Due the circular nature of my route around the Southern Island, I was now re-entering previously explored territory on my way back up to the ferry terminal in Picton. This wasn’t such a bad thing though- it meant traversing through Kaikoura once again; a fate I was more than happy to accept.
It was a horrifically early start leaving Rangitata. So early that it was still dark outside. So early that it was 6:15am. No-one should be awake at such a time. This early arising put me in a miserable mood, and combined with the lack of a shower, multiple insect bites, an overly warm room, and a general fed-upness with being around people, it put me in the foulest of foul moods.
So I thought to myself, ‘you know what you need Simon? You need a cup of tea. That’ll sort you out.’ And my internal monologue version of Simon was right. I did indeed need a cup of tea. So I queued up with a cup and waited for my turn at the hot water boiler. To clarify, the tea was free and provided by the lodge.
I was just dropping my bag in the tea, when I noticed the woman next me draining the last of the milk into her own tea. ‘There might be some more in the fridge’ she half-heartedly muttered.
Picture the scene. I’m standing there with my milkless tea, after being told by a fellower traveller that I should go find some more milk. This traveller in question was another Brit. So naturally, I go and check the fridge.
Luckily there was another carton of milk in the fridge, so I opened it up and poure- THERE WAS NO MILK LEFT AND THIS PERSON CLEARLY KNEW AND DIDN’T CARE THAT I WAS GOING TO BE LEFT MILKLESS.
What sort of animal uses the last of the milk when it’s clearly in short supply. And it’s 5:45am. And the person in question is fellow Breton, from a country where tea is known to have magical healing properties that go beyond the known dimensions of the space-time continuum
This is why we have lost our humanity.
To add to my misery, when we got on the coach an absolute gogglemoose in front of me was on their phone with full brightness on. This meant it reflected off the window next to me, blinding me and preventing me from seeing the stars unhindered by light pollution. Some days people are just too much. Luckily I knew that at Kaikoura I could get away and do introvert stuff by myself. That kept me going that hideously early morning.
I was pretty desperate for a recharge. My mind wandered whilst on the coach, and I thought about castles for a bit. Don’t ask me why, they just popped into my head. Partly because of the lack of them. When I think about it, we actually take our castles in Europe for granted. The UK is chock full of em.
But in Australia, NZ, and the USA, castles are in short supply. And old stuff in general. The minster in my town is from the 1200s or something. And it’s strange to think that places like NZ are whole countries but they don’t have anything that we would really consider a castle.
Occasionally whilst walking through Kaikoura, you will hear what can only be described as an impending nuclear apocalypse.
Upon hearing the siren the first time, my mind panicked, first assuming a nuclear attack (despite Kaikoura being of zero strategic importance), followed by a tsunami (much more likely), followed by a hasty google to find out the source of the screeching.
The googling revealed that the fire brigade broadcast a warning klaxon whenever its fire fighters are needed on duty. This means they can rush to the station, but it also means traffic (of which there is little) is aware that a large red rectangle may soon be appearing in their rear view mirror.
I think this klaxon could have a number of applications in England, and after much thought I have come up with a top five:
- Klaxon for when it’s warm enough to go outside in shorts and t-shirt.
- Klaxon for when schools finish, nightclubs kick out, and when old people emerge to collect their pensions. (Ok that’s 3in1).
- Klaxon for when McDonald’s Monopoly season begins.
- Klaxon for when a truly fresh and truly zesty meme has been created.
- Klaxon for when Vincent Janssen scores from open play.