Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Hooray. I hadn't worked in a couple months, so I quite happily accepted a one day job two hundred kilometers (Imperial is so 2008) away in Palmerston North. Was pleasantly surprised to find myself staying in a one bedroom luxury apartment featuring not one, but two plasma TVs broadcasting nothing worth watching. No worries, grabbed a late night kebab from a Turkish joint and hit the sack. Woke up at 5am the next morning and got to work.

Conditions were lovely.


Other sites I've been to had roofs over their loading docks, this one not so much. I rolled up in jeans and a sweatshirt and quickly found myself soaked.

My title today was Inspector. My duties were to inspect containers bound for Venezuela contain New Zealand Milk Products. Specifically, whole milk powder. Each pallet is sold for 10-13k. I questioned the man in charge, Carl, if there was a shortage of cows in Venezuela. He didn't know.

My job is very technical. I take a photo of the empty container. I take a photo of the half full container. I take a photo of the full container. All while making sure no drugs, guns, or babies find their way into the container.


The pay is good. $20 an hour for the 13 hour day I worked. They also pay $.52/kilometer driven (400k's total), cover travel time, compensate for over night time away from home, and pick up accommodation. Not bad, I reckon.

Back in Taranaki now. Thunder, rain, and hail, oh my. Debating whether or not to hike up the mountain and enjoy the storm from a high altitude vantage point or hang out at sea level drinking tea and reading books. You may say that I could bring the tea and books up the mountain with me. That is a good point, friend, and perhaps what is going to happen.

Also, my favorite jeans died today. If you've ever seen me, chances are you've seen the jeans. They are (They were?) grey. A few months ago I tore a hole in the crotch, but I still wore 'em no worries. My mum patched the hole and they were as good as new. After thousands of miles of walking and bike riding, the entire butt section wore paper thin and silky soft. I knew it was only a matter of time. They met their demise today. Oh how I wish I could go back to 1980's Spain and grab another pair. They were my greatest thrift store find to date. Sad day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Traveler Chatter

Save it, thanks. I'm sick and tired of traveler chatter. That is, single serving conversations with fellow "travelers" (I hate that classification) about travel experiences past, present, and future. It seems they all start out the same, with where have you gone and what have you done in New Zealand. Then on to where else you've been. Then to where you want to go. It's all superficial really. An act. Rehearsed night after night, hostel after hostel. The stories are all the same just told in different accents and with different characters. "Got so drunk" this, "one night stand" that, etc. I don't care, but of course I play along for a while. Most of the people I've encountered have nothing interesting to say. I reckon many travel just so they can talk about traveling to others who travel. You see, it's a never ending pissing contest about who travels more, who got the most lost, and who got drunk in the most obscure scenario. Perhaps I'll interrupt mid-sentence with a "hey didn't you tell this story last night?" They'll retort with some sort of denial. But I'll know. And he'll know that I know. Victory is imminent at that point.

Perhaps I'm weird. Yeah, I am weird, I can say it. I'm quite happy being me though and I'm happy doing the things that make me happy. Booyah.

Tongariro River

Went back to the Tongariro River again to chase trouts. Had a good couple hours a few weeks ago so I thought I'd give it another go. It's not really my style of fishing per se, but it's fun enough. I'm more of a spot, stalk, cast kinda guy where as this is a chuck heavy nymphs into deep pools kinda place. The fishing wasn't anything to write home about (ha), but it was enough to keep me interested. I got a bit of advice as to where to catch browns (I'd trade a dozen rainbows for a single brown) so that's where I spent most of my time. Being primarily a rainbow trout fishery, I was quite satisfied getting two browns. They weren't legendary double digit Taupo run trophies, but I ain't complainin'.



Dawn break and dusk saw me chest deep in the river chucking flies. Duck season just started, so I was fortunate enough to have an alarm clock in the form of a shotgun shell exploding each morning.



I eat lots of PB&J's. Too many, probably. After six or seven meals in a row I get a bit tired of them. In the end it works out though. The scenery and experiences more than make up for my food woes.

Cookie cutter rainbow


I caught a bunch around this size, about 20". I think I was getting comparably lucky, as I didn't see too many others catching. The trick was the power mend!

Back in Stratford now. Not sure where to next.