March 9, 2011

CHCH 2004

Due to the recent earthquake I didn't spend any time in Christchurch, but back in 2004 at the age of 19 I arrived to Christchurch after 65 days in the Australian Outback. I had a book back then that I was writing in, and I only filled the first quarter of it. I thought it appropriate to bring along on this trip.
I hadn't read from it since back then, and it has been a funny read for me. The language used and themes hit upon are all rather dramatic(not much has changed). Having reread all these old travelogues, I can say that over the years I've definitely forgotten certain details of my '04 solo travels. Also, I remember things happening that get no mention. I certainly censored some of my experiences.
Anyways, I thought it would be funny to put some of these stories up.

Christchurch, 2004

I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand looking utterly homeless in my filthy bush pants and my hair in my eyes. I was feeling particularly self-conscious, certain that I would meet no one because of my appearance. In the hostel I saw beautiful girls, and everyone was dressed up nicely and I had horrible thoughts of cleaning myself up to look like the rest of them. I downed beer after beer hoping to get drunk enough so as to escape myself.
Between beers I would go down the streets with my hood on my head. I walked in circles in front of a Gothic church and it seemed as though the clamor of the bells would never stop and an older man and woman were trying to play their guitar and fiddle and I really wanted to listen but they got frustrated and left. I sat in front of the hostel where groups of people my age socialized and met for the first time, and I felt pathetic.
Passing the socializing group I asked one of the guys what there was to do in "this goddam town," making it sound as though I had looked all over and come up with absolutely nothing. He said "smoke weed" and I laughed and he and his friends were amused with the way I spoke and the fact that I was cruising without plans and they told me that I was loose, which as far as I could gather meant that they thought I was an alright guy.
We went to pool hall with some girls from Georgia where we drank liquor from a teapot. I met a girl named Jenny (and her friend said, "I'll pay you a dollar to kiss Jenny," and I told her that she didn't have to pay me.) Jenny laughed at the sight of the holes in my shoes and it became apparent to me early on that the two of us would get along. After a few unskilled games of pool we left and went to another bar, past a river and through a park where Jenny and I laid down and kissed and held each other and she said, "I needed this," and I said, "me too."
At the bar a large man blew flames from his mouth and I conversed with a seriously genuine person named Sam. He bought me a beer that I didn't need but I thanked him and sipped it down quick. He told me that travelling alone has its ups and downs and I appreciated the advice of this brutally obvious truth that I had yet to recognize. I asked him for his contact information and said, "Maybe I'll just write you some time," and he said, "Don't say maybe," and I said, "Ya know, sometimes people meet when they're drunk - " and he said, "No man, get in touch," and I said I would.
I wanted to leave the bar but Jenny had two drinks for some reason, so I drank one, a vodka tonic, and I hate vodka tonics, but I drank it and we left. We went back through the same park and later bumped into one of Jenny's friends who brushed grass off Jenny's back and pulled a leaf from my hair.
Jenny's hotel was next to my hostel. We kissed out front and then I asked Jenny what her last name was, and then I said, "Goodnight Jenny Shaw," and I went inside.


Scott Cooper said...

there you go!

Scott Cooper said...

oh, 2004...take a lesson from young Chuck.

danny w said...

those kiwis sound like alright people. this story reminds me that by traveling, you're throwing yourself into a mystery bag. travels are tinted with uncertainty. keep it goin young chuck.