Islands are at the bottom of every conceivable socio-economic measure. There’s an outcry everytime a Chinatown is proposed in Auckland (as a Chinese Malaysian, I don’t really care; I agree that we could simply designate THAT stretch of Dominion Rd). Yes, the colonial Brits screwed over Maori in some ways, and the Waitangi Tribunal is testament to that. But they didn’t enslave an entire race of people (or fight for the right to continue to do so) and while I don’t know much about Native American history, it’s far from all rosy (what indigenous people/white settler story is?). In a global context, I actually think Aotearoa is doing okay; there are no race riots or stealing of indigenous children in these annals.
A fellow non-indigenous person blithely discussing treatment of indigenous people
Dear pyjama pants,
Why must you always ride up to knee-height once I am under the covers and trying to fall asleep?
Princess without a pea
Dear ponce who invented the air kiss
What were you thinking? This week I experienced the horror of a handshake that unexpectedly segues into a stepping-in-and-brushing-of-cheeks. Caught off guard, I leaned too far in and a practically audible bumping of heads ensued. Oh, the shame.
Curses on your grave,
A member of the lower class
I understand and respect your need to make money. Freemium is where it’s at these days (although it’s a dangerous game to start with an awesome product and then cut back on features for the non-paying customers). This does not mean I am happy about your recent changes, and I have quietly started feeling out other options for social media management of work accounts. Our time together may be drawing to a close.
(Tweetdeckers! Can one change the colour scheme of the web version of Tweetdeck?! Help!!! I’ve never liked Tweetdeck but now feel compelled to give it another try.)
What would you like to get off your chest today?
Permit me, dear readers, to get up on my ranty rant soapbox and let off some steam, in the vein of Perfectly Cursed Life, who does a regular series of Open Letters on Fridays. You can see them all here.
Dear landlords of New Zealand,
Two words: Wall insulation. That is all.
Shivering and potentially asthmatic renter
Dear people who email me out of the blue,
If you want to have any chance of a reply, then do not pitch me asking if you can pitch me. Just attach your damn outline, your draft, your infographic, whatever. Make things easier for the both of us.
All my love,
Dear people who think it’s a good idea to call me five minutes after sending a pitch,
Just … no.
Get a job, and a life.
A productive member of society
Please stop with your nagging us about not leaving enough room on the driveway for your car to get past. T is a large person and needs space to exit the driver’s side on the right, and space enough between the car and garage to open it up to get to his motorbike (and when he spends time in the mancave with friends). You’re just going to have to live with driving ever so slightly over the grassy verge between our driveway and the next, and you cannot tell me that that alone is ruining your tyres and alignment.
Girl in the front house
Dear deadbeat parents,
Don’t have kids if you can’t afford them, and don’t have kids if you can’t look after them. Simple really.
You probably should ease off on the bad parent hate when you, who have money enough to save, could help these kids out (and yeah, you know the ones I’m referring to), but aren’t unselfish enough to do so, because you know opening up the door to financial help will only unleash a dam.
Now seems appropriate to repost something from just over a year ago:
Today, I was reminded of the ultimate reason why I prefer experiences to stuff.
Nobody can take away your experiences and memories away from you.
On the other hand, it’s all too easy for someone to steal your physical belongings.
This makes the third time we’ve been robbed, plus the separate theft of T’s first motorbike. The first occurred while we lived in the ghetto (where some little shits from around the corner had a vendetta for us, smashing my flatmate’s car’s windscreen multiple times, and actually walking down the street once carrying the camera/bag they stole from me. But no, we never could actually pin them now legally). The second was at our last residence, and that was definitely a facepalm as the door was unlocked. And some time later, a separate theft of T’s bike from our driveway on a very stormy weekend night, on which there were a lot of other robberies in the city.
This time, the thieves slid out glass panes from the small window by our back door, which I didn’t even know you could do. The window was shut, just to clarify – and it’s made up of many small panes stacked vertically - like in this link. The cop reckons there were three people involved – one wearing gloves, two without.
This also prompted me to try and figure out if we as a country have a relatively high burglary rate, and it looks like we may actually be in the top three. Anecdotally, the majority of people I know have escaped being burgled, but I know a few who haven’t and can think of one who’s also been hit multiple times – and he wasn’t insured, losing all of his guitars.
So, yeah, speaking of guitars … mine has survived our previous breakins, but third time unlucky. That kinda sucks. I got my first job at 15, and not long after that, got a second job and worked pretty much constantly in my free time. I saved up a grand in a few months and bought myself an Ibanez Rg170 and an amp. So, it’s a sentimental thing.
Sadly, I don’t think I have any photos anymore of it, so it’s all down to memory. Thankfully, the receipt for that is still in the handbag I used to use back then – so faded it’s almost illegible, but visible enough for insurance purposes. (Yes, I am that dorky I kept the receipt for nearly 10 years because it was the most money I’d ever spent, and represented months of working and saving – never considering I might actually require it for a real reason.)
Needless to say, that was a rather crap piece of news to come home to. T met me at the airport on Wednesday night when I touched down from Sydney at midnight. He has this way of faffing around – “I have bad news …. you’re not going to want to hear it” – that I know too well. I really would rather he just blurt it out. But of all things, this just did not compute. Poor thing, he’d been stressing about it and wondering if he should call me to break the news, but decided against it and just got on with the police stuff instead.
I am also grateful that I took both my work-issued laptop and iPad on my trip; I was given the iPad only a couple of weeks ago, and would not want to have to deal with the theft of it.
This time around we got hit hard – previously it was only my laptop/camera, then laptop/TV. This time it was TV, laptop, air gun, guitar, bass, two amps, Xbox, a few games, and I think a couple other little things I can’t be assed checking in the report right now.
I’m particularly annoyed because I just spent $200 repairing my laptop. Both our amps recently got fixed, albeit for free (mine randomly sorted itself out, a friend tinkered with his, and we finally bought a new lead for him). My SD card was in my computer and I had a bunch of photos to go through and edit. As to documents, though, I’m a big cloud user – so even through I haven’t backed up anything on my hard drive since before we moved (the drive is still in its box and hasn’t been unpacked) I’m not fussed. Doubtful the burglars are going to try to go through my computer, but it has a password anyway.
But on the other hand, it’s not like we’re serious musicians. My amp is a budget Ashton and is in pretty poor shape after years of frequent disuse and misuse, and my guitar’s output jack has always been shonky. My laptop was definitely entering middle age.
And overall, I’ve gotten pretty good at taking bad news. I don’t want to sound sorry for myself, but a lot of shit has happened to us in our adult lives to date. So I can deal, and I can even see the silver lining (we’ve come a looooong way from my emo teens).
And to prove it, here are three fun highlights from the whole situation
Me: I can’t remember what make your bass amp was (I bought it lightly used off Trademe for him). What was it?!
Me: WTF? I would never buy you a Peavey! Your amp was a quality brand. Start listing names and I’ll know it when I hear it. It was NOT a freakin’ Peavey.
Among the items taken was the RC car T got from his brother. But today I got a text from him in the afternoon: Found RC car in garage.
The Chinese detective who came out to dust for prints and whatnot (he was probably the same one who attended our last breakin, but I have an awful recall when it comes to faces, and it’s not helped when dealing with Asians, despite my own heritage) was quite the funnyman. To my dismay, I cannot recall any of his exact jokes, but fun was poked at burglars multiple times as he went about the job, and it was impossible not to chuckle along. Oh wait – there was one moment when he discussed the greasiness of the prints he picked up, which he attributed either to the thieves having just polished off a good takeaway meal, or being fairly young and having their glands still in sebum overdrive.
I gotta end on a bit of a bum note, though. It’s not like on TV where the tiniest bit of evidence is enough to nab someone. We have partial prints but they’re unlikely to yield anything (and take weeks to process anyway).
It may also well be someone we know – a former friend of T’s from when they were growing up, now a crackhead who’s gone off the rails. We’ll call him RD. He knows where we live (only because mutual friends brought him to a party here; we have nothing to do with him anymore). His ex, when spoken to about the robbery by someone else we know (I don’t want to get into describing all the degrees of connections here…), knew about it. So that’s suspicious. T’s cousin, who’s plugged into that whole underlife scene, said the guy had been looking to “smoke a TV”, which I’m told in crackhead talk means, well, you can probably figure it out. T and RD do not get along anymore as RD is a piece of shit, frankly, who last we heard was going around beating up and robbing people for fun, and apparently threatened T the last time/s they interacted.
T mentioned the guy to the police, of course, and they said they’d been looking for him (of course! At our party, another of our friends who is a cop was itching to arrest RD, and had just gotten a warrant that morning). And yesterday T found out RD had been caught breaching parole (his seedy grapevine seems to know all. Westies what). I don’t really want to know, to be frank. Do I want to leverage said seedy grapevine to track the guy down and confront him? I really don’t. There’s no way that can improve the situation.
My itch to travel has been intensifying of late, and my urge to buy a house as well. Like I said last week, if we get married soon, I don’t want to keep renting till we’re 30, scraping together a deposit, living in old, cold, damp houses (ours has no insulation and NZ houses are among the coldest in the OECD). Here’s an amusing, yet sad, story about someone using bubble wrap as cheap insulation. And now I would also like a more secure home (T has been looking at some cool camera/alarm systems online, but with our future plans very uncertain, we won’t be investing in one yet. Maybe we’ll move to another city or country for a while. Or travel for an extended time. T is looking at new jobs, etc etc. I have to renew our lease next month and dithering over what length to lock in). I want a warm, dry, safe house where I can compost and don’t have to fight over hot water with our neighbour in back. For me, it’s not an either/or. I am determined to both fit in travel and home ownership, but they’re not going to happen in tandem.
Funnily enough, Pear
tweeted me before I left that if I was leaving my ring behind, I should make sure it was in a safe place. Talk about coincidence. (Thankfully, none of my very few pieces of jewellery were touched. I shudder to think what the reaction to the theft of a third-generation family ring would be. If I ever go away again, I’ll wear the damn thing, and not take it off for anything while I’m gone. And this is why, even if we could afford it, I never wanted an expensive ring.)