Journal of Alan Howard
19th June 2000
Ok people, it's time for another update
The weekend has been really nice. I was working for a few hours on both
Saturday and Sunday, but it was slow so that wasn't too bad. The shopping
centre that this shop is in closed at 2pm on Saturday which is apparently
normal. On Sunday it wasn't open at all, but this shop was (if only for 3
hours). On Saturday afternoon, Michelle and I had a bit of a drive around,
and we went to the top of this lookout where you could see over most of
Wellington. It was pretty cold and windy, so we didn't stay there for too
long, but it had a lovely view. I'll be taking some photos at some stage
soon, and sending them to you all (via this list). On Saturday night,
Michelle and I went out with Steve on a bit of a pub crawl, just to show me
some of the pubs around here. I didn't see any huge Maori men with tattoos
on their faces, but I did see a bouncer with a tattoo like a band around his
upper arm. Oh, on Thursday night at dinner, Tracey warned me that if I was
to see any of those Maoris that are obviously gang members with tattoos all
over their faces, that I shouldn't stare... otherwise they'd hurt me. Good
thing I wear sunglasses... <starts singing "I wear my sunglasses at
Anyway, the pub crawl was fun. My friend Sandy warned me before I left
Australia that NZ prices were far more expensive than Australia, and that a
bourbon and coke would cost me AU$18 or thereabouts, but it actually costs
NZ$4, which is about AU$3 (oh, and McDonalds cheese and junior burgers here
are 50c on Tuesdays and Thursdays), so I'm happy to say "Sandy, you owe me
another $20, don't you?" I found out (last night) that if you ask for a
'cuppatea' at a bar here, you'll get a double rum and coke... LOL
We headed for home around midnight, but stopped at this supposedly good
kebab place... I don't think I'll be having any kebabs here anymore! It
leaked so much oil from the bottom, that it pooled in the bottom of my
basket and ended up being about half a cm thick!! No wonder the bottom of
the basket was lined with greaseproof paper!!! Bloody hell... I'll have to
go search for a proper kebab place...
Yesterday after work (at 2pm), Michelle and I went to see a movie at
Rialto's, an 'alternative cinema', like Electric Shadows in Canberra.
However, this was far more popular than Electric Shadows. There were more
people there than you see at Hoyts Belconnen on an average night! The
tickets were NZ$10 (equivalent to Electric's AU$8 charges...), the seats
were comfortable, and the screen was about twice as large as Electric's and
equivalent to the normal screens at Hoyts. Obviously a bit more money goes
into Rialto's than it does into Electric Shadows. Anyway, the movie was
called The Omega Code and starred the guy from Starship Troopers (the one
who played Johnny Rico) and also Michael Ironside (who was also in Starship
Troopers...). It was about the Bible Code - taking factual research about
the Bible Code and turning it into an 'end of days' scenario with the devil
and god, and prophets, and the saviour of humanity overcoming evil at the
beginning of the new millennium. You know the story... It wasn't too bad,
but the ending was strange. I found out last night from Steve (he and
Tracey came over for dinner) that the movie was funded by the Christian
Fellowship in America. It made more sense after knowing that... Last
night, after dinner, we were all fighting over which movie we should watch.
I was suggesting Star Trek: First Contact, Steve was suggesting The Matrix
(which I was also agreeable to), Tracey was also agreeable to The Matrix,
but Michelle wanted to watch Notting Hill - which is what we ended up
watching. A nice, romantic movie that took place in a part of London she
was familiar with. I hadn't seen it, so it was good for me too...
Michelle and I are living in a beach-front house, overlooking Lyall Bay and
the airport. We are literally about 30 feet from the water. It's wonderful
to sit inside and look out over the bay, watching the waves crash on the
shore, and the airplanes landing on the other side of the bay. There are
also cliffs opposite, and our bedroom window faces all of this. It's so
gorgeous to wake up and watch the sun rise over the cliff - when it's not
too cloudy, that is. But then there's the spectacular view of orange and
pink clouds to open your eyes to... The drive from home into the CBD to
work is also beautiful. There are a number of bays and harbours here, and
there's a drive from where we live that takes us all along the edges of
them. With the sun coming up over the cliffs, and shining off the water,
it's such a beautiful drive. I wish that I could film what I see and send
it to you. Coming around a bend and seeing the city skyscrapers across the
water glowing in the sunlight is something else to marvel at.
Photos coming soon.
Tonight Michelle and I are going for a walk along the beach for the first
time. I'm looking forward to it.
Everything is going really well over here - I'm loving this place.
Another update coming later.