Organising...and a little bit of socialising!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
Trip End Feb 27, 2006

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

I stayed in a different hostel on this visit to Christchurch, as I wasn't overly impressed with Foley Towers last time. The Old Countryhouse was a bit further away from the city centre, but it was a spotless place...and I had a dorm to myself for the first 2 nights! I immediately met another James, a guy from Northern Ireland who was at a loose end as his girlfriend had just flown home. So I spent a while talking to him, and he was equally as passionate about Oasis and cricket, so it was no surprise that we got on well. By coincidence, there was a recent Mojo magazine hanging around that had a decent article on...Teenage Fanclub! The weather outside was terrible, so I didn't even venture into town. I just chilled out, watched TV and had an early night.

The next morning, I got up nice and early as I had a lot to do. Aside from typing up my journal entries, I had emails to send, airport transport to arrange, tickets to print off and accommodation to book. It's a wonder I haven't got square eyes after that marathon session on the internet! By 1pm, I was ready for lunch so I headed back to the hostel, resisting the urge to grab a BK Chicken Meal! James was still moping around, so I said I'd go back into town with him after my beans on toast.

It was a lovely, clear day - the kind of day that makes you want to spend the afternoon chilling out with a few beers. So that's exactly what we did, and that first pint tasted so good after a mostly alcohol free time in Ashburton. We discussed our plans for the future, and James offered me a ticket to the All Blacks v Australia game in Dunedin at the end of August. It's tempting, but it's in the complete opposite direction to where I was going to go. We'll see what happens.

The barman pointed us in the direction of a pool hall, just a few blocks away, and so we went and played there for 2-3 hours...I won 11-5! Both of our games deteriorated somewhat as the beers were consumed, so at about 8pm we went back to the hostel, via Dominoe's Pizza! The alcohol had lowered my defences, although the ham and pineapple pizza was quite cheap, and very tasty!

We were soon bored at the hostel, so we went to a local pub for a couple more beers, and yet more games of pool. James made good use of the jukebox, but I was annoyed that none of the 'Rock n Roll' cds contained any Buddy Holly material. One of the locals offered me a game, cheekily adding that I could have a 4 ball start! He was rubbish, but on potting the black I also sank the he won by default! I was gutted.

As is always the case after a drinking session, I wake up early and can't get back to sleep. So at 5.30am the next morning, I found myself in the kitchen talking to a guy from Malaysia. He couldn't sleep because he was hungry, so while I ate my peanut butter on toast, he slurped up his noodles in a style akin to Kazu in Mount Maunganui, i.e. very noisily!

More time in the library and internet cafe followed, and I even saw Miki...again! I think she's following me! At 3pm, I met Yumi in Cathedral Square as we'd arranged to go to the cinema. The Christchurch Film Festival is happening right now, so there's lots of obscure films showing around the city. Yumi chose a pretty obscure one, as it's not every day you go and see a Japanese animation, with English subtitles, set in Manchester, about a young boy who helps his family build a Steam Tower! It certainly wouldn't be my first choice in normal circumstances, but surprisingly, Steam Boy turned into an action packed adventure that I really enjoyed.

There were no Italian Restaurants this time, as Yumi is saving money as she hasn't found a job yet (the old excuse!). I was ready for going back to the hostel anyway, as I needed to get packed ready for the shuttle bus picking me up the next 5.50am! I started getting feelings of nervous excitement, as I knew that in just a few short hours I'd be on my way to Australia.
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