Sometimes, I miss America

There are definite shortcomings to living in a very small country. Many companies (even those owned by the government) are true monopolies. Lack of competition keeps prices pretty high; for instance, the big milk products company, Fonterra, for which Hubby works, charges New Zealanders the same price as they charge for milk products they export. 

We do have McDonalds, Burger King, KFC. I see tv ads for Target, so I assume they are in the big cities. I saw a K-Mart once in Palmerston North. There are a few other chain stores, all NZ owned, but very few opportunities to 'comparison shop' in our part of the country. As hard as it was to learn to do, I did figure out that I should buy something when I see it because there is no guarantee it will still be there next week. That goes for everything from cereal to a pair of scissors to garden seeds. 

Recently, Missy's grandad died and we paid for her to fly back to Stratford from college uni the bottom of the South Island. The cost was not important for her to fly about 1440km or just over 700 miles, but we did inquire about bereavement fares. 

Today we found out how much of a break we got with the reduced fare--a whole $70. Compared to the cost of the last-minute, full price fare, it hardly seemed worth the effort she put in to prove she had been to a funeral.

Sometimes, it's not an easy world to live in. It's times like this that I miss the American way of business.

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