March 18, 2011

KAI -> WEL 2011

From Kaikoura I continued north. I spent the morning drinking wine in Blenheim. Then I dropped the car in Picton (and the cigarettes in the trash) and caught a ferry to the North Island. It was a scenic ride through winds so strong that it was a four hour trip instead of the usual three. I filmed the scenery and got some rest.
I arrived to Wellington with no plans. I caught a taxi into the city center and looked for a bed. At the first place I stopped in at I was told they were totally booked and that all the other places in town were too. I broke into a slight panic and got angry with myself for not having arranged any accommodation. But I also laughed at myself and felt some excitement over the mystery of where I'd end up.
After dropping by a few more places I found a bed, but it was at the last sort of place I'd ever want to stay. It was a very young crowd there, all travelling by tourist buses, all very much Tourists. I had a bed on the sixth floor in a room that stunk of urine. I showered and dressed and got the hell out.
As it turned out there was a big music festival going on that weekend. That's why it was hard to find a bed. And that's why by seven o'clock the city was already popping off. I couldn't find a bar to go to alone. I tried a couple different places, but alone I looked so lonely. I'd order a drink and throw it back quickly and then escape back to the street. I went for another pack of cigarettes. This time it was decorated with an old, rotted-out pair of lungs. I smoked on a street corner and cursed the crowds of smiling party-goers.
It was a Friday. I was supposed to be having fun out on the town. I didn't really feel like drinking though. I went for a whiskey on ice and took it as a shot. It wasn't any fun. I felt dark. It was the trip's first bout of loneliness, but it was funny to watch myself squirm.
It was that night, sitting in a nice bar with a tall bottle of beer that I revised something I'd written in the past. I had once jotted down: "Travelling alone purges the soul of its weaknesses." I changed it to: "Travelling alone does not purge the soul of its weaknesses so much as it acts like a flashlight and just points them all out."

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