If you're on a Asia/Australia/America round-the-world trip,
it's almost impossible not to go through New Zealand. Auckland therefore acts as a conduit
for all the young, gung-ho, gap-year students that England or Australia produces in vast herds,
until the Auckland hostels take on the dimensions of a smelly students union bar at an English
polytechnic. You're noone here if you can't slip the words "pissed", "Arsenal", or "shagging that slapper
from Uni we met in Kuala Lumpur" into any conversation.
Of course, I'm only envious. I wish I could be twenty and embarked on a beer-soaked voyage
of birds and onion bhagees, but it's just too late. Mostly what I want these days is a nice
cup of tea and a lie down. While I can get on perfectly well with these children for a day or two,
I soon start to yearn for my own kind.
Hard to decide what to do, though. I can't stay off the backpacker trail here - it's all
one big backpacker trail. It'll be Christmas here for me, so I'd better find some friends
du jour to spend it with. Twenty of us camped around a packet of fruit and nut,
and a can of Heineken, should be fun. And everyone tells me how beautiful New Zealand is,
so unless they were all having a laugh, I have to see it. So with discretion perhaps I can
avoid the worst. I going to Rotorua tomorrow, famous for smelling bad, I think. If it doesn't
work out... hell, guess I'll get pissed, watch some footie, and try to chat up that slapper
from Uni myself.