Open for Business....
... despite the earthquake. Outside the scope of the picture, bricks from this building lie in heaps before its front door -- hence the direction to use the side door.
I had a busy but not particularly exciting day. In the morning, I went to the supermarket, which, here in Christchurch, meant catching the free shopping shuttle across town. This time I went to the New World Supermarket; I wish in retrospect that I had chosen the Countdown, but I wanted some Dial shampoo and the New Worlds seem to carry it.
After lunch I went out again, this time to the bank, to receive my Netguard card for Internet banking and to pull money for my next two destinations. At about half the hostels I'm staying at, payment is due in cash at the time of arrival. The others have been prepaid by credit card for months.
I wandered around a bit downtown, just so I could feel I had done a little sightseeing, but I didn't really enjoy myself. The central city had clearly been damaged anew by the recent aftershocks. I walked to Cathedral Square, but there was no chess game being played. I walked through Victoria Park and the fountains were off, though when I rode past later on the shuttle I was glad to see that they were back on. I must have
BNZ's open too...
... and its mascot welcomes you to their central city office.
hit a moment of maintenance.
I caught the shuttle back to my stop, Christchurch Casino, and I finally yielded to temptation and went in to have a look at the Casino. It was small but fairly well appointed, with $10 table games in the center of the room and slots around the edges. There was also a $1 "Money Wheel," a roulette variant, with, of course, terrible odds. Two senior citizens were playing it and, by the look of things, having a wonderful time losing their stakes. I did not bet on anything.
I got back at 3 and decided to do laundry. Indeed, an inspection of my clothes convinced me that I had
to do laundry, as soap had dried all down the leg of my black pants, which I had planned to wear tomorrow.
The washing machine was a home unit with warm water. Ah, I thought, my streak of bad laundry luck, which began in Dunedin, is about to break. I put on my backup swimsuit and washed everything else I owned.
Bad move. I've been sitting around in that swimsuit, and getting increasingly cold and unhappy, for seven long hours now. At
this point, just as at Oamaru, the delicates are drying on a rack in my room with the owner's permission, four hours' drying having made so little impression on them that water dripped from one pants leg when they were taken from the dryer. The regular wash is finally getting its turn to dry in the dryer, and I anticipate no real problems, though it may take two sessions (in which case I won't get to bed till 11.
I have no idea why, after successfully washing these clothes in Auckland, Christchurch, Tekapo, Cromell, and Te Anau, I should have had so much trouble in Dunedin, Oamaru, and now Christchurch, but so it is. As I cannot very well simply refrain from washing anything for the rest of the trip, I shall hope that bad things come in threes.
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