New Zealand Time – March 20th, 12:01 p.m.
It’ll be the first day of Spring very soon at home. Here in New Zealand, fall has arrived. I keep expecting to see Halloween decorations on front porches.Â Even if it was October, I’d be disappointed. Averil gave me the impression that kiwis don’t celebrate Halloween like we do. No watching Dad carefully carve the Grandpa pumpkin? No hot pink hair dye in a spray can? No curly pirate moustaches drawn by mum with black eyeliner? No Empire Strikes Back pillowcase filled with mini Mars bars, rockets, plain no-name potato chips, and the odd, coveted RC cola??!! How very, very different childhood must be.
The weather over the past week has been wild. Gale force winds and torrential rainfall. Greg was off for a whole week, and we had planned to head out on some kind of adventure (bike ride to the coast? yeah, right Greg, is my name Lance?), but all we could really do was huddle down indoors and stay dry. But honestly, I’m enjoying this change from the seemingly endless sunshine. “Variety is the spice of life”, right?
We went down to Rosie O’Grady’s to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Greg’s schoolmates were supposed to meet there at 6:30. Only 4 showed up, and Averil was the only one to stay the whole night. There’s a bug going around. (And I seem to have caught it. What would fall be without a cold?) I had a great time at the pub. The place was packed with all sorts of people wearing various shades of green. St. Patty’s day is celebrated the same here as it is in Canada. They had a live band playing favourite Irish tunes – we danced most of the night. I can’t think of a better way to spend a night out. Some of you out there are familiar with the dancing fever that takes a hold of me after having a few drinks. It was cool knowing that people were, or would shortly be, laughing and dancing and doing pretty much the same thing all over the world. Living in New Zealand, a country so far from home and yet so comfortably familiar, has really given me a sense that “it is a small world, after all”. An interesting thing to note: Guinness tastes very different down here in New Zealand! Its much thinner, and very bitter. I could only make it through 2 pints before having to switch to the more palatable choice of rum and coke. We met a couple Irish guys at the bar, and they agreed that NZ Guinness left much to be desired. Makes me wonder…. does the quality of the brew improve the closer you are to Ireland? How delicious is honest-to-goodness Guinness brewed in Ireland?? We’ll have to test that theory someday. Anyhow, the evening ended at about midnight. We walked home in the rain, stopping first at the BK Lounge for an order of fries – nothing more delicious than greasy, salty, pulpy fries after an evening of drinks and dancing.
Three weeks from now Greg has his 2 week holiday. Our plan is to head to the South Island. I am throwing myself into research and trip-planning. What with that formidable task, and my new obsession with Facebook (look me up: “Hollis M”), I’m a very busy girl. Of course, I still have time to escape with a cup of tea, a few oreos and a good book….. ;-)
P.S. Thanks for all the kind comments on my travel posting, everyone! I couldn’t believe it when Greg pointed out that it was over 5000 words – that’s longer than any essay I wrote at Brock. If only I could have felt similarly inspired back then.