19.11.2008 - 23.11.2008
Arrived Auckland airport famished. Choice of McDonalds or McDonalds. I chose McDonalds. Didn’t get to the hotel (Auckland City) until near midnight. Rather a plush affair, much nicer than its sister hotel, the old Station Hotel, so I didn’t mind that I had quite a lot of work to do while I was there. In fact, by the time I left, I was thinking that the way they looked after me, I could get used to working in hotel rooms. Stung a bit, however, by the $25 parking charge the concierge had failed to tell me about, when asking if I’d mind parking my car myself. More expensive than the damn car!
Quite remarkably, I spent three days in Auckland without shopping: no visits to JB Hifi or Real Groovy, the only visit to Borders so I could get a map so me mum could follow my travels. I almost went to the dark side when I went into a couple of camera shops, thinking a telephoto lens for the camera would be nice. Luckily they were way more expensive than other places I’d seen them and, besides, surely Singapore would have them cheaper. Hardly even saw the inside of a cafe (I don't realy count Esquires, I was there for the internet).
Had an interesting night out on the Friday. Way back in 1979, a record was made featuring Auckland’s punk bands of the times; AK79, a record I love. Of course all the bands have long gone, in fact most had broken up by the time the record was made, and I never saw any of them live. The only musician of that era I even know about changed direction completely, and became half of Dead Can Dance, a rather different affair (although one of the many labels affixed to them is post-punk (I tend to think more in terms of lush ethereal goth sounds, lots of beautiful strings and Lisa's amazing voice. Check em out on Youtube then look back at the Scavengers do Mysterex).
But to celebrate the 30 year anniversary, most of them reformed and put on a show in Auckland. So, yep, 50 year old punks, their fans and people who went along for the curiosity value at this rather odd venue on Nelson Street, under an Italian restaurant. But the night went off; I found myself bouncing around with Chris Knox as the Scavengers played. Spelling Mistakes didn’t really do it for me so I didn’t stay till the bitter end.
I did get to spend some time with family: on the Thursday I went out to Henderson (yes, my bro is a Westie) and had a pleasant Italian dinner with me ma, me bro and his partner, then on the Saturday I took me ma out to Waiheke Island (she finally regretted not voting for Winston, given that the ferry travel was free, thanks to his Gold Card). I hoped she liked the trip; it was far more interesting to me than her idea, the garden show. That night, more of my family turned up, for a meal at Brick Lane in New Lynn (not bad for an old Georgie Pie).
Sunday, it was time to go, at the very civilized time of 1:30 in the afternoon. It was very nice to have a crew to send me off.