Kiwi Arrival

        I think walking to the airport will "only" be 10 km, but rain makes me miserable about halfway there. Attempts to hitchhike go unrewarded until a tiny hatchback pulls over. "I don't usually pick up hitchhikers, because you never know: they might be axe murderers or something" is the older woman's greeting to me. She cleans pools (the supplies take up most of the back of her car), is originally from Christchurch, and seems pleasantly surprised when I insist on giving her the coins in my pocket (maybe $6 AUD) for the 5-10 minute ride.
        The Pacific Blue flight is totally nondescript except for its total lack of freebies. Low-cost or not, this "no frills" airplane business is a bit much on a multi-hour flight.
        I'm not to Christchurch, New Zealand until dark, so I don't do much. Dinner's at the hostel and consists of bangers and mash, aka sausage and potatoes, drenched in gravy, kinda disgusting but quite filling.
        2 New Zealand bars before bed. First brews its own beer, but it's full of American students finishing their semester abroad. Coupled with some lameass wannabe deep acoustic guitarist, it's a bit too much suckiness; I don't stick around long. Next is an Irish bar (yes, they are everywhere) with 2 nominally better singing guitarists. I'm getting bored when 3 different, very good female vocalists take the stage. One is so good that, with me and others in the audience egging her on, we get her back onstage for an encore. Rusela sings Alicia Keyes without a hint of an accent, but trying to talk to her is in vain with bar noise and what we consider each others' accents combined. Heading to the hostel, I read some Hemingway and hit the hay.

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