So I’ve returned to the land of civilianization and I have to say the Ginger Beer at Dux deLux is the best beer I think I’ve ever had. Yes it’s a skewed perception of 4 months of stale Speight’s and random other bad alcohol, but those of you who know me know I love sweet drinks over bitter drinks (hence the lack of coffee in my life). Ginger Beer is like a well drafted ginger ale with kick and alcohol to boot! It’s my perfect beer. Oooh, well now you can tell what I did my first day off the ice.
Needless to say I’ve arrived in Christchurch (CHC), had my pizza, beer, fresh fruit, first sunset, first smell of flowers, first dog, first child, first sunburn without wind burn, and general whiff of civilization. My flight of 139 people made it off the ice uneventfully with no major delays or snafus. Our flight landed around 11:30pm (no time zone change for me, as it was a northern flight) we wander through customs where there was at least one other international flight on the ground (not from the ice) and finally got our stuff back to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC). I got to my hotel about 1, ate a top ramen noodle bowl, and slept till 10. (Baile’s for those of you who are interested is under new management and does not re-open for ice’ers although there are apparently other places to drink.)
Today I spent my time just relaxing. I went to the gardens, meet up with friends at Dux deLux, didn’t some minor shopping, wandering over to bailies, did some knitting, and generally enjoyed my first day in CHC. I’ll probably send this on my second full day in CHC, (when I’m back at the CDC). As of yet I haven’t made my travel plans, but I’ll be in CHC till more people either get back from somewhere in NZ or get back from the ice. The 27th there’s a concert by an Icer (Toofless Sean, from Rec) and I’m going to that, then I’m headed to Australia, to see Jack and hang out with Rachel and alike. From there I’m reconsidering Thailand as it’s cheap and I might as well do it as I’m here.
Ah, but this is this mundane stuff… I want to tell you that the weirdest shock to my system of the few that I’ve had was that it’s hard to write in the dark! Now this seems weird, but remember that the sun is supposed to go behind a mountain (aka set) for the first time in 4 months on the 20th of February. I’m here 5 hours away in humidity, sweating in a tee-shirt, sun-bathing in the grass sort of paradise, and it’s been 5 months since I have had to create and "artificial darkness.". Don’t get me wrong I love this fact in McMurdo, but it’s really weird that I can’t write in my green brain whilst I’m awake an in the open just because it’s dark. It’s crazy how fast cars are here in civilization. The max speed you’ll see in McMurdo is like 30 miles per hour (and then someone’s going crazy). Not to mention that as a an USA pedestrian in NZ, our head is always looking the wrong way. (Remember to look where you’d be turning rather then where they "should" be coming from.)
Things are indeed a bits strange coming back to civilization. I’ve had the urge to sort my trash more then once, I’ve been freaked out by cell phone rings, I’ve been assaulted by the smell of flowers, but I’m really not in a state of shock. Life in civilization is just as I left it 5 months ago. The ads are the same, the shops still take your money, people still beg for money, etc., etc. I was expecting the shock I had after my trip to El Salvador, but it was nothing of the sort. I’m neither ready to go home, nor ready for the ice again (although I want both). I’d have to say that I’m content just enjoying myself in CHC waiting for ice friends to arrive as well as exploring NZ.
On that note, I’ll continue my travels and see what’s next.