Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be be back again
Gidday mates! This is my writing somewhere halfway between Hamilton and Sydney on board a delightfully smooth Freedom Air flight, drinking a cheeky wee Sauvignon Blanc, listening to Noam Chomsky (Post 911 Terrorism and the US, CBC Interview, 2002) and counting my blessings that I managed to be psychic enough to get the passport/leaving the country timing sussed so I didn’t have to fork out my money and biometrics for an ePassport.
So what have I been up to? I’ve been cruising around the country over the last couple of weeks saying good bye to friends and family. Got to spend Labour Weekend in the Hawkes Bay so that was pretty wet (/understatement). But the sunny Bay of Plenty made up for it. After being in Winstonland for a few days (bought some SEXY new boots – if you’re a tramper, go to new tramping shop Hikoi at the Mount), I headed to the ‘Tron to sort out last of the business I needed to do. Hamilton included Halloween parties, gatecrashing Rocky Horror Picture Show closing night parties and drinking far too much.
I also popped up to Auckland for a night to say goodbye to friends and family and had the most amazing time at the Dogs Bollix. One of my favourite goddesses in the whole entire world, Kim (Green Auckland OOP Office Drill Sergeant) organised drinks there and invited a whole heap of local Greens and I invited some of my friends too. I walked past earlier in the day and saw that it was open mike night which made me pretty excited. But I was not prepared for the most amazing night ever! Firstly, catching up with Auckland Greens was great. Nice to have an opportunity to see how Greens outside of Wellington saw the election and fun to share my opinions on how things are going.
After that the music started. It was obvious once things got going that this was a regular crew of people that came to this regular night at the Bollix. They were mostly older people but it wasn’t open mike as in up on a stage, rather everyone sat in a big circle and jammed. It was so cool! Some amazing talents and an incredible atmosphere. They even sang Waltzing Matilda which I figure I should get used to hearing more often. But a big thank you to all of those people for welcoming us into their wonderful community.
But had my last night in NZ last night. Had dinner at home with the folks and then went out with a friend to drink beer and play pool. Started at Diggers Bar and got thoroughly thrashed at pool, but enjoyed some great live music. Then we decided to go find somewhere neither of us had been before but the only places that fitted that description were pretty awful looking. So we headed to Sohl Bar for a cocktail. After cocktails it occurred to me that I should get rid of the rest of my NZ currency so what better way of doing that than going to the Casino!
I’ve never been to a Casino before. In fact I don’t like them very much at all, but this time thought there could be some mild entertainment value in going to a casino with the explicit purpose of losing money. Now among my things I know about is pokie machines (c/- Bachelor Social Sciences one of my majors was Psychology), in particular the behaviour reinforcement schedules that they use to ensure you a) lose money and b) keep losing money, which is why I stay well clear. But I struck a wee problem in my plan of losing money in that I was not very good at it! My friend next to me was quite good at it, but I seemed to get the machine at the right stage in the cycle. So I’m putting money in the machine and it keeps giving it back! I ended up resorting to giving some of it to my friend to put in for me cause he was much better at it than I was. I came to the conclusion that I just didn’t have the right attitude 😉 But I did get rid of it all eventually and as we were sick of seeing all these miserable looking people sitting around tables (which did lead to a highly amusing conversation about whether they’d actually kick you out if you acted like they do in the advertisements) we left at about 3am.
So I’ve had one hours sleep and way too much booze and they just announced the next round so I’m going to go and read my book. I’m reading ‘The Explorers’ by Tim Flannery which is a collection of diaries from the colonisation of Australia. Just getting myself armed and ready to play with any racist locals I may encounter.
Love to all my friends and whanau, miss you all dearly.
P.S. It’s fucking hilarious listening Chomsky get interviewed by someone who doesn’t agree with him, he just destroys them intellectually. I think this guy must have gone home and cried after doing that interview! He gets points for trying but doesn’t know shit compared to Chomsky.