A crazy night out in Christchurch

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March 23rd 2010
Published: April 3rd 2010
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Was up really early this morning to catch my flight from Auckland to Christchurch. The flight was only fairly short so I was on my way to Christchurch centre on the airport shuttle by mid-morning. A woman stumbled on to the bus - I wasn't sure if it was her weight, her oversized bag, or drunkenness that made her struggle so much, but I was horrified when she chose the seat right opposite me. There were loads of other spare seats and suddenly the space between us seemed very small indeed. She looked like a Hill-billy inbred and probably had one leg longer than the other.
I buried my head in my free travel guide that I had picked up from the airport and tried to ignore the strange sensation that I was being watched. Curiosity got the better of me and I snapped my head up to see who was staring. Sure enough it was Hill-billy Inbred. One of her eyes was staring me right in the eye, and the other was focused somewhere down south, probably on my throat. I tried to lighten the atmosphere with a little smile and when that didn't work I looked away, then back again. Yes, still glaring.
"Travel Guide. Concentrate on that" I told myself, but then to my alarm she reached over and touched (or seemed to stroke) my handbag. "No it's not leather, it's from Primark, you can have it" I wanted to scream, but she made a funny snorting noise then looked away.
For the remainder of the journey I was tense, trying to second guess her next move. Finally the bus arrived at the final destination and she heave-ho'd herself out of her seat and went on her merry way. No one else seemed to have noticed this strange creature.
Just before I got off, I glanced down and noticed my lime green Dove deoderent had fallen out of my bag - how the hell did that get there? Baffled, I picked it up, then once I was off the bus I checked my bag pockets. None of them were open so quickly I tore open the top flap and pulled out my toiletry bag. Sure enough, there was my lime green Dove deoderent. Oh crap, the one I picked up must belong to Hill-billy Inbred. She's gonna come after me thinking I stole it. She'll chop me in to pieces, cook me in a stew and feed my bones to her pigs. I quick-marched through Cathedral Square (before she could catch me) and up the road to my hostel, stopping only once to ask for directions.
Jenna, the girl on reception at Frienz backpackers was lovely and after chatting about our travels she invited me out on a bar crawl this evening. I went for coffee and raisen toast in a cafe in the centre and wrote a list of the things I wanted to do here over the next few days. At 11o'clock I headed off on bus 28 to the Gondola, which promised 360 views over Christchurch city, Canterbury Plains, The Southern Alps and the Pacific Ocean.
I paid 24dollars and boarded the egg shaped carriage which I was shared with a sweet old couple. They said they were surprised I was going home - their son had gone on his travels for 6 months but didn't come home for 10 years!
The views were breathtaking and I took numerous photos from the viewing deck at the top. I'd definitely recommend this trip to anyone going to Christchurch - make sure the weather is good though as I'm sure this helped. The bus back to the city runs frequently and only costs two dollars, so I was back in the city for 1pm. I had just under an hour before I could check in, so I went to sunbathe by the riverbank with all the office workers on their lunchbreak.
In the afternoon I got the free shuttle bus from Cathedral Square to the Science Alive museum. This is probably exciting if you're 5 but since I had no kids with me today (where's Lian and Jonas when you need them?) it really wasn't great. It hadn't been expensive to get in, 14dollars which is only about 7quid so it didn't matter too much. It's definitely not a Must See for a backpacker, but I guess if you have a family then it's a fun thing to do. Be warned though: whatever you do, do not rub the scratch and sniff fruit contraption on the basement floor. You're meant to guess which fruit each one smells like. The answer is none coz it smells like a tramps groin. The stench will pollute your nostrils and stay with you for the rest of the day. I very nearly went back to the hostel to demand everyone smell my fingers, until I realised in horror that that is the kind of thing you'd hear coming from a horny 14 year old boy. Christ, I'm uncool at the best of times without coming out with comments like that!
Went back on the internet in the afternoon and lost track of time, so I only had 45 minutes to find a Bottleshop, neck some wine, have dinner AND get ready before meeting Jenna and her friends for the bar crawl at 8pm. So much for having a good hearty dinner to line my stomach - instead I ran to the bottleshop shoving a bag of crisps and a banana down my throat.
Slatted my hair in clips, threw on the trousers I wore today (didn't think anyone would be getting too dressed up) and off I went. There were about 15 of us and we headed to a place called Saints and Sinners which is a bar joined on to Base Backpackers. Base is the most popular hostel in Christchurch, but I'm staying and Frienz (bit cheaper) and it's wicked! Spent the first few hours engrossed in conversation with a 20year old girl from London called Shay. She'd been traveling all round Oz, including the places I didn't do like Perth, Alice Springs and Darwin, and I decided I'd definitely need to go back to visit these places one day.
Saints and Sinners got the crowd on stage for a couple of games, the first being a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition. Shay, Jenna and I danced for a while, then some girl called Sarah dragged me off to introduce me to her friends. Apparently I asked them all to stand in a line for some reason. Gareth told me the next day he thinks this was so I could judge who I thought the cutest was. Saints and Sinners were running a competition to win a 400dollar tattoo - you had to get up on stage and do something outrageous. Sarah got up, stripped off and sang the NZ National Anthem. She won despite forgetting the words and singing it badly.
A little later, they were heading home and I jumped in the car with them and asked if I could join them for an afterparty. We stopped at a skatepark briefly so Sarah could show me a few moves. I ended up being wheeled around on it by Sarah and Rob. We all went back to Franks, where I was passed a spliff and that was the end of my night. Goodnight, God Bless.

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14th April 2010


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