26 October 2005

Structural collapse, robbery & surfing - A weekend in Auckland

Stay tuned for tales of a party so disastrous it was on the national news, dealing with the injured, a robbery, catching the waves, moving house and patra.

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not in any way be exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advance. The robbery in question is of my things, including phone and bank cards, however does not include my laptop or involve confrontation. The collapse of part of a house during a party results in the concussion of a woman, the broken leg of another, the bruising of somebody’s right hand, the untimely ejection on the cold rainy streets of Auckland and sudden demise of a party. In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved, no revelation will yet be made concerning whose right hand sustained the bruise. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever.

So after my previous blatant gloating, the weather in Auckland was suddenly horrible.. cold wet & windy. I was sat in the office in a wooly hat.. How can so much water fall from the sky? Why haven't Kiwis herd of insulation?

So me and my Wellington pal Pip brave the cold wet blustery weather to go to big party (of the donations to get in kind) being thrown at the house of a friend. It was totally rammed, hundreds were there and we spend most of the night up on the deck (balcony), but got to cold so fought out way in to watch the bands.

Suddenly there's alarms going off and I assume we are being raided for something or other and we all squash downstairs to get out. Pip, myself and a random bloke spot a disorientated woman staggering about being ignored by everyone else and go to help. She has blood running down her head is in a very dazed state, so we call an ambulance, carry her out the front and keep her warm & talking so she doesn't loose consciousness. As we carry her past the side of the house we could see that the balcony has collapsed under the weight of so many people... So after eventually getting her to an ambulance we call it a night and head home, soggy as we are. Apparently it was on the next day's TV news!
New Zealand Herald article

So I've moved into a room on the infamous Karangahape Road for a few weeks. Its the centre of all things in Auckland.

Within spitting distance I have:
- an all night 'Dairy' (like a well stocked corner shop)
- a chinese supermarket
- a pool hall
- several night clubs including 'Family' a groovy gay club (full of very cute boys who dance fantastically)
- food from every corner of the planet including a cheep Indian doing the most amazing vegan Masla Dosa & Patra
- several pretty sleazy sex shops
- an army surplus store
- a choice of cafes with vegan cake and hot chocolate
- an animal rights shop/campagin HQ
- several op shop and 2nd hand clothing stores
- a bar doing a range of organic spirits & liqueurs
- a strip club
- organic juice bar
- some hippy shops wafting stinky incense onto the street

Now while not all that list fill me with joy - however the only reason to leave my street is to go swimming in the sea and find an organic shop! I'm not gonna save much money am I...

Did I mention the Patra?

So suddenly the next day its summer again so we head over the hills, through miles of unspoilt bush to the beach where they shot 'The Piano' (picture) to go swimming at beach.. and I go body boarding and manage to catch some waves! Just picture me in the shallows on the tiny broken waves whooping with joy while the surfers further out roll their eyes at me..It was of course more or less at this moment that one of the people in this tale sustained a bruise to the right hand. This should be emphasized because, as had already been revealed, they escape otherwise completely unharmed.

This is where it all got a bit pants, calamity struck as I had my bag swiped at a club. It had lots of important things, like my new samsung phone my mum got me 2 weeks ago.. (last pic downloaded is on the right..) Pip & i were having a great time dancing all night at 'Family'... I was guarding my bag pretty staunchly.. but it was suddenly gone.

I'm pretty gutted theres lots of things gone, including my fab new pirate jacket I'm totally in love with :o( And the bag itself that I made.. at first light for hours I went around all the dumpsters & back allies in the area to see if it had been ditched, but sadly not. I'd only hours before moved into my new house and the keys were in my bag.. I had to wake up a flattie at 4am and explain who I am to let us in!

So I'm trying to move on.. so I've broken into my emergency bar of Green & Blacks ginger Carlo got me as a leaving pressie (thanks Carlo!)

I'm now getting to know my new flatties and being daily taunted by the giant Neon flashing 'SAMSUNG mobile phone' sign you can see from every window in the house...

Anyhow, thats all from this action packed instalment. Let the next one be duller!

The bruised right hand was mine (but I did get nipped by a crab at the beach - again...)

cookie loves cake & green&blacks ginger

16 October 2005

Summer in the City

Wow, like leaving the country it so much effort, I need a few weeks holiday to recover... I think packing my life away, dealing with a ridiculous stream of last minute bureaucratic tasks and then trying to have four leaving do's in four cities in less than a week was sheer madness.

I now have a camera phone so expect so much lower quality pics from me then your used to.. but at least I can snap random things on my daily travels.. Look new glassses!

So, I'm here, and things never seem to go to plan in nz.. I don't ever seem to get where I was going. I arrive in Auckland expecting to head to Wellington as soon as I'm over the jet-lag and within 48 hours I have a job, a room in a house and a borrowed bike. So wow, like a job I go to every day and a room I'm gonna sleep in most nights.. its only for 6 weeks but that's more stability than I've had for years!

And now for some blatant gloating...
There are definite advantages staying in in the warm north. Ohh what a day!.. its started wet and cold but you get 4 seasons in an hour in Auckland..  so then the sun came out and it saw suddenly like the middle of summer and we walked out to a local beach popped into the fab organic shop on route for ripe avocados for lunch then got to the sparkly ocean and I cackled with glee uncontrollably as we splashed about in the sea till we were to tired to swim any more.. then basked on rocks in the sun surrounded buy Pohutakawa trees and looked at the far tree covered shore and Waitakere hills. And this is spring. I'm back!!! (And this is all a short local bus ride from the city centre.) .. although I am paying for it all now with my feet all cut up on clams...
So for the cookie stalkers out there you can try and spot me on the webcam at my fave swimming spot..

Cycling in Auckland.
Think San Francisco. Bring back Leeds's Scott Hall road - all is forgiven.. You look at a map of Aks and your destination looks close then you get to an intersection and suddenly your looking down a precipice of a road down then up again to your level on the other side... wish me luck.. or uber-thighs!

So I'm still getting over my jet lag and used to being here - it's kinda strange to be back after a year around these familiar sights, sounds and smells. But more importantly.. how soon can I get south to those mountains...