Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Campervan Adventure cont.

 We ate a lot of ice creams on the way down and kept our eyes peeled for real-fruit ice creams especially. We stopped at Tirau which was Timaru cut out of corrugated iron. Everything is made out of corrugated iron there; signs and shop fronts mainly. We had an ice cream because they had Joe's favourite flavours: pink and green. I don't know much about the fruity flavours of ice creams other than the colour because I always go for the choc/cookie/cara-combo. It was a really delicious ice cream and was expertly scooped by a 12 year old girl and her 10 year old sister/cousin/friend. There was a woman who was also there she came and wiped the table top I was sitting at outside. I said, "this is a really tasty ice cream", she said pardon and I said, "this is a really tasty ice cream". I bet the girls got paid in ice cream and what if that was how we quantified wealth? Little kids reign in gum drops.

Joe eats a pink (strawberry) ice cream. 
We travelled for a bit. I drove and Joe slept and I looked all around at the lovely day and ate cabin bread probably. We got to Rotorua. I hadn't been before. Mum had warned me about the smell but either she was exaggerating or the wind was blowing the smell away or I need to shower more because I hardly noticed it. Are there any other negative externalities of Sulphur City other than the smell? Obviously no health disadvantages but what about increased rates of corrosion? Seemed pretty well maintained though:

The sounds of bubbling mud was better than anything.

 We had to find somewhere to stay, we wanted to before it got too dark so we could enjoy the last little thumbs of sunlight and maybe read/walk/cabin bread. We travelled on the outskirts of the Ureweras and before we found a DOC camping ground we passed this hill we coined Sheep Hill. I had been searching for a sheep hill to photograph since I went to Blenheim in November and read Wild Sheep Chase. I really really enjoyed the book even though it was last in the Trilogy of the Rat series and I hadn't read the first two. It made me think about the descent of ethnicity and how people aren't easily identifiable anymore and also how the Sheep Man was a bit Lynchian but with subtitles and also how Murakami would probably get along with Rian Johnson really well because they both like Dashiell Hammett and mysteries and recurring animal imagery. 

Haruki inspired. Actually took a better one but that's a secret, plus the sheep on the right pulled a lot of strings to get in the photo.

 At the camp site it was just old people in caravans. There was even a toilet! There was a lake too and I parked the campervan fastidiously with the back facing the very edge of the camp site by the shrubbushtrees for eXtra PRiVACY. Also didn't have to turn it around in the morning which probably saved us about 30 seconds of travelling time. We looked through Dad's bins at the stars and there were so many I haven't seen so many stars before. There were clusters and groups and brights and couples and shapes and constellations everywhere. There were a lot of stars. 

Star starstarstar. Star.  StarSTAR STAR/starstarstar. St.a.r.    Star starstar      star?    STAR!!

 There were a lot of stars. I wanted to touch them and kiss them and hug them and brush them with my eyelashes. In the morning there were American geese and ducks around which is the next best thing. I got my photo taken with some geese. Interesting new fact: these geese do not appreciate attempted domestication. Didn't touch a crumb. Not like ducks/sparrows. Rebellious as FUCK. 

Rebelling hard
Rebelling hard.

 This new day we went through Taupo. Big stupid town. Boring as. Big as lake though but that's about it. Also really lovely ladies in second hand shops and geese mugs and lots of cassette tapes that don't work in campervans. We came up with a new system of pasting: heapsconcentrated. We offloaded a bunch of water and flying-types around the lake and Joe went for a swim.

Naturalism exposed. Science and the supernatural: Lake Taupo.

The shortest swim in the world.

 We filled up the campervan with water and in the toilet I was sandwiched between two ladies who had just transacted a goat and were now discussing the weather. I had cabin bread with Vegemite*.

*There was no Marmite.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Campervan Adventure

 Joe and I relocated a campervan from Auckland to Christchurch from the 5th-10th December. He also wrote about it on his blog but these are my photos and I just got them developed. The Pokemon photos are taken on my digital camera but the other ones were on my old, chunky Chinon. There is no structure to this 'travelogue'; it's based purely on the photos/how much I can write/how much I can remember/how much bandwidth there is at my parents house to upload the photos (not much).

 I haven't explored much of the North Island at all, only the Bay of Islands and Auckland and Wellington so this was very exciting for me. But mainly because I got to see Joe, I think, and it was very romantic. I really want to travel. Most people know that I want to go to Egypt the most because King Tutankhamen was from Egypt and I've liked him ever since I went to Dunedin and Invercargill with my parents when I was eightornineorten. Dad would have been on business (he travelled a lot) so Mum and I went to the art gallery where there must have been an exhibition showing some of Marc Chagall's work because I remember seeing The Green Violinist and looking at it for a long time and liking it a lot because he had:

1. A green face
2. A purple coat
3. A violin

 I think I wanted to play the violin after that but my parents wouldn't let me because they didn't like the sound of amateur violinists???? (I ended up learning the clarinet instead so I could then play the Pink Panther on the saxophone - (ended up just learning it on the clarinet).). I remember also the painting was quite surreal and really liking that and how the violinist was really big and standing on houses and that maybe you don't need to have a job like the people in the background who are the colour of sand and not as visible; you can be LARGER THAN LIFE and happy all the time in other ways like playing yr violin on a roof all day long.  I think since then I've always hated the idea of having a 'job'; (also a simultaneous longing for green face/purple coat/violin.) Afterwards in the gallery shop Mum bought a print of this painting and let me choose one too but I wanted a postcard of this shiny Egyptian guy which turned out to be King Tut and the love affair has continued ever since. Since then Egypt has crept into my life at all the most convenient moments for example the first issue of the Where's Wally magazine Dad used to get me every Thursday after school was on Egypt so I had to keep getting it after that and so was a girl named Juliet whose house I went to one day and wore no shoes on the grass even though there were bees on it but she got stung on the foot and I didn't. (Thanks for having my back Egypt yr a real bro).

 So I want to travel and like getting excited about trips. Obviously this was no exception. On the way Joe and I wheat pasted pictures of the first 151 Pokemon that we had drawn and coloured in. The paste got lumpy and smelly over the five days.

Just realised that maybe Cloister is a visual representation of that Cramps song 'hot pearl snatch'? Seems pretty fitting if you ask me. Shellder is pretty cute though, eh?

 We stopped at Lake Karapiro which is an artificial lake reservoir by Cambridge. I got quite good at reading maps over the course of this trip - something I was never very good at/a little bit insecure about. Now though, I really enjoy looking at maps and fantasising about the small towns on them and what I can see there. A rowing regatta was just finishing up, there were lots of high schools packing up their boats and lots and lots of Lycra. We joked about people that wear Lycra even though we were well outnumbered. I told Joe about when I used to row and getting teased by the other schools for going to Avonside and not a prestigious school like Rangi Ruru or St Margarets who were always very good because they could afford lots of the very best boats and the very best coaches. Joe thought it was weird that I did rowing because it seems like an elitist sport, all the 'cool kids' at high school do rowing.Certainly at maybe CHCH Girls' High but not at Avonside. I think rowing was good there because we were so far down the chain that we weren't good enough to be cool. I don't know what it's like there now though. The fittest I have ever been was when I used to row but mainly I liked it because I could participate in an individual nature as well as a team. 

Was actually way more sunny than it looks.

These kids' mother really liked our Dragonair. 

 Lake Karapiro also stores water for the Karapiro Power Station and to get to it we had to drive over the lake on a one way bridge. Obviously Electabuzz felt right at home at the power station, but we couldn't separate him from his cousin Magmar. 

Mean as 'deco 'tecture. 

They now guard both entrances to the bridge.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I know that a lot of poems by poets particularly in
New Zealand
Have a lot of imagery regarding the landscape
Or the seasons or the weather.
The feeling of cold toes on hot rocks
Jagged and jutting out in-
To flesh.

I know that a lot of the time they talk about the
Unification of people and culture
Like going to Te Papa and feeling the Pounamu
And calling it that instead of
And feeling so proud of their heritage
And hoping that their children and grandchildren can swim in the public school pool too.
The fears that they express for the future will only encourage
Not hinder
Their longing for the land.

I know that I could add a
After all of this
In some futile attempt of re-definition-  
And severance from ‘popular New Zealand poetry’

But I don’t want to.

One, two, three waltzing hairs from the mole on my arm.

Semiotic Life Analysis: #1

I finally took the Which Is Your Patronus quiz and got 'hedgehog'. I was pretty pleased. It said I'm "brave" and have a "spiny exterior". Also that I'm a "kind creature to all". On the way home tonight I ran over one and killed it. Probably wouldn't have felt so bad if my patronus was a sandfly; I kill them all the time. Is Harry Potter promoting veganism? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Radio NZ postcard from Joe. He even added us peeking out from behind the caravan. Cute as. 

With lips, linked and hearts like torches we’ll don the denim hat of love and climb valiantly into the eternal camper. For six days like knives, we’ll slice right through Te Ika-a-Māui, but with the blunt side like an arrogant Jackie Chan teenage delinquent; not drawing blood but leaving a mark profound and adoring on the landscape. At night we can dive head-first into a watery love, drown any last hegemony, then surface dripping, enamoured. We’ll dry towel-less in the dark, shivering together on cool earth and itchy-bites. I would have remembered the “bins” too, so we can spend the night 'in divertimento' au mileu des étoiles and dream of worlds where people have mouths sewn shut and gloves amalgamated at the palms.