Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Away with the ladies

July 21st, 2011

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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Jockeying along

July 21st, 2011

Today’s Kiwese word or phrase: "cuds". Young people

Still bouncing about. Steve. Greymouth bus station. Would he be our driver to Nelson? No, he explained. Heading south to the Fox Glacier. I was disappointed. Told him so. Would miss his commentary I said. With a grin. He’d worked on radio. Talk radio, I asked. But too slow. He’d bounded off. Passengers to shepherd. Bags to load.

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Heading north

July 21st, 2011

Today’s Kiwese word or phrase: "Munner stroney". Type of soup

Greymouth struck me as a place to get things done. Small town. Haircut. Swim in the local pool. Haberdashery. I’d a boot to repair. A convenient stop on the journey back north. Not somewhere you’d want to send a postcard from. Shame in a way. For the hostel at least had character. Might have been an old Rectory. Wooden panels. Small chapel inside. Locked.

Overcast. I’d arrived at lunchtime. Heading off again on the same bus service the next day. Barely checked into the hostel when I’d felt a couple of small tremors. The result of an earthquake on the other side of South Island. Causing further damage to the city of Christchurch.

I’d felt a bit lethargic. Pottered around for a bit. Window shopping. Then when in search of a coffee. Contemplating the inevitable. Heading north. Back to Wellington and the return to the road in Australia. Volcanic ash clouds permitting.

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Grey skies to Greymouth

July 13th, 2011

Grey skies to Greymouth from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken travels by bus to Greymouth. Bit of a damp day.

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