Day 14 - 16/08/2003
Every member of our group had been feeling sick for the last few days (since the last day of the tour), because some bug seemed to travelled through the air-conditioning and the confined spaces of the bus and managed to infect a reasonable amount of people.
Fortunately, Anthony and I survived ... until now. I woke up feeling not so good. So, I took the day off, while the others went skiing. Greg's theory was that going skiing would make me better ... apparently the cold air would knock the cold out of my system or something??? The others (including myself) did not agree, so I stayed home and rested. Apparently I did not miss much because I was told by them that the winds were horrendous and the mountain was just one big block of ice (without much snow) ... confirmation that this is one of the worst ski seasons they have had in New Zealand in the last 20 years or so.
At home, I managed to watch a nice amount of television ... surprised to see an episode of "Survivor: Amazon", which must have been a few years old and relatively irrelevant since the result has been known for such a long time now. I also made the time to watch "A Beautiful Mind" (on recommendation from some of the other guys) - I had assumed that the movie would be boring and aimed to use it to help me get to sleep, but it was not about what I thought it was about and was much better than I expected.
For dinner, we went to "Beefeater Steak House". The food was reasonable, but the service was atrocious. When I ordered my meal, the waitress gave me a strange look, like I had ordered something that she had never heard of and I had to check that it actually was on the menu! The waitress was not only rude to us, but the table next to us had an awful experience: when their food was brought out, one of the customers said "This is not what I ordered", to which the waitress replied "I only write what I hear" ... the customers insisted that they wanted the other meal that they ordered to which point the waitress said "fine, but you will have to pay for both meals!". She continued to be rude to us throughout the meal and really topped it off when, at the end of the meal, she finally brought out my dessert (about half an hour late ... the ice-cream had virtually all melted outside of the hot apple strudel, because it had been sitting in the kitchen for so long ... when she brought it to the table, she laughed and said "Ha ha, I forgot about your dessert and the ice-cream seems to have melted" ... she offered no apologies and simply walked away ... possible the worst service I have ever had.
I would have complained, but after seeing the lack of success from the table near us, and the fact that I was feeling sick, I really could not be bothered.
We decided to compliment her by leaving a tip ... 5 cents exactly - hopefully she got the message and it will inspire her to do a better job with her next customers. Unfortunately, many of the restaurants in this area have good food, but very poor service (probably because they are hiring backpackers who do not give a damn?), however, some other establishments offered some of the best service we have ever experienced (sometimes by back-packers too) ... it is interesting what a big difference this can make.