(Day 26) Tuesday, September 27
Poor form from me. I should have learned from Franz Josef where I nearly missed out on the glacier hike by turning up in reception, shortly before it was due to depart, and finding it full. This time around, I am up at 8 and in reception trying to book on the half day tour of the beautiful Abel Tasman beaches and marine life by water taxi.
“Sorry, my friend. The last bus left at 7.45”
Coffee and back to bed it is then, where I lie in my bunk watching demons swooping low overhead, until they are chased away by the distraction of the Azuri boys getting up to begin their match day.
It’s festivaltastic in Nelson, but it is more village fete than Brazil carnival. And so, I decide to sidestep the jade and T-shirt sellers and sit in the sun by the quay, close to the port, where there isn’t another punter in sight. Miserable bugger.
Yeovil Floozy is, apparently, contemplating flashing her t#t# at tonight’s game and “posting the photos on Facebook”. I must confess that I am beginning to lose it with the Facebook generation. I use Facebook to try and drive traffic to this website but in many ways I wish I had never joined the bloody thing. It does my head in how people use it to show off about things and to try to cheat their partners. The number of stories I have heard of people I know of getting laid using it, and then getting caught and screwing it all up, must run to a dozen. Not only is Facebook a spying tool for governments all over the world but it is also a fantastic way for people to make a mess of their private lives with information and photos they really shouldn’t be sharing with Tom, Dick and Hans. Yes, I am writing very personal stuff and posting it here on More Than a Game, but the difference is that I have total control over content. There is no photo tagging – something that infuriates me – and if I regret writing something, as I have done on a couple of occasions recently, I can return to my blog and amend it accordingly.
There are more thoughts of ‘how did my life get to this point?’ as I stroll down the main street of Nelson to watch the USA v Italy at Trafalgar Park. The General Admissions is nothing more than a field behind the rugby posts where it can’t be much above five degrees, once the sun sets shortly before kick-off. What the hell are you doing here Justin? What set of circumstances and decisions in your life lead up to you being stood here, freezing your ##### off, watching the United States of America’s rugby(!) team play against Italy in New Zealand? Truthfully, and I haven’t admitted this before, I had never in my life paid to go and watch a professional rugby match before I came to New Zealand. Yes, I played and watched amateur rugby when I was at school, but England v Argentina was the first ‘proper’ rugby match I had attended in my life…and now, a couple of weeks on, I am watching a rugby team that is about the footballing equivalent of the Faroe Islands play against a bunch of overweight Italians.
I’m from Saudia Arabia, encourage the Italians
has to be the best supporter placard I’ve seen to date.
The US team puts in a decent first half performance and manages to level the match at 7-7 with a try of their own; the US number 1 doing a convincing impression of a human ox at times. 20-10 at half time, it is still game on, but the Italians grind out a solid defensive performance in the second half and shortly before the ref blows the final whistle at 27-10, I leg it for the warmth of the hostel.
While half of Nelson is out partying, I decide to have a quiet one at the hostel with my 6.30am start in mind. More good chat with some Argie lads staying in the room, I nip downstairs to finish off the remnants of my wine on the veranda. Just as I have my last swig, a young, face-painted American from Chicago stumbles back from town, off his head, and begins asking me all manner of inane questions:
“What is the unemployment like in new Zealand?”
“Why did the clocks change on Sunday?”
“Do you like peanut butter?”
I can sense some dorm-mented behaviour on the cards.
“What room are you staying in?”
“What room am I staying in?”
“Yessss” he slurs, stumbling forward towards me.
“I’m off to bed fella. If I was you, I would head back into town.”
“Yeah, I (burp) will. Good night” and with that he suddenly lurches towards me and tries to launch into a kiss.
Having hung out with a big selection of weirdoes these past few weeks I am fortunately prepared for any random piece of behaviour that might come my way from this lad and am on my toes ready to side step his advances. He could just as easily have swung a punch at me, thrown up over my jacket or suddenly decided to urinate close by. You just never know with the Dorm-mented Crew. FFS! Single for the first time in nearly seven years and the first person who tries to kiss me is a bloke. Talk about a low ebb.
No, I don’t decide to punch him. Instead, I dive for the back door of the hostel and lock it behind me before the Chicago Mincer gets the chance at another shot on goal.
Italy 27 USA 10