Showing posts from April, 2004

the antipodean times, vol. 2, no. 2

Only 48 hours away from 60 hours of travel (but less than 2 calendar days; aren't time zones wonderful?) with the routing: Sydney-Auckland-LA-Miami-Lima. I do it for the love, yes, but mostly for the frequent-flier miles. The Blue Mountains Easter weekend was spent camping in the Blue Mountains, an hour west of Sydney (ok, 4 hours with Easter traffic), with two old friends of mine, who in order to protect their identities I shall call Chris & Chris, rather than Chong & Andrea. It was an uneventful weekend spent sleeping in tents and walking through peaceful verdant eucalyptus forest. Except for the eventful bits. The driving pointer rotated to me on Saturday, and I was eager to drive, as I'd never driven a left-hand-side stick-shift before - in fact, had only driven a stick maybe 10 times total before. My travel companions were considerably less eager. I thought I might get some pointers from them, some benefit from their vast experience, but sadly they unhelpfully spe

the antipodean times, vol. 2, no. 1

Aotearoa I spent all of 72 hours in New Zealand, which is long enough to realize that the whole country is clearly some kind of elaborate scam. The people are too friendly, the landscapes too beautiful, the atmosphere too agreeable. Actually I think they're overdoing it. I mean, who hears bus passenger after passenger call out "Goodbye, thank you," to the driver when exiting - during rush hour, no less - without getting a little suspicious? I don't know whether they're trying to lure settlers in order to sacrifice them in some kind of Shirley-Jackson-esque unholy blood rite, or if the body snatchers have taken over, but there's clearly some kind of catch. A three-day stopover in NZ is a bit like taking a single sip from a single bottle from one of the world's great wine cellars. All I really had time for was a quick rentacar drive to the to the Coromandel Peninsula, where I took an increasingly narrow and windy road north, ocean to my left, Mirkwood to my