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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

I meet Maria

NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 25 February 2009 | Views [264]

This morning I was awoken when I heard someone yelling "Chris, Chris" It was Gabe and Lance because they were freezing cold. They had asked me to paddle to shore but a fisherman offered to give them a lift over. Lance's sleeping bag was soaked but it was dew, not rain. Gabe reckoned that we should just put the sails up and get to Paihia because we were done with Russell. Today I really wanted to hitch up to Cape Reinga or go to Opua but I decided to just hang around Paihia today. I was here three years ago and I wanted to reminisce. When we sailed over, Gabe and Lance didn't want to swim so we hatched a plan to tie the kayak to the boat so they can pull it back. The length of rope wasn't long enough, so it was a great deal of work getting to shore. Gabe kept tying various pieces of rope, including that from the sails to get me to shore. When I got to the rocks I nearly fell out of the kayak. I watched them pull the kayak back and then I set off into town. I got a Red Bull at the Four Square market and then I stopped at the visitor's centre to go online for awhile. Lance eventually caught up with me. He sees me easily because of my high-vis shirt. We are wearing the same shirts so people think we work for the same company. This visitor centre is directly next to a helipad! And that's not a good thing. I stayed online for an hour and a half but the clerk only charged me for an hour. I really wanted to upload some pictures but there were no slots for camera cards. Across the street I realized there was a Global Gossip centre, so I remembered the card Shawn gave me down in Invercargill but I left it on the boat. Lance was sitting on a bench at the beach so I met up with him and got the kayak so I could go get the card. After my kayaking excursion I went to Global Gossip and uploaded photos from Niue and Fox Glacier. I called about the $500 deposit that I sent ISV that I want returned but after speaking with the lady from ISV's financial department I have a much better understanding of the situation. She said she'd even give me a donation if I decided to take part in a project in the Dominican Republic where I could help build a school. At the internet cafe I met a very pretty Spanish girl named Maria. She's 34 and lives in London, and is only in New Zealand for three weeks. Many people come here for such a short time but then realize their journey is too short, and then they come back. Many stay and never go back to their home country. Maria said she'd be at Salty's tonight; I knew I'd be going there because I wanted one of their pizzas. Next up I walked up to the bottle shop and got a ginger beer...and this time I wasn't ID'd. Today I was also really thinking of going over to Opua: the main port of entry for visiting yachts. However I decided to just stroll around Paihia today. I stopped at the fish & chip shack but they weren't too good. Oh well, there are thousands of fish & chips shacks around New Zealand. Next up I wanted to go up to Woolworth's and Lance caught up with me. Along the way I spotted a secondhand clothing shop with garments for $2 so I wandered in. There wasn't much for men but I did get a nice shirt for $2. What I really need are shorts and pants. Very soon I'm going to have to "revamp" myself because I need new clothes, a new backpack, tent, and laptop. All of my things are "hanging by a thread" basically. During the next job I have I'll splurge out on stuff like that. When I asked the lady, who's a Christian minister, if there was a public shower in town she said there wasn't but that I could have a shower at her house. She even offered to let us sleep on a converted bus that was in their backyard. We were tired of sleeping where we're rocking back and forth on the boat all night long. I went up to the store and got a Red Bull and a kumara because I thought for a minute that I'd be cooking tonight. It was really nice of that couple to let us stay there. Gabe met up with us and then Lance went back to the boat to get some stuff. I asked him to get my Russia book. When he came back he said he had fallen out of the kayak as he was getting out and as a result the book got all wet. Hopefully the library doesn't make me pay for it. We all hung out there for a bit and Lance decided we could all go up to Salty's tonight. It was Latino Night and there would be an Argentine DJ. At about 7:30 we all set out. Night was starting to come alive and it was like a weekend, even though it's Wednesday. It's about a 15-minute walk from where we're staying to Salty's but it was worth it. Three years ago I was here with Contiki and now I'm back again! There are several places in New Zealand I've revisited, including Wellington and Fox Glacier. I got a V drink at the dairy next door and got a garlic pizza at Salty's. Last time I was here a small pizza was like $15 but this time I got a large one for $16.50. Maria showed up with a friend from Montana who is also visiting for awhile. Maria has been to Cuba, and when I was talking about how the embargo is a failure, the guy disagreed with me. Until I go to Cuba and see for myself I won't know for sure. I'll see you in C-U...B-A. Lance and Gabe were busy playing pool and getting pissed while I was hanging out with Maria. She said I could stay at her place when I return to London. I know for sure I'll be there because there are many places in Europe I want to visit. Maria and I went for a walk for a wee bit because she was sad about leaving in a couple of days. She won't have a job when she gets back to London as well. After we hung out for about a half hour she decided to go back to her hostel while I went back to Salty's. This place is straight across the stree from the local LDS church but it's about as immoral as many places get, especially since there's the odd pole-dancing extravaganza. For awhile I was hanging out with a group of people; there was a 40-year old lady from Scotland who didn't look a day over 20 and there was a lady from Malta; impressing her when I knew Valetta is the capital of Malta. Lance played like 30 games of pool and then swapped his shirt with a guy from Canada for a shirt that said "lust" on the front. It was well past midnight but I was having a blast! There was this guy trying to start something with that group I was talking to, so they left and the guy got tossed out. He was a real jerk. Gabe already went back to the bus earlier when Lance and I decided to leave at about 1:30 AM. It was quiet by then because Salty's had closed. By 2:00 AM I was exhausted. The blankets on the bus are of the Maori flag and are very warm. The stars were shining bright as I drift off to another night of sleep on Aotearoa.

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