Taupo: The town of the tourist, and the half-arsed tourist operator.

I've been in Taupo for the better part of a week now, and I'm downright unimpressed. Now let's get this straight, I'm NOT hard person to impress, I'm really not. Give me warmth, edible food and a little nod in the interest of friendly-ness and I'm ready to move in and camp out for the rest of the year. Places like National Park and Turangi I'm ready to give up the convenience of 24 hour supermarkets and quaint Asian Dairies that sell the coveted hard-to-find Magno Tea for.

Taupo? After being here 5 days I'm ready to go home. Taupo is place for tourists who don't know any better, and are still amazed at seeing giant bodies of water. Taupo is for people who don't care about service, and just don't want to help people out. Taupo is not friendly, and is not for me.

What I'm mostly sad about is the crap customer service I've experienced at EVERY place I've been to. Lakeside Villas is where we are staying thanks to the generosity of a friend back in Auckland who had an apartment for a week, but wasn't using it. But if your not getting it free, don't stay there. On the first day we were here I went to reception mid morning to find out if they had a snow report. I got ignored, to the point where they locked the door and shut the curtains. Okay, so not the friendliest bunch. On the second day the guy argued with me about whether I would want to be using the wireless connection from my room.

. . .

Yes, I want to. Do not tell me that I don't, buddy. Me and the internet are *tight*, okay? By the third day we were having issues with the available washing machines, and the drama around getting washing powder was a nightmare.

But let's not stop at Lakeside villas. The customer service at Poitoins Ski Shop was a disaster and we spent a good hour just trying to hire a set of skis, poles and boots for my Dad. We were turned away at the Prawn Park because they decided that the day was too slow so they sent home their staff, only to find that they weren't able to deal with the afternoon traffic. We also went to Scenic Cellars where we were followed around, because apparently the video surveillance wasn't good enough and oh wow, we might crack into the wine right then and there.

But it gets worse. We've eaten at a fair portion of the pubs here, and not one has served decent pub food. Even worse is the bad Pub Quizzes held at The Shed (avoid on a Wednesday night, if you can - you want to survive with your brain intact).

It appears that everything is run at half the pace in Off-Season Taupo. It is very slow, and very plodding. Not at all the upbeat fun of National Park, or any other small stop-over we've been in.

I sent a txt to a good friend of mine complaining. He laughed at me and said that I deserve this. I did, afterall, go to Taupo.

I did. And I'm more than ready to go home.