Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Most of the time we pass like ships in the night so I haven't really spent enough time with them to have got to know them. I have, however, spent enough time to know that they are in fact, really, really nice. Kathy (Kiwi) really is energetic. Chicken wasn't wrong. It's like watching a pinball machine going flat out. Her partner Dave (Canadian) is the opposite: chilled, calm, cool and deliberate. They're the mainstays, though there is also Donna (Kiwi), who's room I took (she took Chicken's.) She's a bit younger than me and seems friendly enough. She's one of those here to work the ski season, snowboarding at every given opportunity. Any time left is spent partying like an enraged animal.
It's a nice environment and everyone is totally chilled. People come and go all the time and randomly share space, warmth, food, company and conversation. No silences are awkward. At first, it took me by surprise as to how laid back and trusting everyone is. I've lost count of the times I've seen money lying around. Food generally integrates amongst other food and personal belongings are left anywhere and everywhere. The bathroom door has no way of locking, which has been amusing, if not interesting, and the main front door to the house is seldom locked. It's like living with family that isn't family. I've lived in the back of a van for nearly nine months now so things here have been very different. Now that I'm used to it I'm starting to quite like it.
Kathy and Dave are quite energetic and 'outdoorsy'. Dave interests me beyond comprehension. In general he doesn't say all that much, but he's one of those that when he does, no matter what he says, it's immensely interesting. He was a ski patroller for a few years and then became a guide for the local Heli-Skiing company up on the virgin slopes of the Harris Mountains between here and Wanaka. In addition to this well paid excitement and adrenaline, he gets regular work as a safety consultant guiding film crews safely across hazardous rivers and craggy mountains. As well as that, he gets approached now and again to pass on his knowledge to groups of people who wish to learn. He's just finished a whole week's course up on the Coronet Peak where he was hired to teach budding professionals the intricacies and behaviours of avalanches. Because he knows. He is the man with the answers. He is hardcore. Yet to look at him you'd never guess it. If we were all sat round in the living area and you walked in to the house, you'd assume that Dave's not back yet. You wouldn't pick out the little guy in the sweater who would look right at home speaking quietly in a small antique shop. He reminds me of how my grandad was twenty years ago. I like Dave.