March 1, 2002 - Still More Stewart Island

I wonder if people living on islands are a different breed (they must be). There seems to be a rather fuzzy concept of opening hours here.

I was sitting in the JustCafe reading the paper after having lunch there and the proprietress comes up and says "Can you do me a favor?". I replied "sure" and she asked if I wouldn't mind if she closed the cafe since there hadn't been any customers for a while and her boyfriend asked her to lunch. This is a about 1 pm. The JustCafe is only open for breakfast and lunch anyway.

Valerie, the woman who has the B&B I'm staying at has a little shop attached called "Crystals n Coffee" where she sells crystals and polished stones and coffee and muffins to the trampers who pass by (the house is on the access road to the favorite three day walk on the island). She just closes up whenever she feel like, so there seem to be no regular hours.

The restaurants that I have been to, the Lighthouse Cafe and the Church Hill Cafe both indicate that they are "open til ???". In their cases, it seems that "???" is about 8:30pm.

I walked into a shop in the town (more like a village) today. No one was there. A couple of minutes later, the woman who was my waitress/chauffeur at the Church Hill cafe pops in and says that she'll be right back. Turns out it is her shop. A small Island; keep running into the same people.

As I was walking back to the B&B I ran into the old surveyor again. He was checking a benchmark along the side of the road. I asked him if he hadn't surveyed the whole island yet. He said that the folks who had been here a long time had built on the north sides of the hills to get the sun and there were still a lot of south side lots available. They would eventually be subdivided and built on. Still plenty of work. He also said that as recently as two years ago one could still buy a decent section of land for NZ$1,500. (That's a little more than US$600), but you can't get anything for under about NZ$20,000 today I saw an advertisement in the town for a section at NZ$150,000.

Just observations on Island life.

Updated: 07 April 2002