Tag Archives: holiday

The journey really begins

Not quite gone yet

After the Barrytown adventure, we eventually got Fran all packed up and ready (a massive ordeal that she’d probably be upset with me over, if I detailed here), and we made our way up to Auckland to see our parents before heading off to Chile.

I had a couple of days to kill up there (Fran only had one, as she flew out the day before me), and we had a couple of free tickets we’d managed to score to St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, which was having it’s first year in Auckland. It seemed quite odd to me, as it started in Melbourne, by the people who ran the St Jerome’s bar, and actually took place in the laneways in the city. Some things to note:

  • St Jeromes itself has now shut down, because Myers wanted to use the building
  • This year’s laneway in Melbourne isn’t being held in the laneways anymore either, because of crowd problems last year, where lots of people couldn’t see the main acts, because they had been put in the very small and narrow Lt Londsdale Street
  • I am dissapointed about this, because my new apartment has a big balcony overlooking Lt Londsale Street, and I would have to got an awesome view of it for free

Laneways itself was alright, held in the plaza above the Brittomart complex in downtown Auckland, and wasn’t too crowded. We got there pretty late, and saw the 3Ds, Echo and the Bunnymen, and sat and listened to much of Florence & The Machine, who seemed quite excitable. We’d heard the Dirty Three on the radio on the way into town, and that seemed like enough for us so we went home.

Flight

Airports are funny places. I got all checked in and sorted fairly easily, after my loving parents just dropped me off at the door (after doing the long goodbye thing with Fran the day before), I got some lunch and pretty much then had to wait for my flight to board. I love the announcements that the planes are waiting for passenger so-and-so, and that EVERYONE is waiting for THEM. Even when said in a quite flat tone, it somehow manages to be completely condecending at the same time…

I wasn’t expecting much from the plane, as LAN Chile isn’t that known as a fancy airline, but this was an Airbus A340, and it was fairly new, at a guess. It had inflight entertainment units in the seat backs, which I was not expecting. All of the announcements in were repeated in English, which I was very grateful for, because it was at this point, I realised just how little Spanish I comprehended when spoken at full speed. Mental note: Watch the Destinos language DVDs at some point during the flight….

The inflight music selection was surprisingly good, from Metallica to Leonard Cohen to Gotan Project, as well as the usual chart hits. I watched “It might get loud” documentary featuring Jack White, Jimmy Page and the Edge from U2. Basically it’s where somebody put those guys all in a room, with their guitars, and they play a bit, and talk about guitars and talk about their musical backgrounds and stuff. Jimmy Page is a total gentleman, Jack White is the coolest man alive and The Edge is a total douche who still can’t play a guitar to save his douche-y life.

When the whole cabin is dark, and you turn on the reading light, it’s like you are lit up by the fire of a thousand suns. I didn’t read much during the middle segment of the flight.

Even for such a big plane, the bathrooms are tiny. I have no idea how people are supposed to fuck in those things.

Descening through 36,000 ft with massively blocked up ears from your persistent headcold isn’t much fun either.

I finally arrive in Santiago after 11 hours or so in the air, and after managing to negotiate my way through immigration and customs (even having accidentally not received and thus not filled out the immigration form), I come through to the arrivals area, and am greeted by Fran, who has spent about 30 hours in the air by this stage, and had been waiting for me for 6 hours in Santiago airport already. The news of the day is that her luggage is lost somewhere in Los Angeles airport because she was the only person on the American Airlines flight code, and everyone else was on LAN Chile.

Ah the joys…

Campus

I was originally going to write heaps about Campus A Low Hum, but it’s now two weeks later, sitting in a room in South America, and the details are a little fuzzy.

Arrival

Campus started out wet. It had been raining fairly heavily all of the day before, and this continued for much of the first day. Pitching a tent in the rain, is not fun. Also cellphone reception, typcially for Camp, was about nil, so getting hold of people to find out where they were (we had arrived a bit later in the day) was impossible. It turns out that it would have been useful if we had, as the others had managed to steal a couple of the dorm rooms that seemed unoccupied, even though they were apparently all sold out.

Band

Went and saw some bands at that point, DZ (from Brisbane) were particuarly good, and I caught the end of Bandicoot, all of whom looked like they were 12. Turns out they are 15, so I wasn’t too far off.

Some of the bands were playing down the deep end of an emptied out swimming pool. Great idea, and good for getting a decent view, but unless the room was packed, the acoustics were terrible.

First night dramas

So on the first night, pretty much everyone got over-eager on the drunky water (and whatever else), and it was pretty messy. At some point in the evening I found myself in the Renegade Room, with a band that was just about to start. By a few seconds into the first song, everyone was on stage jumping about, I found myself operating the high-hat pedal, while myself and a few others worked the hat cymbal…. I didn’t see it myself – there was too much chaos, but apparently midway through that song, the guitar player collapsed unconcious from having had waay too much to drink earlier, while the rest of the band played on, not aware of what was happening.

Once we realised what had happened, we’d put him in the recovery position, worked out that he wasn’t dead, and went for help. We found one of the people on the gate, who radioed for the medics to come. When they arrived, we got the guy onto a blanket (as the next band was setting up around him) and moved him outside. During this, he threw up on Fran’s hand. Awesome.

So we wait around for the ambulance to show up from Whanganui, which takes ages, and they finally take him away. Apparently at this stage, Fran decides she’d had enough playing grown-up, and wants to go have some fun. She goes to the gym stage, and is there for about 10 minutes before she decides she’s tired and wants to go to bed. She turns around to tell Netta this, and some monstrous fool at that very moment throws a monitor speaker wedge down on her foot. I come on the scene I guess a couple of minutes later, as Fran is sitting outside with her foot up, looking very hurt, and somewhat pissed off. So myself, Josh, and a bit later, D-Rad, carry Fran over to the Camp office, where we wait again with the medics, this time for an ambulance for Fran, and this time one coming from Palmerston North. It arrives finally (around 3am by this point) and takes Fran away. I think I headed to bed myself then.

Fran
Fran, post hospital adventure

It turns out that Fran waits for something like 7 hours in Palmerston North hospital to even get seen by a doctor, who then proclaims: “Well I’m not an expert in reading x-rays, but I think you’re foot is not broken”. It seems to me that the one thing an emergency room doctor should be good at, is reading fucking x-rays. Mental Note: Never ever get hurt anywhere near Palmerston North.

I slept fairly well that night, I think it was due to how much I’d had to drink. The following night I laid awake for hours, sober (which was the problem right there), trying to sleep through everyone partying it up around me. Turns out we’d mistakenly camped in the ‘party’ zone instead of the quiet zone.

There was a roller disco in the gym on the second night, that’s pretty much the only thing I remember now.

Physical exertion

On the third morning I wake up, and hear music and sounds coming from the gym building (which was next to the camp area) so I pop in to have a look. Dan Deacon (one of the acts) is hosting a Physical Education session/class with probably a couple hundred campers. Fran is watching from the side (still on crutches) so I go to look. There is an interpretive dance off. Then everyone is called to go to one side of the gym (me included), and one person from each side is picked to sprint from one end of the gym to the other and back, and then tag somebody. They both then have to sprint back and forth, tagging someone, so eventually everyone is sprinting back and forth at once. I got tagged third. FML.

Birthday

Cake
Birthday cake. Totally masculine in every way

As Zach was turning 21, and I was turning 30, we decided to have a combined 51st birthday party in one of the dorm rooms. There was cake, Bratz cake, and very shoddily made Long Island Ice Teas. We were even joined by Darren aka The Show Is The Rainbow for cake and drinks, and tales of how he messed his knee up during a show. At some point Zach and I bundled up DZ in a room and talked at them for ages about Nethack. Good times.

Bands on the last day

The last night of Camp is usually the best for seeing bands, and this one was no exception. Earlier in the afternoon, Sleepy Age played in the Renegade Room, well received by all. I got some HD video of one of the songs and put it up on youtube:

Gaywire also played, who are an 80’s metal band (in the truest sense of the word) from Lower Hutt. They were really awesome, and everyone was getting really into it. I think half the crowd were enjoying it for it’s super sense of deep irony (goddamn hipsters), and the others were enjoying it becuase it was just damned good music. I fell into the later group. I also ended up stage diving during their set, still wearing my full suit (I was planning on going to the Camp prom later, but didn’t end up staying for that because it was a bit lame, and I ended up seeing other stuff).

Die! Die! Die! were also awesome, which I found surprising because the other couple of times I had seen them I had decided they really weren’t my cup of tea at all.

The end

We had to leave quite early on the last day, to catch our flight back to Christchurch, and DZ ended up grabbing a ride with us. Both of them managed to sleep the entire drive back into Wellington, waking up pretty much just as we were getting to the airport, lucky sods.

The Journey Begins

“Fuck.”

I think that’s pretty much what I said when, probably no more than 3 minutes from touchdown in Wellington, it was annouced that due to fog that had just this moment rolled in, we were to divert to Auckland. The prospect of a 12 hour drive down to Campus A Low Hum was too terrible to contemplate. Luckily we were only stuck on the tarmac there for 45 minutes or so before we were fuelled up and returning to Welly.

So having arrived several hours late, our original plans were in dissarray, hasty arrangements were made, and I got driven out to pick up Chants’ MX5 from her ex, in Stokes Valley (which is a little way out of Lower Hutt). I get about halfway through the 2 and half hour drive through to Palmerston North, when I realise that I’ve left about $200 worth of duty free booze back at Steve’s place. These particular bottles probably would not have been fully appreciated by this ex, so again, arrangments were hastily made to try and get Fran to pick it up on her own way out of Wellington.

We’d also just found out that Maccu Piccu, one of our intended travel destinations, had been hit by torrential rains, the rail line was wiped out, some people had been killed, and they were airlifting people out of the area. Guess that’s not going to happen after all…

So far, this month-long holiday of mine wasn’t going very well.

Things improved, however when I finally arrived at Chants’ place, where I could finally rest up for a little bit. A couple of drinks were had, the customary showing off of all my new toys (new phone, macbook, camera lenses), and eventually we settled in to watch Drag Me To Hell.
I was pleasantly surprised by that movie – I’d very much recommend it if you’re a fan of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series… good classic fright moments combined with just ridiculously over the top comical splatter horror. 3.5 stars.

An update Redux, Electric Boogaloo

Ok, neglected things here for a while….

Holidays photos are here. I had an awesome time on holiday, did a bunch of cool things, like sailing a catamaran, and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Damn, that was just too awesome. Also got to see a bit of what Australia is like, and has cemented in my mind, that I need to move over there (Melbourne specifically) to live.

Relatedly, everyone is leaving Chrischurch. Two of my friends are about to go to Auckland, one is off to Melbourne herself on, um Monday, One has pretty much decided to shift to Wellington at the end of the year, another thinking about Dunedin, one is considering study in the US, my flatmates want to travel through Europe soon. ABANDON SHIP, LAST PERSON OUT PLEASE TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!

Just had a very stressful day, where things were very uncertain about my work situation, and it was looking like I was going to be unemployed just as I need to be saving money for the move to Oz.. but thankfully it looks like things have worked out perfectly, and I’ll be finishing up at my current place just as I’m looking to move. *whew*

Having hardware troubles with my PC. Very inconvenient timing. Decided that the motherboard is toast, which means a big upgrade in the pipeline as I can’t get a replacement part 🙁 Not a welcome expense, but I’ll take the new machine over to Oz instead of building a new one over there. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.

Also the app I’ve built isn’t fast enough. I expect it will handle a large concurrent client load, but the individual request/response time is too long. Had a play with a profiling tool for the first time. Kind of cool. Decided that lookups/calls to EJBs, even “local” ones is really damn expensive and probably isn’t helping things. Hmm

A proper holiday

Just finishing off my packing for going on my first proper holiday for a long long time. I’m off to Brisbane for 5 days, then to Daydream Island in the Whitsundays for 6 days. It’s gonna be awesome. I will, however be going with my family. Those who know my family will know how trying this will be. I promise not to kill them.

I have to get up a 4am tomorrow in order to get to the airport in time to check in for the flight over. OUCH. I think I’ll just stay up, no point in sleeping.