Thursday, December 25, 2014
It was a beautiful and sunny day in Queenstown. We actually slept in past 9am, which I think is a first the entire trip. It was magical. It wasn’t quite a lay in bed and eat panda express hangover day, but I was not feeling my best. Some of Stina’s friends are randomly in town and were headed up to do the gondola, so we decided to join them. Turns out they were planning on doing the hike up instead of riding the gondola. You all know how I now feel about kiwi hikes. Fool me once, shame on you. But I would not be fooled again. So up Stina and I went in the gondola with the old folks. When we got to the top we had a look around. You can see all of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. They also have a few luge tracks at the top, so we tried our hand at that which was good fun. By the end of our gondola adventure we were ready for some beers on the beach, so that is exactly what we did. Merry Christmas to us. The “beach” scene at the lake was quite colorful. We had the hippies, post burn and trying to walk a tight rope between two trees – endlessly entertaining. Then there was the Kiwi Ex bus kids – apparently they white boy rap when drunk. Oh happy day. We took a seat close by for the free entertainment. They came up with a great song. One chord and a chorus that goes “whooo ooooo, Christmas in Queenstown” over and over and over again. Look for it on the itunes top 10. Dumb shits. The beach scene was fun, but it did confirm our suspicion that our Sweedish boyfriends were the hottest game in town. Rory and Stina for the win. Stina’s friends finally made it back down from the hike after about 4 hours. Needless to say I was quite pleased with our decision to ride the gondola with the members of the Rick Steve’s fan club.
Once we polished off our beer, we went back to the room, showered and popped a bottle of champs before dinner. Home Alone 2 was on one of our 9 channels. Stina heard it from the bathroom and rejoiced at our good fortune. Hark, the comedic genius of Macaulay Culkin. And then it was time for dinner. Another attempt at sit down dining in NZ. Talk about being a glutton for punishment. First, I want you all to recall the blog entry from about a week ago in Able Tasman where we waited an hour to be served pizza by homeless people. It was basically like that except this time our servers were showered. We had 9pm reservations at a Steakhouse with Stina’s friends. After getting a drink at the bar, we were finally seated at 9:45pm. We complained (obviously), drinks were comped, so no harm done. We then sat around eyeing people’s food until they took our order around 10:30pm, and bread came at 10:45pm. I had to stop myself from grabbing a piece before the plate hit the table. It was like the fucking hunger games. I even put salt and pepper on my bread. I think I was trying to pretend it was a piece of meat when I closed my eyes. Food finally came, which was decent but nothing to write home about. Stina’s friend Matt got this truffle bearnaise sauce that was pretty much the highlight of our meal. The staff at the restaurant seemed to think the fact that we were miffed by their shit service was a bit of an overreaction. Apparently we should have been thankful they were even open. Thank you so much, for allowing me to pay you for a service you are in the business of providing. Our server complained to us about having to work such a long day on Christmas. Cry me a fucking river. That ass hole is probably making double time, which equates to at the very least $35 an hour in NZ. Two can play at the giving zero fucks game, buddy. By 12:30am we had finally been fed and Stina and I were exhausted. As we had to be up at 6am for our Milford Sound bus, we headed home. I don’t even remember going to sleep. I think I was in an early REM cycle on the walk home and asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Today we woke up at 6am to catch our bus to the 8th wonder of the world and a world heritage site, Milford Sound! You all know that wherever UNESCO goes, Rory is soon to follow, so I was very excited about today. To do it in one day you basically take a 5 hour bus with some photo op stops, take a two hour boat ride at Milford, and then get back on the bus for another 4 hours back to Queenstown. We slept the first two hours, since our driver told us it doesn’t get good until after that. Then we were herded from place to place with 5 other buses of people trying to take pictures of the exact same shit. Now, when on one of these cookie cutter day tours to a wildly popular tourist attraction in any country you are bound to run into the Chinese bus (cue impending doom music). It cannot be avoided. They travel in large packs and can often be spotted shoving unsuspecting fellow tourists out of the way for a picture of a waterfall. Seriously, don’t fuck with these people if there is a waterfall. They would probably drown their old children racing to get a picture of a rainbow. Kiss all hopes of personal space goodbye when you see this bus. Or if possible, run. We also had a young Middle Eastern couple on one of the other buses and the man literally used his wife as a human shield, pushing her through the crowd to clear his royal path. She seemed sadly apathetic about her wifely travel duties. And then there are the young European girls who treat every stop as if it’s their Maxim test shoot. Although I’m sure the joke will be on me, because when I get home I won’t have an over the shoulder kissy-face shot of myself at a river who’s name I can’t pronounce. Damn you, hindsight.
The boat ride was pretty cool, although the weather was a bit cloudy, so the pics didn’t come out great. But you can google “Milford Sound in the sun”. I probably will too. If I’m being honest, I thought the scenery on the drive in was even more impressive than Milford Sound itself. But then again, its hard to impress me when the sun isn’t out. Suffice it to say I am happy I got to check old Milf off my list but I won’t be taking that 9 hour bus journey again. Nothing too notable for the rest of the evening once we got back, as we were so tired we went right to bed. After all, we have an 8am bungee jump tomorrow to rest up for. Ahhhhh!
I’m currently sitting on my balcony in Queenstown with a view of the Skyline Gondola and about 10 Christmas morning hang gliders trying to figure out where to even begin. Probably due to my hangover. Let me focus. Ok. In the morning we went to Puzzling World, which is basically a grown up version of the McDonalds play place. So Puzzleword has a bunch of rooms with crazy optical illusions and puzzles. In one room you feel like the room is slanted at a crazy incline and can barely walk across it, but when you roll a ball, up is down and down is up.
It’s hard to explain and that probably didn’t quite do it. There is also a giant outdoor human maze. We decided to tackle the Maze with our bus husbands. We figured between two doctors, a lawyer and an accountant (low man on the totem pole) how long could it possibly take? A long fucking time. I can’t believe they put mice through that shit.
I thought Stina was going to break down a wall to get us out. I tried to cheat like 12 times.
Then we were off to Queenstown! The adventure capital of the world. AKA, Rory’s paradise. We passed some beautiful lakes and crystal blue rivers on the way. Fairly standard for South Island. We also passed the 45th parallel, if that is cool to anyone. Doubtful. And then we arrived at AJ Hackett on the outskirts of the city for someone on our bus to jump off a bridge. We were at the famous “K Bridge”, which is the site of the world’s first commercial bungy (AJ Hackett and Co spells it this way, I do actually know how to spell bungee, just not much else).
We didn’t jump, as we were doing the canyon swing in about an hour, but suffice to say we signed up for a jump as soon as we got to our hostel. So pics in a few days! Then we were off to our Canyon Swing! A canyon swing is basically a bungee jump on crack. You are driven up into a canyon and then thrown off a ledge suspended in the canyon and swing through said canyon. Stina and I did a backwards tandem jump together first, to warm up. Then we each did a second swing where you hang upside down and the jumpmaster drops you…when you least expect it. Fucking amazing. Apparently if you jump topless its free. I told the guy 29 year olds can’t do shit like that, and frankly, no one wants to see 29 year old boobies flopping around in a canyon anyway. He asked if I was married. I said no. And he said “oh, then you are fucked. It’s ok for a guy to be old and unmarried, but not a girl”. I told him I was aware and why did he think I was throwing myself off a cliff? Ass hole. Later that night I became 25 again, so no worries.
After our canyon swings we picked up our bags and had to find our hostel. We stopped on the street and asked a girl working in a fish and chips stall where Church Street was. She said she didn’t know and would google it for us. It was the next street over. Literally, the cross street of her place of fucking employment. Stina could not handle the stupidity. I thought she was going to perform an impromptu sterilization right there at the stall. So I must repeat my question from the other day’s post: how the hell do these morons get themselves to work? I wanted to give her a card for my “how to not be loser” seminar, but I haven’t gotten around to printing them up. Bad for business, I know. I’ve been a little busy. We arrive at our hostel to find a lovely private room that basically looks like a hotel room. A little Christmas present I booked for Stina a few months ago. She looked like she was going to wet herself. We then bought a shit load of booze, as they don’t sell any on Christmas day here, and everyone knows that provisioning is always the key to a good holiday. $20 says half our bus will have no booze and be crying about it on Christmas day. The half that are losers.
And then it was FERGBERGER time. If you have not heard of a Fergberger, google it. It’s basically Queenstown’s In-n-out. Their claim to burger fame. The end-all, be-all of food in this fair little city. So we met up with some of our bus mates, queued for about 20 minutes, and settle into burger bliss by the lake. We fully expected to be disappointed, especially after the sad excuse for Mexican food we had the other night. Oh, that reminds me, we have two Mexican girls on the bus, and everyone just calls them “the Mexicans”. When they are late, our bus driver goes “Where are those damn Mexicans?”. She is totally serious. I laugh my ass off every time. There are two other girls who are not Mexican but are really tan and no one can tell the four apart, so we just refer to all of them them as “The Mexicans”. But I digress. Fergberger was the shit. They are literally as big as your head. They do breakfast burgers as well, so naturally that is now on the itinerary. Later at the bar I was so full I had to have one of our bus husbands rub my belly.
It sounds weird…but I’ve had him do it before, after all-you-can-eat pizza night. To a 29 year old overeater, a belly rub is better than foreplay. I can’t possibly be alone is this, can I?
And then it was bar crawl time. Also known as “7pm” here in NZ. And you people wonder why I pass out at midnight every night. 5 hours of drinking is like a marathon for this old bitch. We started at Loco’s where we did our secret santa gift exchange. Thank god one of the A-team people got me, and I was rewarded with rings that you can blow bubbles from ($5 max on the gift – I’m not sure how you can do better than bubble rings for $5, honestly. She outdid herself). These would come in handy later in the night…I’ll get there. Stina got this one girl, Sofie (who we like) a mini nerf gun that you can shoot people with. Basically, the best present ever. Sofie did not agree and was very disappointed. When we were shopping we must have forgotten that Sofie is a real girl and hates all things fun. More for show than go, if you know what I mean. So I gave her one my bubble rings in exchange for the gun and proceeded to put the gun to people’s heads and threaten to shoot them for about an hour. Doesn’t sound funny now. But vodka makes a lot of weird shit funny.
Oh, and someone got stick-on mustaches. Stina and I spent about an hour just fucking around with all the lame presents laughing our asses off. People were confused.
We then moved on to another bar which played non-stop Christmas music and we all danced our asses off for about 2 hours until normal, non-backpacker bus folk started to accumulate. We had a limbo competition using a string of tinsle as the pole. The DJ put up a $50 bar tab to the winner, so you know it was on. Stina, myself, and horse face (not sure I’ve mentioned her before, but her face looks like a horse and her voice is super manly – yes, more manly than mine!) came in second and some no-fun nancy skinny bitch took first. Games like that need to be scored on a sliding scale that take into account your weight-to-height-to-age-to-awesomeness ratio. The bar tab was wasted on this bitch. Later that night there was a competition for who could look the most Christmasy. As the only Jew in the room, I was naturally the obvious choice for our group of friends to thrown their support behind. It was clear that the boring bitch (who already won a game!!) was going to win, as the B-team decorated her, and they are FAR more numerous in number than the A-team and therefore had more Christmas shit at their disposal. So Stina literally stole the Christmas tree from behind the bar and I danced around holding it on my head. It was for sure a winner. But I was basically disqualified for theft.
The one time Kiwis actually give a fuck is when you put a tree on your head?! Come the fuck on! I demanded a recount. My plea fell of the deaf ears of the grinch working the bar. Bastards.
But our luck was about to turn. Because upon returning from the ladies room (where I pissed on a Santa Hat that someone had put in the toilet – zero fucks!!) Stina informed me she had found the hottest guys in the bar. So I did what any 25 year old gal would do…I went up behind them and blew bubbles at their (very tall) heads. As that did not illicit the response I was looking for (which was eternal love) I pushed my way to the bar next to them…the classic whoo girl move, been doing it for years ladies. Works just about every time until you turn 25, and then the effectiveness drops exponentially, much the like viability of your eggs. But it was my lucky night, because it worked. Stina got the hotter one, but I got the younger one. If we are being honest, the younger one got stuck with me. But 29 year olds who pretend to be 25 at bars take whatever scraps they can get. So bring on the 26 year old Sweedish wing-men! Did I mention these hot men were both about 6’8 and BROTHERS. It was a Christmas miracle. The bar closed so we spilled onto the streets and loitered about for a while. The extremely tall and good looking Sweedish men wondered how we knew everyone in town. We mumbled something about a bus but kept the explanation short, as we preferred them to think we were kind of a big deal.
Then, as you all well know, after the party is the after-party. We went back to our luxurious flashpacker suite to pop bottles. Yes, I actually said “lets go pop some bottles”, and yes, the Sweeds thought it was hilarious. So we spend the next few hours drinking Rose Sparking wine, dancing to the Jammy pack, and introducing the Sweeds to the baby dino. No, that is not secret lingo for some weird sexual move. It is literally where I just talk in a high pitched voice as a baby dinosaur. A Pterodactyl, to be exact. At one point my boo decided he also wanted to be a baby dino, so I made him get in the fetal position and then declared him re-born a Velociraptor Dino and instructed him to make whatever noise he thinks a baby raptor would make. It’s about as weird as it sounds. Keep in mind it was 2am and I had already drank every vodka tonic in town. After sufficiently scaring these boys, we sent them home to their parents. Yes, they were on Holiday with their parents. We also invited ourselves to (1) Christmas dinner with their parents, and (2) Their NYE party in Sydney. They don’t want us at either one. Shocker.
Tuesday, Dec 23
Today was pretty freaking fabulous. There are going to be lots of pics, because we covered a lot of ground. You’re welcome. Big bus day with a lot of stops. Stop #1 was Lake Matheson (aka mirror lake) with beautiful views of Mt. Cook in the background. We did a short little hike to the lake and then some lounging in the sun. Then we were off to the beach for lunch. Now, when your driver tells you “we’ll have lunch at the beach tomorrow”, what would you bring? Perhaps a bathing suit? Maybe even a beach towel if you are really getting crazy? These people showed up in jeans, runners, yoga pants, basically everything except proper beach attire. It was like Torrance beach on fucking Cinco de Mayo. Stina and I strip to our suits, lay out our towels and turn on the jammy pack while everyone watched us and said “oh, you guys are so prepared!”. What did you think was going to happen here? Add “appropriate beach wear” to the list things I have to put in my social interaction class. Everyone freaked out at the dolphins. Our driver at one point said something like “how often do you get to eat lunch on a beach and watch dolphins swim?!” To which I responded “oh, we call that Saturday back at home”. People were not amused.
After the beach-in-jeans stop we were back on the bus following the Haast river on our way South. This is easily the most beautiful driving day we’ve had since we’ve gotten to NZ. The amazing weather probably had something to do with that. We stopped at Thunder Creek Falls for a little walk and a photo op. This is also known as “LSD falls”, because if you stare at the waterfall long enough and then look away, everything looks trippy like you are on LSD. Or so I’m told. I’m gonna have to take people’s word on that one. We caught up with the Kiwi bus at the waterfalls. They left about 2 hours before us, so not sure what they were doing all day. Probably took a break to actually do LSD from the looks of them. Fucking rag-tag bunch of little half-wits.
Then it was on to the the blue pools, which are these amazingly clear pools that are formed where the Haast River and the Makaroro River meet. They have suspension bridges along the hike. So naturally, what does one do when met with a lovely bridge with crystal blue water running under? Strip on the bridge and jump off. While the boys were considering their options, Stina and I said fuck it, hoped over the side of the bridge and just went for it. Team America for the win, once again. Did I mention the water was fed by glacier runoff? God it was so fucking cold. Half my boob was hanging out when I got out of the water and I didn’t notice because I was so cold I couldn’t even feel them. Can you boobs fall off from frostbite? I really hope that is not a thing. Anyway, I self corrected before anyone saw. This is not the kiwi bus…we keep our tits in our shirts like ladies.
And then, we made it to Lake Wanaka. Oh, beautiful Lake Wanaka. Fourth largest lake in NZ, but the most beautiful lake I think I have ever seen in my life. The pictures are good, but even they don’t do it justice. This place is basically like heaven. We checked into our room – private suite, per usual. The couples on the bus are really getting annoyed with the fact that Stina and I have a private room every night while they have to play roomate Russian Roulette in the dorms. It’s not rocket science, all you have to do is go on this little thing called the internet and book a fucking room ahead of time. It really baffles me how some of these people get through life without someone like me to explain shit to them. I don’t even know how their ass gets wiped. How do they get to work in the morning? Or pay their bills? They can’t even figure out how to book a room. And these are the ones that will probably soon be procreating. In dorm rooms. God help us. Maybe I shouldn’t have kids. What if they are stupid like these people? Nah, not possible. Not with a combination of genes from myself and my helicopter-owning future husband. Phew.
We went for Mexican food in Wanaka with our bus driver, Lego. We were supposed to go as a big group of people from the bus, but we didn’t like the people that showed up for Mexican night (B-team) so the three of us literally just sat at a different table. You know how I always say, if I don’t like you, you’ll know? Case in point. Subtlety is wasted on people like that anyway. Subtlety is what got Smelly Cat thinking she was our friend and trying to hang out with us. Which reminds me, Smelly Cat’s stench was in rare form today. Probably because it was so hot. And she was sitting across from Stina on the bus. I don’t even know how these people get up to the front of the bus. The front is for the cool crew. All 12 or so of us (it’s slim pickins). I’m waiting for Stina to punch her the face or something. Because no one will expect it coming from her.
We are now lounging in our room getting ready for an early night. After all, tomorrow is a big day – Queenstown Christmas Eve Canyon Swing and then bar crawl! Shall we take bets on if I can stay awake past midnight on the bar crawl?
So we left off on the evening of December 22. I promised you a crazy party night, as I was promised by our diver that the bar would “go off”. Not the case. I was desperately hoping for some non-backpacker bus people so that I could momentarily be a normal person, but alas it was not in the cards. The Kiwi Experience bus was there, however. Which is basically the same as Stray (the bus we are on), except they average 5-8 years younger and apparently don’t shower. It basically looks like a bus full for kids who make bombs in their basements being sent to reform school. Seriously frightening. Thank the lord we went with Stray. Or I’d definitely have been arrested by now for kicking the crap out of one of those little shits. I called out the Sweedish storytelling photog and told him he was creeping the girls out and to stop taking pictures of them. Someone had to do it. He tried to play innocent, but I know better. There is probably a website somewhere with our heads photoshopped onto naked bodies in some sick bus-fantasy senario. I got in a fight with an 18 year old German boy who I had the strong urge to punch. I decided that was my cue for some Rory alone time (I’ve been doing surprisingly well up till this point). I went to my room at about 11pm just so I could drink my vodka sodas in bed alone and watch TV…because we actually had a TV. Stina stayed out dancing and what not though. I’m going to try to think of something exciting from the night to tell you.
The Dick Docs gave us a little insight into why men desperately need their services. Apparently in Germany, and sadly probably elsewhere, guys stick their dicks in vacuum cleaners. Like, for sexual pleasure. And apparently some of the older models have the motor in the front instead of the back. Ouch. So if you wonder why German men universally have the male-equivalent of the bitchy resting face, it’s probably because they are scarred by getting their penis caught in a hoover. We also learned about swaffling, which is just when you go around slapping shit with your dick. Basically the perverted equivalent of planking. Do we have this term at home? Stina and I informed them that this was typically just referred to as a dick slap. But “swaffling” sounds much more scientific so we’ll go with that from now on. Luckily, we have no swafflers on our bus. Can’t say the same for the kiwi bus. Oh, and I finally realized why I’m single. I’ve been using the wrong pick up lines. So, I’ve decided to steal the best line ever from our bus driver, Lego: “Do you like bread?” And if the answer is yes, follow up with “Do you like garlic bread?”. Because, let’s be honest, weeding out the non-bread eating freaks is imperative. I know my Brother is currently reading this thinking “Rory, you should not be eating bread”. He’s probably right.
We woke up bright and early for our helicopter ride to the Franz Joseph glacier!!! It was fucking awesome. Rory’s first helicopter ride. I can’t believe I’ve been looking for a boyfriend with a private plane all this time (please see section on why I’m single) when what I really want is a helicopter and I didn’t even know it! But seriously, these things fucking rock. We then spent about 3 hours hiking around the glacier. Is it weird that this my second time in crampons in 2014? Our guide was a horrid storyteller – every story he told us ended with something horrid happening. Like the one about the guys who got stuck in an ice cave for 13 days and had their legs amputated…right before we went into an ice cave. And he had a shit eating grin on his face at the end of each story, which was a bit eerie. I think I’m going to have to add an optional storytelling seminar to my social interaction course. The course load for “how to not be a loser” is looking quite heavy. Anyway, we got to walk through this big narrow crevice and go through a little ice tunnel on our bums. For the record, 3 hours on a glacier is about 1 hour to many. But at least we had a helicopter ride to look forward to on the way down. Little travel fact: Helicopter is the only way to reach this glacier, as it is the fastest retreating glacier in the world. In about 90 years it will be completely gone. Some pics for you below!
After our glacier experience we were supposed to go kayaking (you know Rory loves a double activity day) but apparently the water levels were too high and rough, so the trip was cancelled. We were secretly a little happy, as this meant we got to spend the afternoon lounging the hot pools and napping before ALL YOU CAN EAT PIZZA NIGHT.
At about 7pm, we headed over for the pizza extravaganza. Now, the “all you can eat” was bullshit for a few reasons: (1) they bring out garlic bread and fries first, so you fill up on that shit and eat less pizza. I knew their game immediately…but I still ate the fries. I have no self control. (2) After bringing out a bunch of pizzas, they they make you wait 20 minutes in between pizza rounds, so that you have time to realize how full you are…just mean, (3) They give you a free beer, also to fill you up – ok I just realized I’m complaining about free beer, so I’ll retract this one, but you see my point, 4) they have a “last call” for ordering pizza. Now, I’m not saying I wasn’t full. I couldn’t have eaten another slice to save my life. But that shit ain’t “all you can eat”. But alas we are in NZ and in true not-giving-a-fuck fashion if they want to call it “all you can eat” they will. The only other people that seemed outraged by this false advertising were our German husbands. Which is another reason for the “why we love our bus husbands” column.
After all you can eat pizza night was the nightly game where you can win free shit – tonight’s game was the same as last night’s – rock, papper, scissors (Stina gets spelling credit for scissors, thank you Stina). And guess who actually won??? That’s right, little old Rory. All of our bus mates had gone to bed, so it was just us and our husbands there to rep Stray for the game (one of the Dick Docs won last night). There were about 25 kids from the GAP Experience bus. Now, the GAP kids are basically annoying, loud, spoiled, rich British kids who’s mommy’s and daddy’s fund their travels and have not yet figured out that the world doesn’t actually revolve around their twitter accounts. Basically, the Kiwi Experience kids but with money and friends. I could practically smell the Chlamydia emanating from this group. So naturally, I was beyond thrilled when I won, which was probably the only thing in the world that could shut these little fuckers up. We went to bed before they could drink themselves annoying again.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Happy Birthday Drew!!! I think the fact that it was my little brother’s birthday was the most exciting part of the day. And he isn’t even here.
Today we left Able Tasman National Park and headed to Westport. The sky was pretty gloomy and the forecast was rain. Our options for activities were surfing or horseback riding, neither or which are my cup of tea even when the sun is shining. We made a stop at “seal colony” on the way. Once you’ve been to SF, four seals sleeping on a rock just doesn’t really do it for ya. Then on to Westport on New Zealand’s West Coast. What is in Westport you ask? Absolutely nothing. Oh wait no, they have a supermarket. And coal museum, which was closed. I felt like I was in Tombstone. The only thing that is worse than this shit shitty little town, is this shitty little in town in the rain. I’ll give you one guess what we did to pass the time today. That’s right, Rory and Stina hit the Tui beer. We literally just sat around drinking beer all afternoon and evening. Oh wait, we had magnums too. And we ate dinner. We did another group dinner. Which basically means our bus driver buys a shit load of food, a group of people volunteer to cook, and then another group volunteers to do dishes, and Stina and I drink. The entire time. And say thank you. We are still waiting for someone to notice that we never do shit. Either they haven’t or they are too afraid to say something to us. My guess is its the latter.
Just an FYI, there are two new Americans on our bus that I did not tell you about yesterday because they are boring. I thought they were brother and sister. But no. They are on their honeymoon. On a backpacker bus. I’m pretty sure that is grounds for an annulment. At least it should be. What judge on earth wouldn’t grant that to you? I know this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway just so its on record. If my new husband (whoever that lucky devil may be) takes me on a backpacker bus full of ass holes like me for our honeymoon, its over. Is this the part where everyone thinks to themselves “thats why she is still single”? If so, then yes. That is exactly why.
We played card games most of the evening with a bunch of Germans and Dutch. They have a game similar to Uno that you play with a deck of cards, but way less cool. At one point it was myself, Stina, and two others. They mentioned their ages – 18 and 19. Holy shit I’m old. I’ll be sending their parents a bill for babysitting. So we had some harmless good fun, but the bench of the table we were sitting on made my ass really itchy. That’s the worst. So we called it a fairly early night. Which is good, because tomorrow we head to Franz Joseph, and apparently shit gets cray in Franz Joseph. Sorry today’s blog sucks but I will no doubt have some absurd stories for you in the next one. Apparently there is a dance floor in Franz. FML.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Today we got to sleep in. Stina and I regained our rightful places in the front row of the bus with our German bus husbands (the Dick Docs). The old lady Bonnie stole our seat yesterday. She learned her lesson real quick though, don’t worry. Our driver, Lego, came to get us in the morning when she was unlocking the bus so we could get our spots in the front. It’s basically the opposite of high school. Cool kids sit in the front of the bus, boring faces in the back. And we sit next across from our German Dick Docs and pretend to hit on them all day. They secretly love it. Today we are headed for Franz Joseph!!! For those of you who don’t know what that means (all of you), we are going glacier hiking! And taking a helicopter to the glacier…weather permitting. Everyone cross your fingers.
Today we were supposed to stop along the drive for some hike. Probably to a waterfall, knowing NZ. But instead we opted to go to The Warehouse to pimp out our bus with Christmas decorations and do a Secret Santa. The Warehouse is basically the Walmart of NZ, minus the crazy Christianity and anti-union sentiment that goes along with it. So basically, heaven. It is true current-day NZ culture. Our bus is fucking ridiculous. Christmas shit everywhere. We made a video to Mariah Carey’s “I don’t want a lot for Christmas”…I’ll give you one guess who picked the song – me and Stina, obvi. And then we basically had a Christmas party on the truck bus while driving to Franz. Probably the most fun I’ve had at a party sober in a while. Or ever…since I’ve never been to a party sober. I basically make it my life’s mission to avoid being sober at parties. Perhaps I’m turning over a new leaf. But the case of beer under my seat at the moment says otherwise…
We also went to see some pancake rocks. It wasn’t too exciting, but I know you want pics of something. And we stopped at a “shaddow” cave, where you can take cute pics and all you can see is the shaddow. Obviously, the following had to be done.
Right after we all started to calm down, Smelly Cat decides that the party got her a little heated. So she took off her jacket, which was the only thing separating her arm pits from us, as she is in a tank top. I gaged. Literally. Oh did I mention she loves us and always tries to sit near us? This is where being so damn lovable really has its drawbacks.
Alright, we’ve just arrive in Franz Joseph’s. Tonight’s raging party will be on tomorrow’s blog, so I suggest you tune in. Just to give you a hint of what you are in for, Stina won a beer a check in for looking the most convincing when asked “who likes beer?” Thats my girl.
Friday, Dec 19
Today we went on an all day sailing trip though Able Tasman national park. We woke up feeling surprisingly good, made breakfast and packed a lunch for the day and we were off. Boyfriends are leaving today…so it’ll be a quiet night in. Which we desperately need.
We get on our catamaran around 10am, which just happens to be beer o’clock. That’s right my friends, BYO sailing trip. The sun is actually shining, which is a fucking miracle in NZ and something we usually only get once every few days. Nothing too notable to tell you here. The usual shit: everything was so beautiful, blah, blah, blah. Big waves, the actual sailing part was cold, which is something you tend to forget because the prospect of being on a boat is just so appealing.
So since I have nothing too ridiculous story-wise, I’ll introduce you to some of our bus mates. Some are new, just joining the bus on the South Island, and some have been with us a while and I just haven’t discussed them. But since a lot of our key players hopped off in Wellington, we need to get you acquainted with some the new group:
We have the Germans. Who we refer to as “the Dick Docs” because they are actually dick doctors. Urologists, if you want the technical term. One of the poor guys actually offered that little piece of information to us, having no idea we would then use it to ridicule them endlessly. Have you boys learned nothing over the past week? FYI, we like the Dick Docs. They are fab. And hilarious. And honestly its just fun to talk in a funny German accent to them.
We have the weirdo who fondles men in bars, which I told you about in yesterday’s post. We basically spent the whole day on the boat making fun of that freak. Oh – apparently someone asked him if he was gay, you know, because he was grabbing dude’s junk, and he said no. We may have to stage a gay intervention to let him know that we are actually more aware of his sexuality than he is. I’m sure I’ll lead it. Can’t wait.
Who else…omg. The fucking storytelling photog. Another freak. This dude is from Sweden (does not look like it) and keeps interrupting people’s convo’s to tell stories. Problem: he is the worst fucking storyteller in the universe (yes, Kim Ortloff, worse than you). Not only does no one care because he’s weird, that shit never ends. Get to the punch buddy. It get’s worse. He spent the entire day on the boat taking pictures of all the girls. And I don’t mean sneaking pictures under the radar. He just walked around snapping pics of girls. I should get him an application for Girls Gone Wild cameraman. That is his calling. Fucking pathetic. Still, it get worse. This is what made me hate him on an entirely new level. His feet. They make me want to die, but I can’t stop looking. He has massive finger toes. He literally has one too many joints in each one. He could paint the fucking Cistene Chapel with those nasty litte fuckers. And he can curl them up and it LITERALLY looks like a fist. As in, a hand. I couldn’t make this nasty shit up if I tried.
There is a group of German girls who literally don’t speak. Like, ever. And they just stare at us. I have caught them staring at us like 5 times in the past few days. I’ve ruled out the fact that it’s because they think we are beautiful American goddesses. Not really getting an admiration vibe from these creep-tastic stares. And you never know with the Germans because they can be cray so I’m not sure what they are plotting. They are also fucking morons. It took them about 12 minutes to figure out how to get off the catamaran. I’ll give you a hint…it involves walking down steps, and….nope that’s it. And I was behind them, so you can probably imagine how close they came to be pushed off a boat today.
There is also a super smelly dutch girl who shall henceforth be referred to as smelly cat. She always stinks. And she is like the monkey on Family Guy, always lurking, just a sniff away. And then we have Bonnie. Oh, Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie. What the fuck are you doing on this bus? She is about 45 years old, if I’m being generous, and thankfully I’m in a good mood. She carries around a giant camera, wears soccer mom pants even though she has no children, and looks at all of us like we are the exact reasons she has decided not to procreate. However I suspect the real reason for that is the lack of men knocking on her door. And once they do knock, they probably find little children stacked in her over in her house made out of candy.
We do like some other people: A dutch girl who hates the storytelling photog even more than I do. Which is precisely why I like her. A French-Canadian who is pretty cool. We got some new Americans, but it’s definitely the B-team, nothing exciting there. We hang out with our driver a lot because she is fucking awesome. And her most-used phrase is “fucking awesome”. Anyone who uses the word “fuck” 498 times a day is a friend of mine. Today she caught Stina and I making Marcel the Shell and dino growling noises at each other and laughing hysterically (which we do about 47 times a day, on average). She told us she thinks we have problems. She is correct.
I think this bus Company should hire me to give a social interaction class to everyone before they get on. Like a orientation for how to not be a loser. Actually, fuck that. That would be awful for me. Great for the kids, but awful for me. Plus our bus driver thinks (knows) that I’m fucking crazy, so I don’t think they want me rubbing off on anyone.
I can’t end a blog without a little story of Kiwis giving no fucks. We went to a pizza place for dinner with a few peeps. It is actually the same hippy honky-tonk that we drank at last night. Small town. Can’t get a menu or water. Ask 4 times. Get menu and water. Can’t get anyone to take our order. Waitresses walk by and don’t stop when you say “excuse me!?” One of the two waitresses then sits down to have a nice meal. In the middle of dinner service. Other waitress then stops by her table to have a little chat. We finally place order. When food finally comes, we ask for a side of sauce. They tell us that we, their paying customers, have to go ask the pizza oven guy ourselves. They don’t do that. Stina goes to get sauce. They tell her to ask the waitress. She holds her ground and finally gets sauce. This is why the whole “no tipping” thing is not as cool as it looks. Not that Kiwis would give a fuck even if you did tip them. Oh, did I mention the part where someone drives a beat-up 1986 honda INTO the outdoor restaurant where 4 people who I’m pretty sure actually live in the car, together, get out looking like they just came from burning man. Bizarre, right? Who would do something so rude? Something that probably violates about 12 health codes. Oh, just their FUCKING EMPLOYEES. Yeah. Remember high-as-balls bartender from yesterday’s post? He was one of them. Wait, no health codes in NZ. Because THEY DON’T GIVE A FUCK. So yeah, we laughed our asses off through dinner.
Thursday, Dec 18
I thought today’s blog would be pretty quick, as this was mostly a travel day. But then the sun went down…and you all know Rory and Stina can’t fight the moonlight. Today we were up at 5:15am to catch the ferry to the South Island. Only good part about being up at the ass crack of dawn is you can rationalize your need for a McDonalds breakfast without feeling like a huge fat ass. That’s a lie, I still felt like a fat ass. Whatever. We slept for most of the ferry ride since we were hungover, and got our new bus once we arrived in Picton. It’s basically a truck with a bus in the back…it’s fucking huge. So it was aptly named “the truck bus” and off we went. It was about a 5 hour drive down to Able Tasman National Park, but we did manage to stop in Marlborough for a little wine tasting. Bubbles were purchased, obviously.
About ten minutes before we got to our hostel, the owners rang (called) our driver and told her that (1) They have Air Force boys staying there, (2) They are seriously getting after it, and (3) last night they all got naked. Oh happy day for us! It was our intention to have a nice kiwi BBQ with our busmates and make it an early night. But alas, plans change. Once we pull up to our hostel, we are greeted on our bus by the owners and one of the Air Force men in a slutty Santa’s little helper outfit. He was the youngest of the Air Force guys and being hazed. He reeked of booze. Beer pong was happening. I should have known then what we were in for….
The hostel is pretty sweet – lots of outdoor space and fire pits, beach view. However 2 problems: First, the owner is total bitch. I’m talking serious see you next Tuesday shit here people. I almost flipped out on her at check in but thought it would probably be best not to get kicked out on night 1. Second, our room is a glorified tuna can. Literally. It’s a box. With a sliding glass door and two beds. And nothing else. No fucking electrical outlets. And this was the upgrade. Oddly enough, the dorm rooms do have electrical outlets. Because that makes sense. The people that pay you more should naturally have less amenities. Again, they just don’t give a fuck.
So our driver, Lego, cooked everyone a BBQ and Stina and I downed a few bottles of wine. A few of the other gals told us we didn’t have a choice and had to come out…we are easily persuaded so we started to hit the beer. And then the lovely gentlemen of the NZ Royal Airforce came to play. They were all three sheets to the wind by that point, which made it all the more fun. Stina and I found our two boyfriends for the night. Or rather, they found us. They informed us that they were on some sort of “team bonding” outing where they do shit like mountain biking and kayaking in the morning and then just get totally fucked up all day and night. On their last bonding adventure, they went “Tramping”. Stina and I giggled and explained that tramping essentially translates to whoring. To clarify what tramping entails they said “we went bush walking”, at which point we burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, for obvious reasons. It took them a minute, but they got it. It doesn’t sound funny now as I am typing it, but I swear it was hilarious. Trust me on this one.
After about 3 hours of drinking, we headed down to the bar with boyfriends and a bunch of the others. Oh, the bar. I was at a loss for how to explain this bar to you all, but don’t worry – it came to me. If Toby Keith and Bob Marley got together and opened a bar in NZ, this would be it. Oh, and it was open mic night. So all the freaks came out to play. The bartender was high as balls, so drinks took forever. I’ve seen glaciers melt faster than that guy poured a whiskey coke. One of the Airmen had a hat made entirely of glowsticks, which I stole within about 3 minutes. Ok so this is where it gets weird…you knew it was coming. This weirdo who had just hopped on our bus today was blacked out of his mind and walking around the bar trying to fondle all the Air Force guys. I’m talking like, full on dick grabbing, sitting on their laps, trying to kiss them. It was fucking hilarious. Now, you pull that shit on bunch of guys in the Air Force at home, you get your ass kicked. But – say it with me people – Kiwis don’t give a fuck! About anything! Not even some drunk weirdo trying to fondle them in a NZ honky tonk. They were shockingly nice to him, actually. Until Stina informed the weirdo that the boys were going to get naked later and they leave their door open when they slept. Weirdo’s eyes lit up, I died laughing, and the Air boys looked terrified. What else….oh! So remember a few posts ago when I was talking about how I wanted to bite that guy’s arm? Well. Yeeeeeeah. I bit a dudes arm. It was big and muscular. And I don’t know what got into me…probably all the arm biting talk Stina and I have had in the past few days, but I bit him. Not too hard. Twice. He was generally baffled, as one can imagine, but in true Kiwi nature zero fucks were given. Oh, then boyfriend got jealous so I had to bite his arm too so he didn’t feel left out. I’m so selfless.
The bar closed at midnight or so, probably so the staff could go get high. So back to the hostel we went and more beers were had. At this point it was just Stina and I and boyfriends left by the fire pit chatting. Boyfriend was starting to get the look in his eye. You know the look I’m talking about ladies. The one were they are contemplating how best to make their move. Sometimes the look reads like desperation, sometimes it looks pathetic, and sometimes (if you are lucky), it’s confident. This one was probably a mix of the first two. I took this as my cue to go to bed, and off I went. Stina said he was very sad. I would be too. I’m pretty awesome. Oh, you may be wondering why I did not want to make out with Air man…well, two reasons. One: not hot. Very nice. But not hot. Two: I found out over the course of the night that he isn’t actually in the air force!! He is their trainer! Wrong move boyfriend, the Air Force thing was the only card you had to play, and you tossed it. Stina followed to bed shortly after me, after her boyfriend asked her to “go for a walk”. We know what that shit means here. No thank you, sir.
Up in tomorrows post: I’ll give you a run down of the new bus characters and SAILING!
Yes, that is the title of my blog today. Because it basically made my week. This is what girls staring down the barrel of 30 dream of. I’m not saying he was the brightest bartender in the world, but I’ll take it. I guess that is my reward for putting on mascara for the first time all trip.
So, not much to tell from yesterday other than some drunken fun…but thats what you all like to read about anyway. So here goes. We left Mordor, but the scars of the hike still remain. I think I have PTSD to be honest. Some moron tried to steal my seat on the bus – she learned really quickly that was a mistake. We drove to Wellington, stopping along the way to have a little gumboot throwing contest (gumboot = rain boot). It’s like a thing here. You chuck a rain boot down a gumboot throwing lane (yes, they have actual areas in parks designated for throwing boots) and whoever gets it the furthest wins a free drink. We did not win. But anyone who saw me play softball when I was 12 could have guessed that. We also watched The Hobbit on the drive. What a stupid fucking movie. Has Peter Jackson never heard the phrase “quit while you’re ahead”? It was like watching a movie made by really rich 12 year old boys who just figured out how to masturbate…and think dragons are cool.
When we got to Welllington is started to rain. Too bad it didn’t rain the day before, because then we wouldn’t have been able to hike. I mean, no one would have stopped us (you know, since Kiwis don’t give a fuck if you die on a hike that you have no business being on) but I’d like to think I would have had the good sense not to go in the rain. Since I typically don’t get out of bed in the rain. I got a pedicure. The nail ladies were Vietnamese (shocker) and the moron in the chair next to me kept asking them if they were Chinese. “Is that Chinese you are speaking? You are from Vietnam? What language do they speak there?”. Someone please buy this bitch a bowl of Pho.
After that we did what we do every day day that it rains – start drinking early. All of our peoples from the bus were shuffling in to the bar and we settled in for a long evening of doing what we do best. Stina and I put down quite a bit of beer before the beer pong tournament began. If I’m being honest, we did not fare well. Probably because its been a while (you all know I prefer flip cup) and they were playing with only three cups. So just when you are getting warmed up, its game over. I talked the guys who ran the bar into flip cup (again, shocker), and he decided it should be a fucking 40 person game. I never even got to flip, because some Dutch skank took about 10 minutes to flip a cup upside down. Are they too busy prosecuting international criminals to practice their flip up over there in Holland? Priorities, people. Please. But she was hot, so none of the boys minded the fact that she caused us to lose to a bunch of horny undergrad skanks from Minnesota on a study abroad trip. It was painful. I yelled. Those same skanks kept shaking their boobs at the beer pong table to distract the guys. Well played girls, well played. Prob would have worked better if they had gone through puberty first. But you know boys, they’ll take what they can get.
The night basically turned into a big dance party. They let you dance on tables at this bar, so obviously Rory was a happy camper. I also cleared out the entire length of the bar area so I could dance to Footloose. Because I kick that song’s ass. Single Ladies came on – thats where it got ugly. That’s where it ALWAYS gets ugly. Ugh, why do I think I can dance when I get the drink in me?
The same bartender who needs a refresher course in radiometric fossil dating tried to hold my hand while we were dancing. A lot. It was weird. If I was a bartender, holding hands would not be my go-to move of choice. But I didn’t say anything – because everyone know you don’t piss off your bartender. After about 6 hours of solid drinking and way too much dancing, the clock stuck midnight. With a 6am ferry to catch the next morning, we headed to bed. Let’s be honest, I would have gone to bed either way. Even 22 year olds need their beauty rest.
Most people on our bus hopped off in Wellington, so we’ll have quite a few new people once we get to the South Island. Ring-a-ding is gone, Face is gone, Spaak is gone (we are actually sad about this one), American boys are gone, and our favorite British couple is gone. However, we still have our kick ass bus driver. But there is a silver lining here – new people for Rory to make fun of. Get ready.
Today we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Codename: Hike to Mordor). Turns out, those Hobbits had good reason to be scared. It was fucking horrible. Most people agreed with me that it was the hike from hell, however everyone follows that up by saying “but it was totally worth it”. Ummm, no dude. Not worth it. No views or magical crater lakes are worth the fear and pain I went through to get to them. I’ll google that shit next time. Basically, its a 6-7 hour hike up the side of an active volcano (Mt. Doom featured in the lord of the Rings) and a bunch of crater lakes that surrounded it. Mt. Doom lived up to its name. You have to go straight up for the first few hours. At first, you get stairs. But that doesn’t last long. That’s just a way for the horrid people who came up with this “hike” to trick you into thinking you can do it. Oh, there are stairs? This isn’t so bad. Then, once you get up so high that turning back would just be silly, thats when the rock climbing on loose gravel and pebbles begins. Please keep in mind I was on a bad ankle due to my drunken escapades a few nights ago. Thankfully I was able to rent some bad ass hiking books that probably saved my life. And then when you make it all the way up to the top, you turn a corner, and that shit just keeps going. Up and up, never ending. There has to be a top at some point thought, right? Correct. But then you find out that the downhill is even more steep and terrifying.
Throughout the entire trek I was trying to think of the right word to describe what was happening. It took me a few hours, but I finally came up with it: Irresponsible. Why “irresponsible” and not something like “miserable”, “terrifying”, ect? I’ll tell you why. Because those fucking Kiwis who don’t give a shit about anything (refer to earlier posts on this) tell you the hike is a great experience. They also tell you that it’s considered moderate. MODERATE!!! I called bullshit on that about an hour in. Now, I’m not saying being able to sue anyone you want like we do in America is the answer, because it fucking sucks, but someone should have to pay for the pain and torture I went through yesterday. Stina and I played the “would you rather” game for about an hour during the end of the hike, where one option always had to be doing the hike again. Turns out, there is a lot of weird shit we would do before doing that hike again. Now I may be a complainer, but I’m still a bad ass. And Stina is an even bigger bad ass. We finished faster than pretty much everyone on the bus, other than the 5 people that did the optional summit hike which added another 5km to a 19.4km hike. Fucking morons.
I’m about 99% certain everyone else hated it too, but they all wanted to look like bad-ass hiking gods who could take it in front of eachother. I personally need no validation from some random people on a bus and will fully admit that it sucked and was far beyond my abilities as a human. I am perfectly secure in my bad bitchness despite getting my ass kicked in Middle Earth. Were the views amazing? The lakes like something from a dream? Yes and yes. Was is worth it? Let’s just put it this way, if you put a pot of gold at the end of that hike I wouldn’t do it again. And this is coming from a cheap, money-loving Jew. Thats how you know it was bad.
The moral of this little cautionary tale is this: If multiple movies have been made documenting the pure evilness of a certain area, don’t spend 6 hours hiking through it. Fiction or not. Nothing else to report for this day. We got cheeseburgers and I passed out at 9. For the record, I didn’t cry on the hike. No. I managed to hold my tears back for 4 straight hours. How’s that for self-control?
I threw some pics down below, as Stina and I are in a hurry. We have a beer pong tournament to get to. We are team “mean girls” and have matching “on Wednesdays we wear pink” shirts. And it’s actually Wednesday. Go figure. Up next: South Island!!!