Today I was awoken by a didgeridoo to the noggin, as Chet got a little carried away. Per usual, Stina and I dressed, packed, and ate breakfast in about 6 minutes and then waited an hour for everyone else to get a fucking clue. While we were waiting, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. My first thought was that it was an island mirage, but upon closer inspection I realized that it was, in fact, a BEER BONG. Thats right, I had been camping with a beer bong the past two days and had no idea. How was “…and here is our beer bong” skipped over in the base camp orientation? Despite it being 7:30am, it was calling my name. Luckily we had a few beers left and so much to the horror of the staff, I hit that. I hit it hard. And I hit it well. Nothing lifts my spirits like a beer bong with breakfast. I then scolded the staff for not informing us that they had a beer bong. One guy tried to defend himself. But I explained that if he was a guest in my house, I would have promptly offered him a beer bong upon his arrival as that is just good manners. There was no arguing with my flawless reasoning and so he hung his head in shame.
At 8am we were off to Lake McKenzie, which is the island’s most famous post-card worthy sight. The night before we agreed with the Canadians that the party car (which is what we called any car the A-team was in) would be a country car, and so we blasted the country music. The Brits were very agreeable, bless their hearts, and suffered through my country DJ’ing with smiles on their faces. A bumpy hour drive through the forest and suddenly the foliage opened up to reveal a stunning crystal-blue lake. An oasis in the middle of a forest on a beautiful island off the coast of Australia. If this is heaven, take me to church. Now, apart from being beautiful, it is said that this lake is the fountain of youth and the sand makes your skin softer and your hair more luscious. You all know I’d probably jump in a pit of dog shit if I had a chance at getting one over on old father time. But alas, I still look the same, like a sprite 25 year old. I feel as though I’ve been lied to.
Now, today Stina and I had to make a list of shit that we need to teach this crew when they attend the “how not to be a loser” seminar with Prof. Rory Boston. This list is inclusive but not exhaustive, as these people need work. Lesson 1: how to get your lazy ass in and out of a car. I’ve seen sheep be herded into a pen through one tiny opening faster, and these ass holes had four doors. Lesson 2: How to have some fucking urgency in your life. Seriously, where is the urgency? How is it possible that people go through their entire lives at a snails pace and still manage to complete tasks such as bathing, feeding themselves, and earning a living? Do people actually enjoy spending their entire lives in a logistical nightmare waiting for someone like me to heard them? Because I feel I am perpetually stuck in a line behind someone who is paying in pennies and counting them out one by one. Do you want to know what I do with pennies? I throw them away. I literally thrown them in the trash. Because they are a waste of fucking time. Lesson 3: How to wipe your ass. I’d like to think that this doesn’t need to be covered, but based on what I’ve seen, I think some of these people may benefit from a quick “wipe front to back” tutorial. Just to be safe.
After the lake we went for a forest walk to look at some tree’s (refer to yesterday’s post re: my hippy guide) and had lunch. Then it was time for the drive back to Noosa, which consisted of about 3 hours of driving along a beautiful beach. The Brits were headed to a different destination so we bid them goodbye but had some extra seats in our car. And who jumped in? That’s right – the American B+ team. We then endured three hours of “take a picture of me with my head out the window!” and “Can you go pro video me riding in the car?!”. At one point the Touchy Girl called her boyfriend for a catch up with 6 other people in the car. No, you’re schmoopie! Touchy girl put her hand on Stina’s shoulder at one point and poor Stina looked like she was about to crawl out of her skin. I was actually waiting for her to flip her shit on them and just cheer her on, but she kept her cool. By the time we made it back to Noosa we hopped out of our car as soon as we were close enough to walk home. We got our pad thai on before heading back to the hostel and were in bed by 10pm.
We haven’t really had wifi the past few days so I’ll post a few quick ones just to update you (Australia and NZ hate wifi and therefore, hate me). Sydney has been quite a whirlwind and I got super sick (gross), but I’m powering through it. You’ll also notice I have slightly less to say. Probably because we have been hanging out with our respective families a lot, both who live in Sydney, and so I have significantly less morons in my life to make fun of these days. Don’t worry – we’ll be back to the backpacking thing soon and I’ll be back to my usual jaded and bitchy commentary on the complete and utter stupidity of our generation around the world. But for this week, we are normal people. And normal people play nice. I think.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Wake up in Queenstown, NZ. Today we slept in and quenched our hangovers with some Ferbergers for breakfast. Then it was off to the airport to catch our flight to Sydney! If you thought NZ was a shit show, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. So day one – here goes. We get in around 3:30pm and my fabulous cousin Kay picks us up from the airport. My grandma grew up in Australia. She was smoking hot and a bit of party animal (see, it’s not my fault – its genetics) so she and her two sisters would troll the Navy parties looking for hot American men stationed there – one of which was my grandpa. They married and he brought her back to Hermosa Beach. I just did it in the reverse order: Hermosa to Sydney. Minus the man. Shit, I knew I was forgetting something. So I have a bunch of family here, most of which I have never met, until now. Kay recognized me in the airport because I look like my dad (that damn nose) and she drove us to Marissa’s friend Dan’s place, which is where we will be staying. We have never met Dan. He is just super awesome, and probably a little crazy, because he invited us to stay with him for five nights in his awesome apartment in the CBD (CBD = central business district, the central downtown area. Aussie lingo lesson #1). Given the fact that the only things he knows about us are (1) we are friend’s with Mar, and (2) whatever he has gleaned from my blog, I think we can all agree he is a very brave soul. Pray for him.
At 6pm my cousin Carla (Kay’s daughter) picked us up to take us out for our first night in Sydney. I have met Carla a few times. The first time I was in high school and she was about 19 and a hot mess. By hot mess I mean exactly like me at 19; fucking awesome. The last time we hung out was when she was in LA with her hubby and a Wednesday night turned into fireball shots and spinning that damn wheel o’ booze at American Junkie. Oh, and jello shots at Sharkeez. So we are definitely related. She brought her brother, Ben, who I have never met but my brother Drew told me is smoking hot (Drew speaks the truth). Don’t worry, I’m allowed to say he’s hot because we are second cousins a million times removed (I think). That logic works, right? We all head off to the Opera bar for drinks. Oh, Opera bar. You saucy little minx. This place fucking rocks. Picture The Bungalow on crack, 12 times as big, and right at the base of the Opera house looking out onto the Harbor Bridge, and that is the Opera Bar. Stina and I fell in love instantly. And then we started to hit it. Hard. I knew the cousins would give me a run for my money and I was not disappointed. Later that night another one of my cousins, Andrew, showed up to say hi. But only for a few minutes because he was trying to bag some tinder slut. Do you, homie, do you. Oh, Andrew is hot too. There must be something in the water down here. We pretty much raged all night. By we I mean Ben and I. We all went back to Dan’s apartment and people fell off one by one. I think we had every intention of going back out to another bar, but you know how that goes. Went to bed when there was a faint light on the horizon – I think they call that the sun. Woke up on the couch the next morning at 10am with a raging hangover and Stina waiting for me to go to the beach.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Today we went to Bondi Beach. Bondi basically looks like the offspring of Hermosa (more tourists and bars) and Venice (less needles, same amount of tourists). But lots of fun, sun and tourists. I was down with the sun, and I’m pretty sure I had the tourist thing down, but fun I was not. Bad, bad hangover day. Spent most of the day laying on the beach chugging as much water as I could get my whoo-girl hands on. Suffice it to say, if you are ever in Sydney and looking to day party, or night party for that matter, Bondi should do ya well. Then it was back to the city for dinner and an early night.
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.
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!!!
The day was pretty uneventful. We were supposed to skydive, but mother nature had other plans. It rained most of the day. So we left our lovely lakefront retreat and made our way on the Stray bus to the Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro National Park (codename: Jurassic Park). On our way we stopped in a hot river and everyone jumped in while it was raining. Changing on the side of the bus on a highway in the rain was fun. Not.
Tonight is party night. Yes, another party night. But we have a free day tomorrow and don’t have to actually get on the bus, so hell yeah, let’s rage. You know it doesn’t take much to convince me. Today we chose our own rooms again, and again I found the best room (read: least amount of beds) and grabbed our favorite British couple to room with us. No 12 bed dorm for this bitch . But seriously, there was a 12 bed room. I would have died. Thankfully Stina and I are cunning and efficient. Two traits most of the people on this bus are in desperate need of. Bless their hearts. So let the party commence.
Our bus driver informed us that it was some Irish chick’s birthday. As if I need a reason to pop a bottle in the woods. Now you are probably thinking, how nice Rory, buying some rando girl a bottle of champs. FALSE. That shit is for me. You are a grown ass woman, buy your own champs. Besides, I think that chick went to bed at like 9pm. Stina and I made it till about 6:30 before we cracked that baby open. Then on to the bottle of Rose. And then the beer. We are halfway to drunksville, but the “party” was just getting started, so we headed over to the main cabin to start the festivities. I use quotation marks there because, as everyone knows, the party don’t start till I walk in. I yelled something like “who’s ready to rage?!” in true California whoo-girl fashion when I reached the group of sad souls nursing their beers. Everyone had the same look on their face: here she goes again. We are known around here as “the American girls”, or “Team America” when we are lumped with the three other Americans on the bus (one of whom is USC boy, who’s name I changed to Ring-a-ding kid – story about him to follow). I’m pretty sure it was my fault we were labeled as the crazy kids, but the rest of my team has not disappointed in helping the stigma stick. One of the American boys backed out and ate everyone’s food. Like, everyone’s. He was quite the pariah the next day. God I think I laughed my ass off for hours. The loud Americans are at it again. While most people are referred to as their country (the Dutch girls, the Frenchies, ect.), Stina and I have formed a different naming convention. We have “face”, which is the Canadian girl with the most severe case of bitchy resting face I have ever seen in my life. It’s bad. We had “Hair”, who was an American chick with the world’s worst haircut. Like when Felicity cut her hair and I died a little inside. We also have “Spaak” who got his name because one of the Frenchies told him he talks like Spaak from Star Trek and I laughed my ass off because is it was true. He calls me Sheldon, because he says I talk like Sheldon from BIg Bang Theory, too fast and he can’t understand me. The insult implied in likening me to a lovable genius must have been lost in translation.
But I digress. Things just get better when we find, in the middle of fucking Jurassic Park, a BEER BONG. Happy Hannukah to me. Most people are clueless as to what one does with a beer bong. I took it upon my myself to teach them, always a slave to bettering and education of others. So selfless of me. Then I broke out my vodka (we are on booze type #4, please keep up people), and thats where things start to get fuzzy. Stina enters a little axe throwing competition with the boys where she holds her own, I must say. Only in NZ do they start you a bonfire let you BYOB, then provide the equipment necessary for axe throwing. Unsupervised. One thing leads to another and Stina and I find ourselves taking shots of whiskey with the American boys. Shocker. Booze #5 – I promise thats where it ends. Now, my brother Brett told me a few days ago that he was giving me 5 days to roll my ankle, and taking the under. He knows me quite well, because tonight I roll my ankle. And I was partying in my sneaks to be careful! But it’s not too bad, just a little sore and I”m up and walking the next day. I spend the rest of the night drunkenly staring at the insane stars out here. Unlike anything I have every seen in my life. Little did I know, this place gets even more beautiful, as we would find out tomorrow, just around the river bend….
Monday, Dec 15
Today I woke up around 9 while pretty much everyone snoozed till about 11. Mother nature is back on our side and it is a beautiful day, hot with the sun out in full ozone-free force. I took advantage of the quiet morning by making myself breakfast and working on my tan. Then it was time for our kayak tour. Now, I use the word “tour” very loosely, because in NZ a tour usually consists of someone providing you with equipment and a few minutes of instructions before pointing you the right direction and saying “go”. See, when no one can sue anyone, no one gives a fuck. And I mean, no fucks given. Seriously, zero fucks given in all of NZ at any given point in time. It’s pretty awesome. So we set off in our kayaks down what was the most beautiful river I have ever seen. Go pro battery died, so we’ll have to wait for the hungry American boy who ate everyone’s shit to send us his before uploading. This is where I decided to name our lovely little two day home Jurassic Park. Because that is exactly what it looked liked. And while kayaking I felt just like Pocahontas. And what is Pocahontas without John Smith? Our “guide” (read: dude who threw our kayaks in the water) was seriously hunky and had fabulous arms. Huge, muscular arms. I told Stina I wanted to grab them. And maybe even bite one. I really did. Probably should have, because it’s not like he could have sued me. It was really funny at the time and we laughed our asses off the entire jet-boat ride back up the river. But now that I’m typing it I think it makes me sound like a predator. So I’ll stop. Anyway, the kayak trip we did down the Whanganui River was a section of what is one of the “9 Great Walks of New Zealand”. Yes, I realize it’s actually not a walk. But Kiwis give zero fuck’s, remember? So if they want to call it a walk, then its a damn walk.
The rest of the day was pretty mellow. We have to be on the bus at 6am to drive to National Park for a 7 hour hike to Mordor (as in Lord of the Rings – we are literally hiking there). It’s another one of the 9 Great Walks. And this one is actually a walk. I do have one funny little story before I wrap this one up. I was outside talking to Ring-a-ding kid (Stina told me to be nice, remember?). And he told me that when we all get back to the States I should come party at his frat house. Yes, that’s right people. 29 year old Rory was invited to a frat party. I about died. I told him that I can’t think of anything I want to do LESS than go to his frat house. I think he thought I was joking. But if I’m being honest, the sorority girl in me did hesitate for a second. But then I figured that their frat party wouldn’t even start until after my bed time, so what’s the point. Oh shit, he literally just asked for our contact info for facebook. If you are reading this, Ring-a-ding, a little self awareness is healthy. Accept it. And if it makes you feel better, I’m sure I’ve been described as the obnoxious American in many people’s blogs the world over.
Tomorrow, the hike from hell (or to hell, I guess) with a sore ankle. Can’t wait.
Today we had the alarm set for 7am to catch our bus to Raglan. I was up at 6:45 because the prospect of getting out of that dorm room was enough to lull even my subconscious out of sleep. Since I’m sure you are dying to know what happened to the girl from yesterday’s blog, hot mess came home at some point during the night. And very quietly. Thank you, hot mess. You surprised me. And you have evaded a hostel STD for one more night.
First stop on the bus: a completely pointless stop at the main Stray bus office to give us an overview of how the bus works. Why was this pointless, you ask? Because everyone has already gotten themselves on the bus, so it would rationally follow that people already understand how it works. But hey, I’m not in charge (can you see me gritting my teeth even as I type this statement?). We drive out to the office and file in. Some intern gives us a two minute talk with a powerpoint presentation that she probably spent two weeks on. No information was given that my dog could not have gleaned from the website in about 3 minutes. After our little presentation we all stood around, waiting for someone to herd us. I think we all know who that someone ended up being. Now, I did tell myself I was going to “go with the flow” on this trip, but I had a beach to get to. So I began yelling at everyone to get back on the bus so we can leave. Some were pleased that someone, anyone took charge, but most just gave me the “who does this chick think she is?” look. A look I am very familiar and quite comfortable with. I’m knocking on 30 here people, telling me I’m a control freak with a serious lack of patience is not news to me. So, off we went on our way to the beach, with a supermarket stop (our next hostel is BYOB, so really a booze stop) and a quick trip to see a waterfall. The waterfall is named Bridal Veil Falls…because it looks like a brides veil. Unlike every other waterfall in the world. Those lucky kiwis.
Once we got to Raglan two morons on our bus were late because they went shopping on a 10 minute stop and made half the bus late for their surf school. I tell you this because I want it on the record that I did not flip out on them. Just rolling with punches here people. Just FYI, I am starting to think “laid back” is code word for “big giant pussy who doesn’t speak her mind”, but I”m gonna give it some getting used to.
Ok….I took a break in between writing this post and got pretty shit faced. Now where was I? Ah yes, so we headed to the beach just as the sun decided to go into hiding, so we sat on the black sand and laughed at the people during surf lessons. Well, I laughed at them. Everyone else probably just wondered what I was laughing at. Everyone wanted to leave but, of course, no one would say anything. So again I took matters into my own hands an initiated the trip home to the sauna. This brings me to what Stina and I have decided are the three rules of our time in NZ:
1. Always order less food than you think you need because these people are closet fatties.
2. Always buy more alcohol than you think you need. you will understand this in a second.
3. STATE YOUR PURPOSE. This one is probably the most important. Basically, if you want something, speak up and ask for it. And about 95% of the time you’ll get your way.
Now, on to the fun stuff. We went back to the hostel and immediately turned on the sauna. After sauana time, our bus driver cooked us a huge BBQ and we all got drunk. Well, some of us got drunk. I got really drunk. About an hour into our drunk bonding time with what will be our little crew for the next few weeks, our bus driver looked at us and said “you two are trouble”. I think it was right after the manager told us he had more wine for purchased and Stina asked “is it free if she makes our with you?” (point to me) and we were the only two that laughed. To this guy’s credit, I saw a moment of hesitation where he seriously considered it. How could he not? But alas, we have been identified as the trouble makers. Within a day. I can’t say I’m surprised, but we did show our hand rather quickly.
We drank though our measly two liters of wine in a box (sounds better than “boxed wine”, doesn’t it?) rather quickly, as you all who know us can imagine. Luckily, the very nice manager from Boston sold us another three liters. And no, I did not make out with him for it. I paid for my boxed wine like a lady! Boston guy seemed unsure when he stated the price, so naturally I haggled him down a whole $6. He looked at me like I was a fucking nut job for haggling with him on the price of a box of wine. But you know this little jew loves her a good deal. Our team lost trivia night. Primarily because trivia in NZ tends to be all about NZ, which is total bullshit, as I am American and therefore everything should be catered specifically to me. For our credit, Stina owned the question about Bey and Jay-Z’s daughter and I was able to identify Tom Selleck on a page of pictures of guys with mustache’s. I did proclaim “who the hell is that?” at the picture of Joseph Stalin though. Not my best moment. For the record, I would have been able to identify Hitler. Just saying. And this is where everything gets fuzzy. I ran around making an ass out of myself for another hour or so, we initiated a dance party where I probably taught everyone how to “drop it like its hot”, as I often do, and then woke up this morning in my bed with Stina handing me a cup of water and a few painkillers. I have a vague recollection of trying to hook Stina up with the pro surfer staying at our place. And apparently the only qualifications I required was that he, himself, insisted he was pro surfer. As the hottest guy in the room, girls were throwing themselves at him and offering to get him drinks. Stina doesn’t get boys drinks, they get her drinks. So we left him to the hoodrats and their varied STD’s. OMG! Speaking of STD’s I almost forgot to tell you about the douchebag from USC on our bus! So sorry, but better late than never.
He needs his own paragraph. Ok, why is a dude who is in a fraternity at USC (1) traveling alone (where are his “brothers”?) and (2) traveling while school is in session. I have come up with the theory that (1) no one likes him – not even other USC douche lords and (2) he was suspended for a rufie-related incident after which his parents funded his travels to get rid of him because they don’t like him either. But, to his credit, he did get laid at about 8pm. The pair of them came back with some story about a “hike” they went on. That fucker wouldn’t go hiking even if mommy and daddy put his bmw on top of hill, trust me. It was fairly hilarious. Oh, and at the beach he found out Stina was from Manhattan Beach and began to rattle of the names of spoiled frat boys that she may know (because he is really fucking cool and knows everyone you guys). She did not know any of them and I asked “how old are these people?”. “21”. Holy shit. He thinks Stina is 21. And me as well, by association, of course (just go with it, it’s how I sleep at night). Everyone was utterly shocked when they found out how old we really are. I’m not even kidding, genuinely shocked. Score 459 for team Rorina (Rory and Stina…can we do better?). Anyway, Stina talked me into being nice to him for the entertainment, so surely there will be more on this subject to come. We shall henceforth refer to him as Douchey McRich. I’ll probably change that tomorrow to something better, but I’m hungover and that’s the best I got.
It is now 8am and I am on a bus getting ready to go rappel down a waterfall inside a cave – and you all know Rory loves a good cave. And abseiling. And anything else that will prepare me to win the amazing race. And we might have to hitchhike tomorrow for a short stretch at a certain point when we hop off the bus. It’s a kiwi thing dad, don’t worry.
Today is the day – Christina (who will be referred to as Stina from here on out) and I will be spending two months in Australia and New Zealand. In an effort to accurately depict what we are in for, I have opted for visual aids.
We will start our journey in Auckland, spending the first three weeks travelling through New Zealand. As you probably know (read: you should already know), NZ is the adventure capital of the world. Probably a bad combination for me, since when I travel I think I’m fucking Bear Grylls and attempt to do the most ridiculous shit on the planet (remember the “bridge” over the anaconda filled river in the Amazon? or when I almost killed my friend canyoning in Slovenia?). In actuality, I am just an accountant who sprains my ankles when brunch gets out of hand…so this should be interesting. If we make it out of NZ alive – which may not happen, based on what I have planned – we will head to Australia for the last month and tackle the east coast. If you wish to follow our journey in pictures, you can use #dinosdownunder. Just disregard the first few pictures posted by some losers who don’t know their hashtag is about to get jacked.
If you judge people for spelling mistakes or overuse of profanity at inappropriate times, I suggest you end your time with this blog now. You can bookmark this little blog of mine when you need reassurance that our lives are way better than yours. I will do my best to feed your jealousy at all times. If the urge to buy a flight to come meet us strikes you then I have three words for you: JUST DO IT. Unless we don’t like you – but be assured, you would know it if we didn’t.
When traveling, I always see those girls who have a backpack the size of a tic tac box and yet still look effortlessly cute with a full face of makeup. Where the hell do these bitches find room for things like fake eyelashes, travel hair dryers and gladiator sandals in that backpack? I, my friends, am not one of those girls (I am aware that you are currently thinking to yourself, “no shit”). I have finally accepted the fact that I will look like I am going to (or coming from, more likely) the gym every day for the next two months of my life. The obstacles that have defeated me in my packing challenge are as follows:
Issue #1 – Summer in New Zealand is apparently not always hot. Who would have thought? It’s close enough to Australia, so shouldn’t the damn sun be out in December? Noooooo. This leaves me with the problem of packing for everything from lows in the 30’s to highs in the 100’s over my two months of travel (and no, I do not mean Celsius). Those of you that know me are also aware of the fact that I do not actually own clothes appropriate for weather in the 30’s, as I typically avoid cold like the plague. And do you people know how heavy jackets are? Let’s remember, I’m carrying this shit on my back. I did a trial run carrying my backpack around my house. I’m already considering busting out the icy hot. Note to self: pack icy hot.
Issue #2 – The toiletries necessary to make me [barely] presentable to the world seem to multiply with every year I age. When I was 21, I’m pretty sure I traveled around Europe with mascara and 2-in-1 shampoo. Now at the ripe old age of 29, my bag looks like I’m traveling saleswoman for Oil of Olay. Not to mention the entire ziplock bag I have devoted solely to medicine. I’m not talking just pain killers and pepto – this baby comes complete with things like Rx ear drops, a z-pak purchased for $6 in Vietnam, sleeping pills (do people sleep without these?), and the few xanex I have left in life, just to name a few. Because who knows when I’ll get an ear infection which leads to bronchitis while having a panic attack induced by lack of sleep. Should this situation occur, I will be ready, and then who will be laughing? The days of blissful ignorance and worry free travels are over. Luckily my 50-pack of earplugs doesn’t add too much weight.
Issue #3 – Every time I remove a pair of jorts from my backpack, and angel loses its wings. It’s true. I die a little inside every time I take something out. But if it’s between my Jammy Pack or looking cute, the Jammy wins EVERY TIME. For those of you who don’t know, a Jammy pack is a fanny pack (yes, a fanny pack) with a built in speaker from which you can play music from your iphone/ipod/whatever. Of all the things I have purchased in my life, the Jammy is top ten at least, if not top five. But seriously – 1 pair of jean shorts for two months? That is just wrong. They sell jorts in Australia, right? I will find out – right after I finish my google search for “do they sell fireball in Australia?”
Issue #4 – I can’t fit this guy in my bag.
The end result? About 30 pounds of shit to carry around on my back for two months. Oh fuck, I just realized I forgot a towel.