Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mid term test and results

Mid-term Test: 10 points for each correct answer, over 500 points = travelsofthb genius level

1. It costs at least this much to climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Sunset
a. $50
b. $100
c. $150
d. $300
e. All of the above

2. Which airport customs area is not air conditioned
a. San Francisco
b. Sydney
c. Auckland
d. One of the above
e. Two of the above

3. Which sport is coming to Las Vegas?
a. A mini version of rugby
b. Stunt car driving
c. Professional basketball
d. Oakland Raiders…sorry, amateur sports included too

4. The best way to eat whitebait is:
a. Battered and fried with chips
b. Marinated in lime and mixed with prawns and scallops
c. Cooked with egg and eaten on buttered white bread with a bit of salt and pepper
d. There is no good way to eat whitebait

5. If you had one place to stop and buy pastries and bread, you should be heading to:
a. Your local Arizmendi
b. Copenhagen
c. Greytown
d. Paris
e. Seattle
f. All of the above

6. The T in QCT stands for:
a. Trail
b. Track
c. Tramp
d. Trek
e. Tacoma
f. Torture
g. Even the Kiwis aren’t sure
h. Two of the above

7. If you were returning your rental car, you would like to hear the following:
a. Your total bill comes to exactly … (fill in the blank)
b. Thank you for renting with …(fill in the blank)
c. No worries, mate, no need for any paperwork here, and take the car and just leave it in a car park with the keys in the glove compartment

8. If you could choose one scenario, which would it be:
a. It is so hot and humid at 7am that you dread going outside
b. It is so hot and humid at 7am that you dread going outside and it will get even more hot and humid after you leave town
c. It is so hot and humid at 7am that you dread going outside and it will get even more hot and humid after you leave town that nobody could make this up: 107 degrees Fahrenheit and close to 100% humidity

9. You are hiking and would prefer the sign markers to show the following:
a. The number of kilometers to the next few spots
b. The amount of time it takes to walk to the next few spots
c. The direction to the next few spots
d. Two of the above
e. All of the above
f. (Pretend you live in NZ) Only one of the above, the one that gives the least information of all (Hint: choose b)

10. Identify the bug in the picture, extra points for selecting the correct answer below:
a. A cicada
b. A cure for a bad case of tinnitus
c. One of at least 1 billion identical insects
d. Something that never sleeps except when in your bathroom
e. All of the above

Mid-term Results

Credit Cards: Unlike Denmark, NZ manages to take THB’s credit card wherever he travels. They use a handy-dandy little machine that asks you if you need to put in a pin or use a signature. Simple…already invented. Denmark: Try it, you might like it.

One Price vs Without Tax and Tip: THB has adjusted and loves that the price you see on the menu is the final-final. So much easier than trying to figure out what is tax, what you tip on (without tax, with tax, etc.), and how much you should tip. However, we have seen that in the primary service spots, restaurants and hotels, the idea of providing good service that then might be rewarded is obviously not on, and have heard from some Kiwis that they do not like the no-tipping policy; they see that they get uniformly poor service. Connected to that is these jobs for the most part seemed to be performed by non-Kiwis who view the jobs as transient positions, awaiting a move to a more permanent position somewhere else. This may have something to do with the wages offered for these positions.

Trees: In Queen Charlotte Sound, we pass a number of islands with dead trees. They are pines, being poisoned. By the locals! Here we have just seen millions of dead pines in the Rockies, and now more, intentionally. Turns out that the trees here are not native and have been crowding out the local trees over the last 50-100 years. So, island by island, in the Sound there is a project to eradicate them. Hard to reconcile when we know that trees are invaluable to the global environment and millions are being lost to warming climate. It is going to take years to clear these islands, and much funding. THB thinks it is a losing battle, which will be decided many years after he’s gone.

Aging: So far, we have lost or forgotten: a pillow, a converter plug, possibly a bag of vitamins, a shirt, and several pair of underwear. This after we agreed upon moving to always (always!) ask the other one: Did you doublecheck? Well, we are asking…and not getting much better results. Ahhhhhhhhhh, the joys of paring down our lifestyle, we seem to be proving we can get by on less, on less, on less, on less…DOUBLECHECK!

Prices: The obvious, gas is more in NZ than in the US. Food in general is slightly to definitely higher than we would pay at the lower-cost spots (say for breakfast or lunch) and about the same at the more expensive places. Crafts and jewelry seem fairly priced to maybe a bit cheaper than we might pay. Wine is similar at the lower ends, though the quality in THB’s limited sample seems tilted towards value for whites and not so for reds, you have to move up quite a bit in price to get good NZ reds. The tourist stuff is outrageously priced. In the US you probably wouldn’t find (hey, you don’t find) this kind of stuff at the prices on offer.

Is NZ Pretty? This meditation has been postponed until the end of the trip for further consideration

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