Saturday, 16 May 2009

Bodily Functions 2 and goodbye to NZ

I think I have done something to upset the gods and goddesses of good fortune. After the snore-fest and my subsequent escape to my hotel haven, more unfortunate bodily functions awaited me back in Auckland.

Of my last last few days in my fab hotel in Christchurch, I do not have much to report. So overwhelmed was I at having a flat screen with a movie channel and an ensuite that I took full avantage of both features. Basically meaning I ate crisps in bed while watching Narnia and peed with the door open (its just so liberating!). I also cut my hair. Yep, myself. Well, I standing in front of the mirror bemoaning the unhealthy state of my hair and the complete lack of enthusiasm about hairdressers causing the multiple spilt ends. And then I decided, I have scissors, I have cut open people so why not cut my hair (I may have had a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir at this stage). So I did and took off about 5 inches. It's now lying just off my shoulders and it looks alright if I do say so myself. Saved myself a bit of money on a hair cut and shampoo. Maybe I shoud become a hair dresser on my return. Apparently they are the happiest profession, social workers being the least- big shock there.

That's bascially my news from the end of Christchurch. I did visit the cathedral and I have to say I was disappointed. After all the fabulous decorative and majestic Catholic Cathedrals of Itlay and Spain, this Protestant one was a bit drab. I know the old cathedrals of Europe were built with the blood, sweat, money and tears of peasants, but my word they do have lovely buttresses.

On Tuesday I flew back to Auckland for my last few days in New Zealand and to get the last bits of organisation done for flying to the states. Much like the last few days in Australia, I was feeling ready to go. There is still much to do and see in NZ, but my passion has waned some what and I'm hoping a change of country will re-ignite it. As such, these last few days have quite solitary, reading books and having lots of cups of tea. The effort of making (as Edward Norton calls it in the cult film Fight Club) 'single service friends' was a bit beyond me this week.

Oops, I'm forgetting my sequence of events in my deep reflectiveness. Yes, so I arrived in Auckland and returned to the YHA that I stayed at before. To my surprise (and the receptionist) for some reason I was given a free upgrade to a 3 bed dorm. I wasn't going to complain, that was until I entered the room. There were 3 single beds in this small room, 2 occupied by at this stage absent travellers and there was a very curious smell (and by curious I mean stinky). I opened the window and thought no more of it and went for a walk. I couldn't help notice that both beds were adorned with French travel guides so I assumed (correctly) that my roomates were 2 French girls travelling together.

I was out quite late that night, being the cheap evening at the cinema, I of course when and on my return to the room the lights were off and my two roomates were in bed sleeping. This was not the first thing I noticed. The first thing that hit me was the pungent smell that burst from the room on the opening of the door. I actually gasped. I had to sleep that night with my head under a sheet to protect me from the stench. Why have the gods abandoned me so! What made me all the more curious about these two girls is that they never seemed to speak to me (not even a hello despite my efforts) or each other or get out of bed. The next morning I arose and showered and faffed about at bit and on my return to the room about 12, they were still sleeping. That in itself wasn't too extraordinary, but that eveing about 8pm, I returned to the room and they were in bed again with the lights off (and smell on). I then assumed, prehaps they are getting up early for a flight. No. And then again they weren't out of bed by 11 the next day.

Now, I'm not trying to be xenophobic here, but these two girls really did fulfil the lazy, smelly and unfriendly French stereotype. Not good ambassadors for their country. Fortunately after the third night they then left and I aired the room. I think one of them must have had some sort of bowel complaint, it really was an extrardinary odour.

However, in between inhabiting my smelly room, it has been a nice week. I feel refreshed and ready for a change of scene and I needed to get a travel guide for the states to help me plan my next adventure. Travel guides as with most books here in NZ are quite expensive and I was bemoaning this fact when I stumbled across a fabulous little second hand bookshop (I have a nose for them). One whole wall of this tiny shop was populated by very new, yet half price lonely planets and got very carried away. So carried away I failed to notice what inhabited the other shelves of the bookshop. A lot of Agatha Christie, some DVDs and an entire back section wall to wall with porn and erotica. I bought my lonely planets and scampered away from the porn shop and bought myself a cake to get over the trauma (any excuse).

Now a bit of background about me and porn in bookshops. I have an uncanny ability to walk into erotica sections of bookshops quite without noticing. In fact my internal compass seems to lead me to it first and then suddenly I'll look more closely at the titles and realise my error. All this started back in my school days when as an innocent teenager I got lost in Borders bookshop in Glasgow. I had just been for my medical school interview and had some time to kill before getting my train. I was nervous about being in the 'big city' so I sought sanctuary in a familiar place. However, what happened was I got lost in a labyrinth of shelves and staircases in which every path seemed to lead back to the Gay, Lesbian and Erotic section. I eventually had to ask someone how to escape. And now to this day I seem drawn there like a moth to a flame. The irony is I depise erotic fiction, I think it's all terribly silly.

Anyway, that has been the main excitement of my week apart from meeting up with Eilidh Nicol, an old friend, yesterday. By sheer serendipity she has only just arrived back from Scotland after being home for a few months so I was lucky to catch her before I headed off again. It was so nice to see her and it was lovely to chat about familiar things for a change. She also took me out to the infamous One Tree Hill. A hill that used to tree on it, but now doesn't (a mad activist cut it down, for more details go to wikipedia). It has been mentioned in a U2 song and there's now an American teen drama of the same name.

I am now preparing for the off. I have packed my bag myself, binned any consumable goods and ensured all my sharps are in my stowed luggage. I've got my visa waiver form filled out and printed, my passport primed and ready. So fingers crossed people they let me in the country and it being a 12 hour flight, have some films I haven't seen on the aircraft. About both these pressing matters, I am concerned.

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