Now that we on Waiheke Island are a major suburb of Auckland, and we contribute disproportionally to the rating base (you didn't think you could get away with your nice shiny mansions on your rock and not pay for the mainland plebs, never mind the potholed roads, pandering to off-island developers and cynical attempts to make you pay for your new shiny reticulation systems, did you?), commuting from the island is a daily reality for over a 1,000 islanders.
Last Saturday, I waited for my usual 7.45 Waiheke bus to the ferry terminal, and dutifully (it was Saturday morning after all, what was I thinking!) arrived at the bus stop at 7.30. By 8.30 I was still waiting there, the 8.00 ferry long gone over the horizon. Asking the bus driver of the next bus for an explanation was useless, of course. So I was reduced to filling in a complaint's form at the ferry terminal. No reply or acknowledgement to date, unsurprisingly.
I did a little digging of my own, and I found out that the phantom bus did exist after all, only its driver decided that my bus stop wasn't worthy of serving, so he took a different route to Matiatia. Perhaps bus drivers feel so alienated in their jobs, what with always having to go the same way at set times and deal with the great unwashed that want to board, that he thought a little creativity in re-routing his journey on Saturday morning would be a hoot.
Well, bugger to you too, mate.
A combined Stagecoach/Fullers Ferry/Waiheke Bus pass costs $245 per month. By all comparisons, this is a first class fare but all you get is cattle class service.
UPDATE 3 FEBRUARY: after a reminder email to Fullers they finally apologised for the mistake. The driver too the wrong turn unconsciously and proceeded to the ferry by-passing Surfdale that morning.