I took the kids to a playground down the bottom of Gladstone road today which is about a 20 minute walk away. After a little while of watching the kids happily playing I suddenly found I needed to do a poo. The park area had a public toilet and on going inside it I was relieved to find a fairly new and clean facility. I managed to complete my business while simultaneously preventing Elizabeth from playing with the sanitary bin. I finished, stood up and pulled up my jeans then turned around to flush and there in the toilet bowl, partly submerged in a mix of my piss and poo as well as the remnants of an unknown number of other people’s piss and poo was my one-month-old mobile phone. It must have leapt from the back pocket of my jeans as I pulled them up. To make matters worse this toilet had no soap. I’ve always found New Zealand public toilets lacking in soap. Do people steal it? Fortunately I had a tube of hand-sanitizer in my handbag; a consequence of living in Christchurch where the water quality is constantly compromised by ongoing big earthquakes. I wiped my phone then smeared the stuff over it and my hands. The phone still works.
After the playground we decided to catch a bus to Saint Heliers to look around and visit some real estate agents. We waited at a very busy bus stop on Tamaki Drive where there was no seat or bus shelter and it unfortunately started to rain. Daniel is terrified of pretty much everything mother nature throws at us these days so I hailed the first bus that came along. A very kindly bus driver, who was not going to Saint Heliers, offered to drive us to a bus shelter where we could wait for another bus in relative comfort. He refused to accept any money for our fare and ended up taking us all the way to Mission Bay which was just wonderful. The kids played on the beach and the playground. I then decided to walk around to Saint Heliers from there which wasn’t much more than 20 minutes.
I didn’t have any luck finding a place to live but it was a pretty little place to visit nonetheless. We caught the bus back and traipsed all the way back up the hill past the playground. Or at least I traipsed up the hill while the kids rode in the push chair. Now they’re happily watching the Wiggles while I enjoy a cup of tea. I have also given my hands a good wash. I only wish I could wash my phone.