[personal profile] giftederic
Well, mostly...

I have started my trip back, with flights from Invercargill to Wellington and then Wellington to Auckland. Invercargill is 46.41°S, 168.37°E and that is likely as far as I will ever get from Dublin (53.33°N, 6.25°W). I will have travelled nearly 26,000 miles by air, and several hundred on the ground by the time I get back, enough that for next year, Air Canada will consider me a Prestige client!

New Zealand has been mildly interesting. It is primarily a geologists dream, with an incredibly rugged and active terrain, being both a fugitive land mass from Gowondaland, earths primordial great continent, and on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area circling the Pacific tectonic plate that has regular earthquakes, volcanoes and other upheavals in the earths crust.

Of note, because there were no mammals here until recent history, the birds evolved to fill many of the niches left available, but this is not something that is apparent on the main islands anymore, as mammals (including humans) have run rampant. There are indeed many, many sheep too. And that's largely it.

It's sunny and it's christmas. There are maoris and pacific islanders. Oh, and it is expensive. Your average paperback novel here is about NZ$19, circa €12. Internet access here is sold in portions of 100MBs (at around €6 each). The best package I saw for mobile broadband was for 4GB for about €48, which compares against 15GB for €15 at home. A copy of Settlers will cost you between €55 and €65!

My soul just won't catch on the firmament down here. I have been in places that would normally ellicit a surge in emotion, but for whatever reason it's just not doin' it for me. I think it is atleast partly linked to the fact that I have found it difficult to find like minded New Zealanders down here to talk to. I have been mainly engaging with other Irish people, or the occasional shopkeep that I corner. My attempts to find board gamers or non magic players have all met with failure. (Magic is huge down here, there are shops that sell almost nothing else)

I would come back, for love or money, but I don't think I'd come back for anything else.

I will be returning home at a leisurely pace, unfortunately missing some of the christmas festivities, but I will be back in time for the day itself.
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Eric

February 2011

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