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October 15, 2003

The Journey Stalled

Well, I made it fine through clothing issue (I got hats that fit this year--what a season of experience will do), but haven't yet made it out of Christchurch. We've been put on hold, and put on hold, and put on hold, and put on hold again. As far as I know right now, we're scheduled to head out on Friday. It's at least nice to know ahead of time that we'll have another day to hang out and play. As of last night, though, I'm ready to head down to the ice. Not because last night was bad, but just because I'm ready. Ready to do something.

The past few days have been relaxing. Chuck and I did some shopping (PCMCIA cards and CD wallets for work, and fancy lotion for indulgence in the dry Antarctic climate), checked out the new art museum, went to a movie at the Arts Center ("Nowhere in Africa"), have eaten lots of good food, and yesterday went for a short hike in nearby Lyttleton.

In the art museum, Chuck and I particulary liked the print section. We learned about etchings, lithography, aquatint, etc. While studying one captivating and suggestive Picasso print of a minotaur attacking an Amazon, which represented how Picasso felt about the political situation in Spain at the time, a man approached and briefly studied the same print. He said with a chuckle, after reading the title--which was something like "Minotaur attacking an Amazon"--"It's a modern name for an orgy, isn't it?" Blasphemy. "I guess," I said, "or the Spanish Civil War." Okay, guess you had to be there.

On our outing yesterday, we hiked up to a ridge (Castle Rock, for those of you in the know) with a 360 view of the region: Christchurch, the ocean, the Southern Alps (quite impressive), the caldera sheltering Lyttleton. The crummy weather of our first few days has given way to sun, delicious sun, although the temperatures are still relatively cool. Think Seattle in the spring.

The general pattern has been hang out with Chuck during the day, and then meet up with my winter-over friends for dinner. On Sunday, as I'd mentioned in my previous entry, we ran into them at The Coffee House. Chuck and I were just finishing, and they arrived, and I hung out with them while they ate. That night, Chuck and I went for Thai food at the Mythai Monkey Bar. [We were going to go there the night before, but I stood him up. We were to meet at 7, so I went down for a nap at 4:15 and set my alarm for 6 and woke up at midnight. He forgave me and we tried again.] After dinner, we relocated from the restaurant area to the adjascent bar and who should we see but Mikee. The gang had decided to go Thai as well. So, we joined them while they ate their meal. This morning, I wanted the standard American fare, so went to Drexel's, an American diner-style joint. I ran into the crew when I got back to the Y. Join us for breakfast? they asked. Where are you guys headed? I asked. I should have known. Drexel's. Of course, I join them.

And I can tell you all this because here I am in Christchurch with nothing to do. I'm not bored, mind you--but, like I said, I am ready to head down to the ice. When I think about it. It's hard to think about it, though, because I'm here where it's warm and where I am surrounded by restaurants and am in this internet cafe with trancy music and there are lots of people from the ice around but also lots of people who are not from the ice around, and most of the people I am hanging out with from the ice are on their way up, besides, not on there way down like me, AND I associate Christchurch more with coming up from the ice than going down to it because I spent more time here after my icy stint than before. So am I really going down to the ice?

All these elements have also seriously messed with my sense of time. I think I have a decent feeling for where I am, but the when part is way off. I could do the day of the week, with a little work, the same way you have to really think about what day it is, exactly, when you're on vacation, but I've completely lost track of the month. I feel like summer's ahead, which it is here, but I anticipate the northern hemisphere summer and have a hard time realizing that it's October. October? That makes so little sense. Christchurch + getting off the ice = northern hemisphere spring = February, March, April, May... somewhere in there. Not October. I'm going to have to work on that.

I'm also going to have to go, as my right hand is acting up even though I haven't been on a computer for a while (what's up with that?) and I'm planning to see a movie on whales. Although it seems criminal, it being so nice out...

Posted by beth at October 15, 2003 3:29 PM


I hope you are having as much fun and it sounds like you are. I have such a great time reading about your travels.
Can't wait to see more pictures. Make sure you make time to come back to Cincy when you can. Molly wants to meet her cool cousin (or are you second cousin?)

Miss seeing you!

Posted by: Linda at October 16, 2003 3:06 AM

someone definitely needs to teach you the correct way to set an alarm clock! ;-)

Posted by: wilma - mother of beth at October 16, 2003 10:11 AM

I like that alarm clock excuse, you've used it a few times and it seems to be working well for you... I'm going to have to give that a try...

Posted by: Steve at October 16, 2003 11:31 AM