Saturday, 23 February 2008

The Seagul has landed

We landed in Wellington airport, much to the relief of my fellow passengers some of whom have been privy(boom boom) to my 28 hour bum-bugling. The runway is a thin strip of tarmac bordered at either end by the sea, the reverse thrusters kicking in very aggressively so that the plane didn't career into the sea at the other end which points towards the South Island, the mountains of which can be seen from the southern shoreline of Wellers.

After a no-nonsense but very agriculturally-conscious immigration check I picked up th Airport Flyer 91 bus into the centre of Wellington, a 30 minute ride in the rush hour (4pm) and disembarked on Molesworth Street, no sign of my contact Tina, so I did the only sensible thing to do in this situation and ordered a cold beer. I am already finding I'm having to repeat myself to the (very friendly) locals, maybe I should be using more 'I's more, or is that ears?! So I ask for a local bottled beer, the oriental looking lady thrusts a Heineken into my hand, I feel compelled to point out that unless there's been a massive tectonic plate shift, Denmark is still in a different hemisphere to New Zealand. In the end I grab a NZ pale lager-beer and take a seat. Half a minute later Tina bowls up, the old cold-beer trick works every time! We drive back to her house in Vogeltown, a couple of km's SE of the centre of Wellers, it commands superb views over the city and southern peninsular. Tina seemed somewhat bemused that I took a good ten minutes gawp at the view from her apartment. Finally I got a shower, then met Tina's sister Lani and her hubby Peter, we watched the Wellington Hurricanes rugby union team play in the Super 14's ('tis late summer here right now - the Kiwis think the rugby season is starting too early and finishing too late - sound familiar football fans?) on telly and then went into the town to grab a bite to eat ($15NZ for a high-street Malaysian meal, that's about a £5 to you and me). Had a beer in the Irish Bar on the main drag in the middle of Wellers (Courtenay Place) where things were starting to heat up already. It was time for us to head back up the hill. By now I was fading fast and all but collapsed into a bed generously donated to me by Tina, in fact I have at my disposal the whole apartment as Lani and Peter live next door, so Tina moved one door down for the night. Slept.

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