19 October 2007 (Hong Kong)
Gina asked us if we could bring some red feathers from South Africa. If she graduates her Maori culture course, she wants to wear a Maori cloak which she is creating during her studies and she wanted to add red feathers. In South Africa we haven’t seen any red bird, let alone a loose feather.
Yesterday in Hong Kong we walked into a ‘botanical garden’ which turned out to be a disguised zoo in reality. It was quite a bizarre location, deep down between the skyscrapers of 100 meters high.
There was a cage with flamingos. These guys were not red, but orange is almost red, isn’t it? For 30 minutes with a stick we tried to pick out the loose feathers from the mesh. After a while, Frank put on his sweetest face (you don’t know what you see!) and seduced a staff member of the garden to give us some larger and nicer feathers from deeper inside the cage. He was more than willing to help us. This year the ‘bird flu’ is often in the news, so probably the customs go crazy and we will be hang on the gallows if they find out we sent feathers from China to New Zealand …
After returning at the airport in New Zealand, we saw our car was still waiting for us. Before we drove home, Frank needed to reconnect the wires of the battery (a cunning anti-theft device in kiwi-style, if you park for a longer time). When he opened the bonnet, he saw something very wonderful …
Spoken about cars and animals; By the time we would return from South-Africa we would have received the cheque of $ 2200 of that sheep guy. But … of course it wasn’t.
Frank was so patient to call the guy to remind him that the money should have been on our account a week ago. Then again the guy started a whole monologue that by he closer inspection he decided it was our own fault. And that the judge had not listened to him, and that $ 2200 was way too much for such a small scratch and that the damage was about more than the value of our whole car! Frank remained admirably calm and unmoved, while I probably had exploded in my anger.
Although we did not expect anything else than being a pain, unfortunately now we need to initiate a new process. A bailiff.