We finally made it to our accommodation in Auckland, none too soon and definitely not uneventfully. It started with the car hire, which I had booked as Kate C and then changed my driver's license to Kate B. I didn't foresee it being a problem as six months previously we had booked a car using L's credit card and my driver's license.
"I'm sorry," said the girl unapologetically. "But your photo ID has to be in the same name as your driver's license."
I tried to be agreeable, and procured my passport. I explained the situation six months ago.
"Oh yes," said the girl, "the hirer and the driver can be different people, but you are the same person and we can't do that, it's the rule."
I tried very hard to keep my cool - I'm afraid I failed, badly. I have a very short fuse when it comes to stupid, and this... well... I moved to the left side of my seat. "Hi, I'm Kate C," I said. "I would like to hire a car, and here is my passport and credit card." I moved to the right side of my seat. "Hello!" I added. "I'm Kate B and I would like to drive the car. Here is my driver's license."
"But you're still the same person," she said. "I'll have to go to speak to my team leader."
She went. She returned. Nothing changed. Feeling like my head was about to explode, I asked to speak to the team leader. She left. They returned. I tried to spell it out.
"If you will take my friend's card and her matching passport, with my driver's license, I don't understand why you can't take mine!"
Same answer. Unbending. I began to lose the will to live. I even suggested my marriage certificate, I showed them my old driver's license in .pdf mode. They were happy to accept that I was one or the other, but if I wanted to be both, I needed to be someone else.
At the verge of collapse (me), they suddenly got up and disappeared, returning with the actual manager, who, once I had once again (painstakingly and with gritted teeth) explained the situation, said "oh yes that's not a problem at all."
We finally got out of Go Rentals (name and shame?) and headed off to the airBnB, hoping for greater things. L had booked us a 2 bedroom granny flat, advertised as "entire home" Hurrah. The ad said "the Guest wing has two bedrooms, living area, kitchenette and bathroom."
We arrived. The man showed us the apartment, it was very clean and modern.
"This is the bedroom... this is the bathroom."
L and I looked at each other.
"Did I make a mistake?" whispered Elle.
"And the other bedroom?" I asked.
"There is only one," he said definitively.
I began to panic a little inside. "But your ad says two bedrooms," I protested.
"Yes but you are two people," he said. "And we only allow one bedroom if there are two people, the unit takes up to four. So the second bedroom is locked. If you want it we charge $25 a night."
This commenced a monumental argument. L looking up the listing (black and white, two bedrooms, etc), myself explaining that we were working and needed adequate rest.
He stuck to his guns. "Usually two people don't mind sleeping together," he said. "We have had twenty guests and nobody has complained. So it is only you, and it is final." (You have to read that in an Asian accent...)
We argued and argued until we were blue in the face - well I think I was red in the face. I was so unbelievably hyped up. We eventually just said we needed the second bedroom, end of, fee or no fee, as cancelling the accommodation wasn't an option at this stage. He accused us of not communicating ("usually people, they communicate a lot and we would have said this") which was a bit much as you don't usually expect to tell someone your life story when booking accommodation!
We then discovered that the kitchenette was merely a bar fridge and microwave which was another blow - he did agree to bring over an electric frying pan which will help. And then once he had left L and I had to have a cup of tea and some chocolate to try to calm down, and then went to get pizza.
We then discovered that the shops were actually twenty minutes away and not ten as advertised!
I am now pizza-ed up, have had a lovely hot shower (the facilities that we do have are good) and am feeling a little less manic.
INSERT IMPORTANT NOTE: Mr AirBnB man just knocked on the door and said: "okay, I have thought about it, and I have added on the advertisement about the rooms, and so that we get on ok this week, I will not charge you the money."
And now I think I must sleep... this chaos has completely exhausted me!