Saturday, 20 September 2008

For Yvonne and anyone else still reading this.

20/9 - I am currently in Vietnam, with a very nice, young lady. I will be heading back to the UK on 4/11, with Dung, the lady, in tow and then possibly back here in January. Who knows???? Certainly not me.
Thanks for reading this and I'll try to get it finished soon. I lost the bug, but have it back.

And on to NZ

12/6 - Up with the lark and in enough time for some coco pops, then off ot the airport. It's closer than I thiought, so I went straight to the gate in case I nodded off somewhere, this wandering around Sydney is getting me knackered, plus the hostels are cheap, but when there's a room full of lads, sleep is not as sound as it should be with all the comings and goings, or perhaps I am approaching middle-age. I crashed on the flight, but managed to wake up for food. Perhaps slept would have been a better choice of word than crashed for a flight.
The country around Auckland is very beautiful from the plane, very rugged. The fields are not flat, everyone has a small hillock. It was good to come out of the airport and not get hassled for a taxi, moto or rickshaw. I had a scan around and headed for the mini-bus. 30NZ dollars, seems a bit steep to me, but I'm still not used to the developed country prices. I was dropped at the hostel door, which made me smile, as it is perched ontop of a small, but outrageously steep slope. I need some exercise and it looks like I will get it. Into the hostel and they only had double shared rooms left for $33 a night. I was just about to say OK, when the lady said "I'll give it you for $22", the room that is. This is definitely not Asia. The rooms are getting smaller as I roam the hostels, but still very adequate.
Did a little bit of organising and I'm out to checkout Auckland. Bloody hell, it's hilly. I like Auckland, but I couldn't live here with these hills. Mind you I'd get fit or drop. The people h ere are much friendlier than Sydney and more real. It's more rough and ready, there doesn't seem to be anything fake here. I was sat on a bench, surprisingly, people watching adn a woman came up to the pedestrian crossing with her hands full, so she kneed the button, another whacked it with a water bottle. It's easy to see why the All Blacks play rough. The hostel is in Chinatown, or at least Far East town. There's loads of sushi places, Korean and Chinese restaurants and the people on the streets are mostly of Chinese origin. It's not too warm, definitely jumper and fleece weather, but I soon warm up with my unconventional gait, on the hills.
I checked out the ferry quays, but there's not a lot to see. It's the rush hour and they are busy. It's faster by ferry than road. Auckland and Sydney are similar, in that they are both big natural harbours and this commuting by ferries seems a cool way to commute. Time for a beer me thinks. It's cool, but I found a busy bar, where you can sit outside and there's live music, a lad on the guitar, so my first people watching beer in NZ has a nice feel to it. My kind of town, as somebody once sung. Only the one beer, then stopped for a kebab and rice on the way back. I'm not a sushi man. There are loads of fast food placessss, but not too appealing. It seems you have to eat posh or fast and not much in between, but I've only had a quick look. I headed back to the hostel and turning the corner, I thought I'd need a rope to get up the hill, but I wiggled on up. It did my heart good to see others struggling too.
There's a lad moved in with me, when I got back to the room. He's Argentinian and speaks good English. He's looking for work as an architect. He told me Argentina and NZ have some kind of treaty to make it easy to get work in each others country. How that came about I don't know.
He seems a canny lad and offered to let me use his laptop for email accesss.
Cuppa and an early night. I'll be meeting Mick, an old work colleague tomorrow, so that will probably entail a few beers.