How to Get Left Behind on the Side of the Road

This is a story (ok maybe it’s sort of a rant as well) about 2 travelers who formed a relationship based on convenience and how one of them completely screwed it up. As some of you know I purchased a car here in New Zealand and have been going it solo most of the way. In Nelson I stayed at the Paradiso Backpackers and met lots of people, one of whom was a Japanese girl that we’ll call Kate. At the time she had been traveling with a German guy for the past month but she had to start heading north to Auckland to catch her flight out. As it turned out I was also heading north and looking for someone to split the petrol costs with from Nelson to Wellington so she accepted my ride offer. A couple of days later we set off for Picton to catch the interisland ferry. On the drive there we talked a bit to fill the time since we were listening to the same crappy CDs that came with my van (Michelle Branch and Kelly Clarkson).After a quick 2 nights in Wellington, we next set off for National Park, the best jumping off point for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Along the way we stopped to get groceries and she suggested that we share the food to save on costs. It was a good idea since we were now traveling together so I agreed. She was really nice and cooked dinner for the both of us the first 2 nights while I washed all the dishes. After 3 nights in National Park we set off for Taupo.

By the time we reached Taupo some things about Kate were beginning to frustrate me. To be fair, she’s from Japan so English is not her native language. Despite her stating that she wants to learn more English she’s so quiet that it feels like I’m still traveling alone. When I was driving alone I listened to my Ipod but I didn’t want to be rude so I left my Ipod in my bag and listened to Michelle Branch and Kelly Clarkson on loop for the entire drive. In Taupo I sent her a text message to plan the skydive but she never responded. As we were leaving Taupo I asked her if she had gotten our food out of the kitchen and she nodded yes, but when I checked the back of the van where the food goes it wasn’t there so I went into the kitchen and unsurprisingly all of our food was still there. Then after I opened the passenger side door I asked her to unlock my door, to which she nodded yes. I walked around to the driver side and my door was locked. Frustration builds.

Our next stop was Rotorua and instead of staying at the highly rated hostel which I booked for myself she booked herself into another hostel on the other side of town. I’m nice so I dropped her off at her hostel but since we’ve shared the cost of food it’s now a bit complicated. She takes the bulk of the food and says that she’ll cook dinner again and that we should meet at her hostel around 7pm for dinner. Fair enough. I then leave for my hostel, have lunch, and explore the town. It turns out that I don’t have her correct mobile number (not her fault) so I have no way to reach her other than to call her hostel. As I said earlier I sent her a text when we were in Taupo which I now know she never got, however you would think she would have told me that she never got the text. It’s getting close to 7pm and she hasn’t contacted me yet (she has my #) so I drive over to her hostel and hope to see her.

I’m standing outside talking to some people I met in Taupo when I see her walk by (as always listening to her Ipod). She sees me and continues walking so I have to call out to her to come over. She looks at me and starts to walk on again but finally I get her to come over. First I get her correct mobile number then I ask what’s the deal with dinner. She said she’s not hungry so I should eat on my own and she points me to where the kitchen is and starts walking off again. I have no idea where she put our food so I practically have to drag her into the kitchen to show me where she put our food cause she kept trying to walk off to her room. At this point my frustration is now really high.

After I cooked, ate, and cleaned up I wanted to plan our departure to Auckland tomorrow. She never told me what room she was in so I had to waste more mobile credits and call her (note that she has an Australian # so it’s even more expensive than calling an NZ mobile). Her lack of communicating obviously useful information to me is really getting to me now. She asked me some time back if I wanted to go to Matamata to visit a Lord of the Rings film site. I was interested in going there but I didn’t know the details of the tour times, prices, etc. Also, I had completely forgotten about it till she brought it up again the day before she wanted to go. Since I wanted to visit the Maori Village the next morning it was highly unlikely that I’d be able to get to Matamata for the last tour in the early afternoon. She now just completely stopped talking and I could tell she was upset. I suggested she arrange her own transport and I could pick her up in Matamata later on. Instead of taking action she just sat there silent so I wasted more of my mobile credits and called the tour company to inquire about the tour and transport. The company said they’d call me back but they never did but it was likely to cost about 15NZD for one way transport from Rotorua to Matamata. Kate didn’t like this at all but it seemed that she had gotten it into her head that I was her personal driver or something. I told her in a matter of fact way to arrange her own transport if she wanted to go and that I could pick her up in Matamata. She finally opened her mouth and said she was very upset that I said I was going to go (like a week ago!) and now I wasn’t going to take her there. She then opened the door to her room to let me out in a “get the f*** out” kind of way. Frustration is now at a boiling point.

The next morning I went to the Maori Village and being the responsible one I sent her a text to see when she wanted to be picked up later on in Matamata. She called me back and asked to be picked up at that very moment because “she has to carry so many things including my food”. At this point I was thinking “WTF are you an idiot?” because the only food of mine that she now possessed was my container of butter, an onion, and my chilly bag. All of a sudden she was very keen on speaking cause she wanted something and then got pissy cause I wasn’t going to pick her up. And seriously, pick her up for what? She was supposed to arrange her own transport to Matamata. Anyhow, I agreed to pick up the food from her hostel later on and she asked to be picked up at 4pm in Matamata.

I arrived in Matamata at 3:30pm accompanied by a Canadian guy I met who needed a lift to Auckland. It was refreshing to have someone who I could actually have a good conversation with while driving as opposed to the dead silence that Kate offered up. The tour which departed at 1:30pm was scheduled to arrive back at 3:45pm so I thought to myself my timing was good. However the 1:30pm group came back but she was nowhere to be found. Thinking she may have gotten lost or something we waited around for a bit then I sent her a text message around 4:05pm. At 4:20pm I tried calling her but she didn’t pick up. Finally at 4:40pm she called back saying that she didn’t have reception at the farm and would be back in 20-30min.. Fair enough regarding the reception but “if you missed the 1:30pm tour and got on the 2:30pm tour which is scheduled to return at 4:45pm why didn’t you call me to let me know that you wouldn’t be here at 4pm? You had an hour before leaving on the 2:30pm tour to let me know.” She said she didn’t understand so I repeated my question again albeit in a much more agitated way. Again, she said she didn’t understand so I asked again slower and more clearly but before I could finish the line dropped. The line drop was no accident, the bitch hung up on me.

That was the last straw. I put all her food in a plastic bag, left her a note saying that I couldn’t take her to Auckland cause she’s a bitch, left the bag in front of the tour dropoff point and drove off. Good luck getting to Auckland to catch your flight tomorrow bitch! At first I wasn’t sure if she was just stupid but now I think it’s a combination of stupidity, selfishness, being inconsiderate and being a bitch. She must’ve been expecting the outcome too cause she only tried to call me once after I left her in Matamata. Good riddance.

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