Four Star COVID Concentration Camps!

I hear American media are discussing "NZ COVID Camps" – and since I've seen one I thought I should weigh in. This photo shows a COVID camp in downtown Christchurch: the Crowne Plaza. People who enter New Zealand stay at four-star hotels like this. I've previously stayed at several of the hotels being used for [...]

COVID-19: New Zealand at Level 2

New Zealand has entered Level 2, aka "Slightly Distanced Normality." You may have heard that NZ has "eradicated" the virus. That's why the country is starting to open up. What happened, and what's going on now? New Zealand started its lockdown with just over 100 cases, and it was much more stringent than the "shelter [...]

How to Keep a Taxi From Taking Advantage of You

Everywhere from Sydney to Phuket to Rome to Prague, we've had taxis try to take advantage of us. Sometimes, they've succeeded. Here are some of the scams we've run into, and how we've learned to avoid them. The Long Way 'Round Scam Many years ago, before Google Maps was a twinkling in Larry Page's eye, [...]

In Praise of Lesser Known Destinations

Lots of people who look into housesitting imagine themselves taking care of a luxury penthouse in New York City, a beach house in the Maldives, or a fin de siecle apartment in Paris. I’ve even had someone say to me, “I’m ready to do my first housesit! Can you hook me up with something in [...]