Monday, January 19, 2009

Week Twenty-one

So tomorrow is The Inauguration, the hottest ticket event since Right Said Fred took over Berlin in 2006. But who needs to spend $10,000+ to see it live when you can go to Legoland and see the much better Lego Inauguration? And you wondered whether or not nerds with too much time on their hands could ever find employment. If only I were so lucky.

This is the fifth full week of Don's inaugural 2008-2009 vacation. As such, I decided to spend this week in the Land Under the Land Down Under: Hot, sunny, flat, beachy New Zealand. Actually no, it's not. It's pretty darn cold here. I arrived in Auckland, the second-most boring city in the Southern Hemisphere, four hours ago and it took me one hour to get my luggage, one hour to get a shuttle and get to my hotel, ten minutes to see the city, one hour to eat and fifty minutes to find an internet cafe. There's not a lot to do here. In fact, my three-hour flight delay in the international terminal at Tullamarine Airport had more to do, as there were two cafes and some duty free shops. Auckland only has a McDonald's.

Luckily, tomorrow I will be meeting with a Contiki mate and on Wednesday I head to the Bay of Islands for two fun-filled days of sightseeing. This is good because unfortunately, there's plenty going on Australia and my timing was as usual, very very poor. Lance Armstrong flew all the way from Austin, the coolest city in America, to take a bike ride through Adelaide, the most boring city in the Southern Hemisphere, in the 2009 Tour Down Under (you were wondering what could trump Auckland). The Tour Down Under started yesterday, the day before the Australian Open.

For the past month, the most elite tennis players in the world have been touring Australia and playing in smaller competitions to bone up for The Big One. I'm totally pumped! I have a ground pass for the Monday I get back and tickets to the Quarterfinals on the 28th of January, and during the weekends the city apparently becomes more alive with even more dancing, drinking, pickpocketing, theft and good old fashioned alcohol-induced Aussie street violence. While I will be doing my best to avoid all of that, I will be watching good tennis and hope my boy Roddick will come through with at least a semifinal appearance. After all, should he really have to spend any more time with Brooklyn than is absolutely necessary? I say no.

So Week 21 is almost in the books and it was spent with some more Contiki friends seeing some more of the city. I finally went to the Queen Victoria Market and caught up on a few errands. Nothing new to report on the job front, but things look promising both here and abroad. At least more promising than they did in Week 20. And with that, my one-hour internet allotment is nearing an end. Worst $7.92US I ever spent. And I can't forget: Happy MLK Day Jasmine!! Twenty-one weeks down, 31 to go...??

Week Twenty-one Summary:
Weather: Tuesday was 40, but every day afterwards was PERFECT. And it's only 18 here in Auckland!
New observation: with 24-hour food courts, entertainment, movie theatres, shops and more, you really could live in the Crown Casino and never leave.
New activity(ies): Queen Victoria Market, international flights out of Tullamarine
New food: shrimp on the barbie!! Yum.
New word(s): "This week: Sale on Diet Coke". The greatest phrase I heard in the past 21 weeks and it came in Auckland.
"New people: More Northern Irish professional poker players
What I miss: inauguration day, non-Qantas flights, John Wayne International Airport, laughing at the Arizona Cardinals, Arrowhead Mountain spring water


Netteke said...

What the... I can't believe you just went to NZ like that! And you're starting to get all jaded... ;)

Soooo how does April 1 arrival in Bangkok/Singapore/Hongkong (either one) sound? (How much do I wanna bet that you're gonna be like: "Uhm well NO cause I accepted a job in Hickville, US of A starting April 1..."?)
I already picked what hostel I wanna stay at in Hanoi! Now online about 400 more pages of Lonely Planet to read and about 5 more shots to get and about 1 backpack to buy and about 60 more days to have nightmares about roaches, snakes and the like (and let's not forget Dengue fever, cause of my biggest paranoia :-S).

Netteke said...

Me no speak English: "online" obv. is supposed to be "only"...

Jamie said...

Dude. WTF do you do all day? Do you just roam around Australia chasing koalas and drinking diet coke?

Have you ever mixed redbull and diet coke together? Maybe with a little splash of frappachino on top?