Saturday, October 15 (Day 44)
Raglan – Auckland
Fast forward seven days from this time last week and I am doing exactly the same thing i.e. fighting a shocking hangover while I struggle to get to Auckland from Raglan for the rugby using a series of local buses. This time though, I am not feeling nervous about the day’s match. The England team are already 20,000 kilometres away safely back in Blighty, with questions being asked about the coach’s as well as many of the players’ futures. Bunch of w######, to be honest. I’m with the Welsh today, my favourite team in the tournament. What Venezuela were to the Copa America, Wales have been to this world cup.
There’s an anti-neo liberalism march (well, that’s what I would call it) in central Auckland, which has the police blocking off a couple of streets, and means our bus has to drop me off a few blocks back from its normal drop off. There’s none of the usual over-the-top police nonsense that you get in Europe and North America though, as this global day of action, organised by the good folk of Anonymous, gets underway in New Zealand, before spreading to more than fifteen time zones later today. I like that, here in New Zealand, ‘we’ are the first place on earth where anything happens each day.
As I get off the coach the first person I see is a bedraggled Kiwi in a torn denim shirt holding a megaphone who is shouting “Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. Repent now, because the end is near. Mark my words, the end is nigh.”
I know what he means. I’ve felt like that a few times recently.
“We are the ninety nine per cent. Hang the bankers. Take them down before they leave us all slaves.” A member of the march shouts.
I know what she means. I’ve thought that a few times recently.
“Allez les bleus, allez les bleus” two French rugby gentlemen scream as they pass the march.
“#### off, you French t####. “Come on Wales!”
I know what he means. I’ve though that a few times recently.
Welcome back to civilization.
George-Michael and I make our way down to Degree, by the Wharf, where we meet up with the ‘Top Hats’, the bunch of Kiwi lads who kindly took us under their wing and invited us to Eden Rugby Club ahead of the England match last week. One of the lads, Tom, writes for the New Zealand Herald, and has his ‘blog’ featured on page 4 each week. So far his pieces have included quotes from both Michael and George, the most recent being last weekend’s England exit, where George is quoted (at 5am in the morning) in the national paper as saying that he was ‘considering death by tequila’ after England’s quarter final exit.
Stupid me, I was thinking this was going to be a quick pint before the match. Instead, I get on the rugby special to Eden Park, with 6 pints of cider down my neck. I am ready for a night of clubbing, right now, if anybody is up for it.