if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trade Me Friends

In New Zealand the equivalent of ebay online auction is called Trademe. I was fascinated by ebay and did quite a bit of recreational shopping and even some business on that site. Of course, being new immigrants here and having young children we have some holes to fill in the material possession category. To my partner Jordan, the self appointed minimalist guru of our house, this spaciousness was fine. I, on the other hand wanted a chair worthy of my welcoming tired bakers bones and my considerably more discerning eye. I have had a dozen or so transactions on the net using Trademe. I have had a high percentage of interesting encounters from these purchases.

The first I can remember is the German washer we bought for just 120.00. We were just about to fly the nest of the commune we lived at initially for 6 months on arrival in Auckland. Jordan went to pick it up and called to ask if we wanted to also buy a queen Rimu (native hardwood) bed and a tidy near new fridge (a rental doesn't usually come with one here) I said sure, if you like them, go for it. We went to meet the man and pick up the bed and happened to get the car in a very precarious perch, just driving off the drive and suspending our van on the edge hovering over a considerable decline with a nice house close by, downhill. Jordan was wrapped up in the problem and I had to get pretty loud to get him to take note of the slipping tire and the situations potential. By the time I made my noise, a house painter (who's father actually owned both of the residences- the one we were visiting and the one we were threatening to roll our van into) He quickly got some boards to stack and elevate to reach the rear wheel. The bottom of the van was touching the cement, but I was sure how much weight was resting on it and if it could still be on the move. We got a couple of jacks and more boards and finally got the car back on the driveway. Profuse gratitude was expressed and we finally got on our way to our new house with our new stuff. Another memorable transaction was for the purchase of a collection of odd items including a yogurt maker, bathroom scale. wine rack, bread box rolling desk looking thing. I cant remember how I got directed to the odd lot of household items, but the $4.00 'buy it now' price seemed practically humorous and the location was close by. I bought the lot and wrote an email to Svetlana to arrange pick up. On a dreary fall nigh, my entire clan ventured to her house. She was a tender and charming older woman with a lovely Russian accent. She insisted I call her Lana and I asked her about using the yogurt maker ( that and I bathroom scale were the only things I could recollect of the lot) She found that I'd forgotten what I'd bought hilarious! She told me she makes cottage cheese now (HOW?) and didn't need the yogurt maker at all anymore. She helped me to the car even though it was raining pretty good, I think is was mention of the family there that drew her, really. She took one look at Desmond and was ready to engage him. Desmond had recently spent a few days with the Cat in the Hat movie. Now, in my day, that was a wholesome affair, The Cat in the Hat... other than the unnerving fact that the cat and kids were probably going to get busted in some mischeif, it was good and clean fun. Well, in the Mike Myers movie there is enough adult innuendo to make a Suess roll in his grave. One such grown up joke is when the cat calls his grubby garden tool a "dirty ho' " repeatedly, with plenty of emphasis. Welllll , Desmond decided to recycle that joke in real life and started calling Lana a "dirty Ho". "You dirty ho' !" he would gruffly rant and she would say "what is he saying?" and give him an affectionate but assertive tickle and he would jyrate wildly and bump his head on the dashboard. This went on two or three times. I was, of course, aghast and tried to get Desmond to apologize , and then to stop that! He was on a roll with the tickling-head bumping -" Dirty Ho" game he had going. I finally had to resolve that neither of them really knew what he was saying and they were having a purely harmonious encounter, so I left it alone and had a chuckle, myself. Seeing a computer cable in our car,she asked if we were computer people. She had developed a method of rapid language english lessons and wanted to get it into digital medium. Jordan sort of dodged that bullet and we said our goodbyes and thank yous. She complemented us on our fine company and said it would be alright to come back and see her, she mentioned some of her interests to lure us, the only one I can remember is extra terrestrial life. We left there with an odd lot of grins.
We got some wonderful footage of Mauri dance when a woman and her daughter came by our house to deliver some kitchen wares Id' hi-bid' on. The lush dark featured daughter of about 9 or so mentioned she was on her way to traditional Mauri dance lessons. this piqued our interest and we asked her if we could get that on videotape, she shrugged and smiled and next thing you know,Jordan got the camera going. The footage is heartwarming to watch, not only the dancer's earnest storytelling, but her mother's pride beside her. One trademe purchase was a fiasco! We went all the way by ferry boat to the tune of $58.00 (walk on) to Waiheke island to pick up some new Birkenstock sandals for Jordan. It was a comedy of errors as we navigated our way through the limited public transportation, bolted off the bus when it was in the town, thinking we didn't have enough cash, only to realise we did, but the bus only came hourly, so we walked with the kids on our backs too far and ended up at a park while Jordan made the final leg of the trek alone, only to discover that the shoes were Narrow and didn't fit. He rejected them and got the money back. The seller, an absolutely cottled Swiss masseuse, was quite perturbed and gave us our only negative feedback on the transaction, oh well, you cant win them all!

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