Across Continents

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Away with the ladies

Today’s Kiwese word or phrase: "wrist arrant". Somewhere to eat out

"You the drunken Irish bird who got arrested?" he’d asked of a young woman on the bus. She’d earlier explained she was from Ireland. Limerick. Started to describe roughly where that was. Abruptly interrupted. Said he knew. Dismissive.

He was from Paisley. North of Glasgow. Lowest social demographic in Scotland. Said so. Doubted if anyone on the bus would have disagreed. He’d been in Christchurch the previous day. Couple of earthquakes that afternoon. Coach he was on shaken violently.

We stopped briefly at Punakaiki. Asked if was going to visit the nearby Pancake Rocks and coastal blowhole. No, I replied, I’d already done that. Was he? No, he explained, he’d been there five times already. Whilst others went to the viewpoint close by, we both wandered into the village cafe. He wanted someone to talk to. It wasn’t going to be me.

He got off at the next stop. Westport. Small backpack. No one to meet him. For all his brashness, his loudness, I thought him terribly insecure. Lonely. Sad. Felt sorry for him.

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