Sunday, November 6, 2016

Forgotten words

I came across this post I apparently forgot to finish writing. It was titled, "People who make a Difference." I've been in Washington for almost 2 weeks and out of New Zealand for over 2 months. Finding these forgotten words was a cool reminder of how I was feeling in June and why I'm here now.
Before you read, check out this super cool picture from the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately, as I tend to do. I've been thinking over what it would be like to leave Nelson, who I would say goodbye to and what I would be thinking while I left. I've imagined the last conversations I'll have with the important people I've met and the final views of the city I've loved. When I picture these moments and how I will feel I start to freeze. It starts at my diaphragm and moves down to my toes and up in to my cheeks.

It feels like getting a hug from every person who's impacted me while simultaneously watching them disappear in to memory. I hold in my chest the warmth their kindness has given me, but know I will fade in to a figure of the past. I miss this place intensely and I haven't gone yet.

I'll miss sitting in a burger king stealing internet to write these posts. I'll miss going to work at 6am to wash kegs and ending an afternoon shift with a cold beer and warm conversation. I'll miss cleaning for my friend who has been a compassionate and steady listener. I'll miss sitting in the lobby of a hostel learning Japanese from my good friend, and I'll miss sitting around a table of foreigners all smoking their expensive cigarettes while we converse about life abroad. Lonely hikes up hidden mountains on my days off are something I hope I can replicate somewhere else, but hearing someone say "sweet as" is a luxury only meant for kiwis.

No, I don't want to leave, but I know I can't stay.



By the way, this was my final view of Nelson as I left:


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Alex


When we got Alex from the SPCA he had developed Kennel cough. I remember sitting on the floor of our kitchen holding his head in my lap and making promises to God. I told God that if He let Alex live then I'd do everything I could to give him the best life a dog could possibly have.*

Luckily dogs don't hold grudges, or get mad and your shortcomings. They never question your choices, even when they get the short end of the stick. They just want you, because you're their pack. You're all they have, and you are the best thing in their world. They feel loved just being near you.

For 13 years Alex desperately wanted to be near us. I remember hiding things he had chewed up in our absence because I was afraid mom wouldn't take his destructive neediness anymore. She loved him though; even if it took her a while to admit it.  
For 13 years he would sit by me every time I was sad. He would tolerate me trying to snuggle him and taking impromptu naps on him. He would listen to me try to learn guitar, sing loudly around the house, and complain about whatever life crisis was happening at the time. He would get excited every time I came home after an extended absence, and he would hesitantly watch me pack while he knew I'd be leaving again. 

For 13 years he'd forgive me for not putting him first when all he knew about life was how to put his pack first. 

Alex was more than a good dog, he was a sweet soul. He was what I needed most on bad days and what I loved most about good ones. He was a companion, my unique friend, and a constant reminder that an answered prayer can be so much more than you intended or imagined.


Alex Klansek
November 2003- October 26, 2016





*I also asked God to spare our cat Oscar until the second coming, but He must have thought that request was a little less reasonable. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Westward bound

Oh hey internet, I’m back with updates and visuals! 

Turns out I didn’t really feel like blogging while I was home, but here I am in the car heading westward, bringing you news of my excursions. 

I was in Indiana for a little over a month going between a recently crippled mother* in Bluffton and my former home city of Indianapolis. The vast majority of that time was spent sitting on couches, beds, floors, chairs, counters, and passenger seats, re-connecting with friends and family. I didn’t do anything more exciting than eat a vast array of cuisines and excessive sitting. If you thought I looked like I lost weight when I came home from New Zealand, then don’t worry, I have been well fed. The good news is that the majority of my sitting and eating was in the company of loved ones. 

I would tell you all about my time home, but some things can't be accurately explained with words. It was fun, it was sad, it was exciting, it was packed, it was needed, 

Currently I am sitting in the back of my vehicle while my good pals Abby and Amanda lead us westward through Wyoming. Today’s adventure began in Sioux Falls South Dakota 

and led us through the Badlands and it’s unique rock formations. 

From the Badlands we ventured to Mount Rushmore to gaze upon our four largest former presidents 

 and then one, lone, extremely large, and unfinished monument of Chief Crazy Horse. The monument is the largest project of it’s type in the world and was started in 1948. 

I thought Indiana had wide-open skies, Wyoming is a whole other animal. So far so flat, but different from Indiana in that instead of fields of food we have nothing but plains. In the distance I see a bumpy horizon and am holding out hope for a more scenic drive to come. Anyhoo, off to Seattle so start over again. This time in to the gracious arms of my aunt and uncle instead of total strangers, but still just as exciting. More to come.  



*surgically crippled, she’s fine

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wider Skies

I have been in Indiana for about two weeks now. Those two weeks seem like a blur of faces, experiences, and conversations. How do you sum up 9 months of what you saw, did, learned, and changed? How do you answer the question "How was it?"

What is "it"? my flights? my travels? my friends? my job? my car? my hikes? my books? my experience?

It was amazing, more than I could have ever asked for. It was living in a new place, with new people. It was normal, every-day experiences in foreign places. It was sharing space with strangers. It was learning different ways to cook, dress, act, speak, and think. It was comfortable, and right. It was sad and sometimes and felt heavy. It was uplifting and different than anything I'd ever known. It resembled everything I wanted, with the features of everything I was afraid to have. It was nothing I expected and everything I dreamed. It was natural, it made sense. It was independent. It was so much gain and occasionally loss. It was life.

Now that I'm back I find myself looking up a lot. The sky here is so wide. I stand outside gazing at the Indiana sky and it goes on forever. I love mountains, in fact I prefer them, but there is something to be said for a sky with no obstructions. Here we are surrounded by an unregulated competition between sky and field to continue on endlessly, and sometimes it's hard to tell who wins.



Life happens wherever you go, whether you live under wide open skies or in the land of the long white cloud. It was amazing being away, it's amazing to appreciate what was here all along, it will be amazing to discover new and strange places. Life is consistent in that every beat of your heart indicates you're still living it, but you control the variation in landscapes and which skies you chose to dwell beneath. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Leaving

As many of you are already aware I have made my exit from New Zealand. I boarded a plane at 8:55pm on September 2nd and landed in Honolulu at 7:35am on September 2nd. The opportunity to re-live a day of your life- and in a different country- comes around rarely so I took full advantage. 
My first act upon reaching American soil? Sweating. Profusely. HELLO SUMMER.*

I should try to summarise my last bit of time in New Zealand, but honestly there is just too much to say. I will however, tell you that my last week was spent looping around the north island with a couple of fantastic friends who gave me an excellent excuse to spend my final week retracing some steps and creating new ones. 

Everyone keeps asking me how it feels. People want to know if I'm sad or excited, or what the last few days were like for me. I didn't have much time to think about how I felt until I was on the plane, and it wasn't until the plane started moving down the runway that I realised I was leaving. I told myself countless times I would be leaving, but my right brain refused to believe my left brain until the evidence was undeniable. 

My first real home away from home. The place where I learned I can live whatever life I want, however I want not only because I am capable, but because the world is home to many kind and generous people who want to see others succeed. The country I entered knowing no one and then exited with family. The cities and towns with adventure on the periphery and immense kindness in the centre. I spent 8 months allowing myself to be uncomfortable, discovering my own strengths and weaknesses. I learned there is a time to stay silent and a time to speak. A time to be alone and a time to bring someone along. A time to rest and a time to explore. I realised there is never time to be offended, and always an opportunity to learn and love. I made friends from countries with completely different cultures, and discovered what different nationalities think and believe about the country I come from. I discovered a view of the world I would never have been given, I had to find it myself.


Above is an attempt at a summarising video of my 8 months in New Zealand. So much is left out, partially because I can't fit it all, but also because some experiences can't be shared. If you want the experience you must have it yourself. If it is fear that stands in your way, then I pray you will have courage. If it is people, then I pray you will have wisdom. If it is circumstance I pray you will have freedom. 


*I know, it's not technically summer in Hawaii, but it was 87ºF (Roughly 30℃) and this is my blog so I say what I want. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Past-Due Update

This may be (is definitely) late notice for most of you (unless you are on the email list,) but I have some news.

I have left Nelson, and in a few short weeks I will be leaving New Zealand. 

Here is a picture a rebellious pigeon to ease your shock:

Okay, yes, I am leaving. Where am I going? What am I doing? Why have I made this insane decision to leave an unbelievably beautiful country full of people I love? Well, just sit back and have a cuppa (cup of some warm beverage) and I will inform you.

For many a moon I have been assessing my life almost constantly. Before I left Indiana I spent 3 years constantly taking stock of what I was learning, where I was going, what I wanted, and who I was becoming. When I left it never stopped, I have been observant of the changes I've made consciously and unconsciously, as well as the influences I've allowed to affect me. I never promised to go anywhere forever nor that I would return. I never claimed to know what was going to happen next, and I maintain this position. Therefore, my answers to the above questions will be of the same nature.

I am going so many places, I stopped in Wellington for a week to visit family. Now I am in Tauranga staying with the first people in New Zealand to bestow kindness on me. Next I will travel to Auckland to meet some fantastic friends for a whirlwind week of North Island Travels. After all of this I will head off to Hawaii for a week and eventually find myself in Indianapolis on September 8th. 

WOAH LAUREN IS GOING HOME

Stop. Please stop right there. Yes, I am technically going to one of the places in the world which I call home. Now take note of my next words, as they are important.

Nothing is ending, nothing is over. I'm not "Settling down," "Growing up," "Getting my life together." This was not a "Once in a lifetime experience" or "Trip of a lifetime." Friends, I am 23. There is more to come.

Which takes us to my next announcement, I am heading west. No not California, that fault line freaks me out, (yes I acknowledge the hypocrisy, considering where I am currently living). I am heading to Washington, more specifically Seattle area. I have wonderful family who live out there, graciously are willing to admit to our relation, and want to help me try out life on their side of North America.

So why, WHY am I leaving New Zealand? Simply because it is time. I assessed my life and I decided that I was comfortable. I succeeded in moving to a place where I knew no one and making it home. I got a job I loved, and worked with extremely special people.
 I played on a soccer team with a hilarious group of women and a very patient coach. I got involved with a church full of genuine souls seeking truth and freely bestowing generosity. I went from living in a hostel with international strangers to almost living like a local.
I got comfortable, and that is when I knew -despite how much I loved where I was- it is time to move. Not because I'm angsty or hard to please, but rather because I don't think it is time for me to get comfortable. I have so much more to learn, see, do, experience, and if I stay, I'm not taking the opportunities freely available to me.

So there you have it. I am leaving New Zealand, for now.
I am leaving another home to go to more unknown.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

That time I played Football


This post is a letter to the amazing team I have had the privilege of playing football with for the past few months. On a couple of different occasions I have attempted to say these words, but I find the words of my heart are far more effectively expressed in writing. So here goes.*


Thank you, a thousand times, thank you. I have been honoured by your acceptance, and even though you may not ever fully understand the weight you all lifted from my soul by making me a part of your team I assure you I will never forget it.

What I really wanted to say before our game was how proud I am to have had the opportunity to play on this team. In my 23 short years I have been on many teams. I have been in every role, I've gone from captain to benchwarmer, I've been a coach and a spectator and everything in between, but this time was different.

This team, FC Nelson, stands for something. Mullet calls is Pride, and none of you should ever doubt that you have something to be proud of. I wish I could tell you how many times I stopped this season and took note of the vast improvements each of you has made. If you look back from the beginning and see how you've changed you should feel nothing but immense pride.

Pride is knowing you did everything in your power to improve upon a situation before you walked away from it. Pride is strength of character through adversity. Pride is family. As I said, I've been on many teams, but this is the team that feels like home.

I've never thought I could laugh so genuinely with people who were complete strangers a few short months ago. I never imagined joining a football team would shape so much of my travelling experience. I am so sad to leave you all, and so appreciative of the generosity, acceptance, and friendship you freely bestowed on me. I wish you all the absolute best, and I hope if life takes you overseas you will find a group of unsuspecting locals who will end up saying nice things about you and buying you indian food. If you're ever in the states** you will always find a home with me.



*I really must thank Uli, a manager at Tasman Bay, for assuming that because I'm an American female with a history of playing soccer I must be good. I appreciate his optimism, though I fear it may have been poorly placed.
** If I'm not in the states you also have a home wherever in the world I am, even if I'm sleeping in my car and am homeless like Phoebe thinks I am. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Homes

"Traveling- it gives you homes in thousand strange places, then leaves you a stranger in your own land." -Ibn Battuta

Taken from the top of Mount Arthur, to the left is Golden Bay, to the right is Tasman Bay

Post 1 of 2. Today's musings will be in reference to the first half of the above quote, which has been iterated to me on several occasions by people whom I respect and love. Home in a thousand places. So far I have not been to a thousand places, but I can say of the lands I've visited, I often felt the familiarity of home.

I want to explore an idea I have come to relate closely with. Home is not a house, or a location, or an infrastructure. Home is with a familiar soul. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to say it. Home is where the heart is. I am so sorry to assault your mind with the cliche of the century, but it simply must be done.

Home is not a building in which you find yourself falling asleep on a Sunday afternoon watching a golf match (game? set?). Home can actually be made, though I'd argue, not entirely intentionally.

Before reaching the top

I left work at Founders early one day because we were slow and keeping two of us on couldn't be justified. I walked to my car, started the engine and realised that going "home" meant going to an empty house- where I would try to force avoidance of the readily available cake slices provided by my generous house-mate. I got out of my car and went back to the cafe where I sat and read around the people who had familiar souls. The cafe means the world to me, the brewery is incredibly special, but at the end of a shift I don't have a beer with the kegs, the sanitiser, or the coffee machine. I have moments with my people.

Not far from Founders is a home I frequent. Tasman Bay Backpackers did not begin as a home, but became full of comfort when I recognised the souls of the people around me. The managers, the Wwoofers, the friend who sits with me in the lobby and makes up songs about guests who check-in. These are home.

Just down the road from Tasman Bay is a home I never expected. A friend who began by paying me to clean her house became a home of immense importance.

I could go on for days and describe the soccer team, the friend who invited me to crash once and I stayed for 3 months, the church group who welcomed me with love, challenging topics, and snacks. All of these homes, and I haven't made it past Nelson yet. The Air BnB hosts who went above and beyond, the family members who conveniently moved to Wellington, the friends who gave me my first experience of home in New Zealand, and so many more. I may not have a home in a thousand places yet, but I have homes in many more strange places than before I left my own land.

Looking out at Tasman Bay and Beyond, also Bob the
way too kind woman who let a stray backpacker live in her home
.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Angels

"I asked my angels for a Peugeot, do you believe in angels?"
"Yes"
"I asked them for a Peugeot this morning, what year is yours?"
"1995" 
"You should ask your angels for things when you need them." 
A much loved, much utilised car has been sold today. I worried no one would want it because it's European and difficult to find parts for, turns out the lion on the back was the exact reason she stopped to read my advertisement in the window.
"I loved your advertisement"
"Thanks! I love this car, I think it deserves another owner who will love it"

We talked about life, and people who live to do good work in the world, we talked about her travels, and she encouraged me that whatever I do I will spread love through my actions and sometimes also my words. I advertised much more than I was expecting to be paid for the car. Though I believe it's worth the money for how reliable and in what good condition its in, I never expected anyone would pay me the advertised price.

"The extra is just for fun"
"Wow, you don't have to do that, thank you so much"
"Thank you for being the person you are"

Be a blessing to someone today. Thank you all for being the people you are.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Across the Mountains

As aforementioned in my previous post, I have not been required for participation in the joys of consistent employment. Do not let your hearts be heavy with the thought of my idle hands, for as I also previously alluded I have taken this opportunity to proceed in exploring my surroundings.*
Encouraged by the promise of exceptional weather, I proceeded to ascend the mountain road which leads to a place I deem the very essence of what middle earth was meant to portray. Golden Bay, admittedly made more charming by the season**, is where my desire to explore led me. 

Too many times I have been told to visit the shores of Whawhariki (Fa-fa-riki) Beach and pay a visit to Farewell Spit. for too long I have been the solemn observer of the sun sinking behind the forms to the west; shapes oddly similar to the destruction I bring to Gift wrap when attempting to cut a straight line. 
When the weather promised to oblige, and finally I admitted I could not spend another consecutive day at the library, I packed up the car and made my way to the other side of the mountains. 

I made my way to the beach of much promised beauty. It did not disappoint. 
The next day I spent hours walking through a farm on the top of a cliff and feeling as though I was walking through a novelist's imagination. 
I discovered my distaste for wind and sand, and preference for beholding the far-reaching, untouched coast from the wild hills above. 
In the mornings I ventured to nearby beaches to watch the sun greet my time-zone and enjoy breakfast with nothing but the waves and birds for company. 
If I have not already made my feelings plain, I had a wonderful time. All was not bliss, though, it did rain one evening as I returned from my venturing, but before it lulled me to sleep by tapping incessantly on the roof of the car, it provided me with a promise for more beauty to come. 
That night I parked in a little freedom camping area where I met a lovely 70 year old woman from Southland. She drives her shiny blue bus to the top of the south for three months every winter to, as she put it, "Be lazy." She provided me with the compliment of saying I have a "Soft voice." ("...for an american" was her implied meaning) She also gave me some sort of fish fritter cake on buttered bread, it was weird and delicious. 

So, there's that. 





*I'm reading Jane Eyre at the moment, do forgive my excessively old-school word choice. 
** Far less tourists and backpackers (which I realise I am one of) 

Friday, July 1, 2016

The King

I spend a lot of time at Burger King these days. Almost daily I walk in to the fast-food establishment and find a table out of the way; I put in my headphones and proceed to FaceTime, do research, respond to emails, or write blog posts..

When I first started this trend I felt bad for blatantly abusing Burger King's internet, so I would buy a lukewarm coffee out of a machine with three buttons. Sometimes I would even drink the coffee. Then, one day, I didn't have any cash, and using an eftpos (debit) card to spend $1.50 felt silly. So I sat, and no one said anything. The next day I just sat again, and no one seemed to care. So now I sit, and soak up the free internet as a way to pass the time.

You see, I love my job, I really do. It seems, however, my job feels we have a more casual relationship than I was envisioning for us. I am to understand that it's not me, it's the season, the winter months decrease local demand for beer. This makes no sense to me, but alas I must accept work's decision. SO I sit. And sit.

I sit at Burger King, I sit in the Library, I sit outside of a local gym, or i sit outside the hostel in which I formerly resided. All for the sake of browsing the web and talking to people thousands of miles away. I am not a person who enjoys extended sitting. Don't get me wrong. I love a good sit. After I work hard I will sit hard. But starting my day sitting, and continuing my day sitting, and then ending my day sitting is getting a little old.

I remind myself that I can work the rest of my life, it's okay. But I also remind myself that being still doesn't take me anywhere. So I am hereby resolving to stop sitting (more accurately, reduce the sitting), and take more advantage of my surroundings. Anticipate more tales of standing, walking, running, general forward motion etc.

I live in Narnia
I live in Middle earth

These are some pictures from a day-hike I did a couple weeks ago in the ranges around Nelson.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Midwinter Christmas

If you are fortunate enough to follow me on snapchat (@lcmklansek) then you have recently been made aware of my love for all things Christmas. 

June 25th is 6 months until Christmas, and In New Zealand it is winter. My northern hemisphere genetics think Christmas is in winter. Therefore June cannot occur in winter. Being cold in June and being warm on Christmas are two concepts my scope of comprehension has not yet fully grasped. So, because of my unrestrained excitement, I celebrated a Mid-winter Christmas in June. 

Fortunately I have always had people in my life who are willing to indulge me in my enthusiastic pursuits of nonsense. Also, apparently Mid-winter Christmas is kind of a thing in NZ, so my joy was accepted in to the arms of understanding individuals. Two such individuals not only accepted my jubilation but agreed to join me in my making of merriment.



Together we gathered with a weird amount of food, a bottle of champagne, and embarrassing stories from our distant and not-so distant pasts. The entire affair is one to be remembered, not only because of the leftovers I’ll be eating for the rest of this week, but also for the love which filled up my soul. 

I can’t help but be reminded of this past Christmas spent with kind and wonderful people in Japan. At a time when I could have felt very alone they filled up my soul- and together we pursued over-the-top Christmas cheer.  (See Meltykissmas) 

So I hope you all had a Merry Mid-winter/summer Christmas (depending on your whereabouts). And I hope you appreciate the people who not only let you be overly excited, but encourage your pursuits of merriment. 



Also I played Soccer, Here is some evidence that I play soccer: 

This is me taking a penalty kick
This is me channeling my inner beaver after doing a throw-in
This is me being a defender

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Outpost of Progress

"And now, dull as they were to the subtle influences of surroundings, they felt themselves very much alone, when suddenly left unassisted to face the wilderness; a wilderness rendered more strange, more incomprehensible by the mysterious glimpses of the vigorous life it contained. They were two perfectly insignificant and incapable individuals, whose existence is only rendered possible through the high organisation of civilised crowds.

Few men realise that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings. The courage, the composure the confidence; the emotions and principals; every great and every insignificant thought belongs not to the individual but to the crowd: to the crowd that believes blindly in the irresistible force of its institutions an of its morals, in the power of its police and of its opinion.

But the contact with pure unmitigated savagery, with primitive nature and primitive man brings sudden and profound trouble in to the heart. To the sentiment of being alone of one's kind, to the clear perception of the loneliness of one's thoughts, of one's sensations- to the negation of the habitual, which is safe, there is added the affirmation of the unusual, which is dangerous; a suggestion of things vague, uncontrollable, and repulsive, whose discomposing intrusion excites the imagination and tries the civilised nerves of the foolish and wise alike."

-Joseph Conrad (author of Heart of Darkness)
an excerpt from An Outpost of Progress

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Please Leave

I'm begging you. Please leave. Get up and go. Take only what you need and quickly make your way out.

Before you know it you'll have a reason to stay. Before you realise what's happened you'll let someone talk you out of making a swift exit. Soon the fear will set in and every rational consideration will slowly morph in to something ugly- an excuse.

I've convinced myself to stay many times. Sometimes for my benefit, mostly at my detriment. I've stayed away from people, phone calls, emails, experiences, and ideas. I did it because it's easy to let fear determine your actions, and it's hard to recognise the differences between fear and rationality. Frequently the two are intermingled and in order to make a wise choice you have to spend time detangling the web. Sometimes the web is too tightly wound and you have to take a risk with only your conviction to propel you forward.

Your fears aren't alone, everyone else's will contribute to doubt too. Their fears, as well as your own may be founded in rational thought, but here is where you must realise the difference. Good decisions are based on an assessment of your goals, the possible outcomes, the risks and benefits, your ability to do what needs to be done, and the conviction of your soul. Notice how fears (yours or others') are not included in the list. So get out. Get away from your excuse to stay in your miserable mind set. Re-evaluate who you really want to be, how you want to live your life, and who you want to impact.

Leave your fear of change and unpredictability behind and never return to it. Don't mistake me, bring your reason, your discernment, and your wise counsel with you, but forget your fear. Your sympathetic nervous system knows when to utilise fight or flight, leave fear to the professional.


 fear might keep you from making a sandwich on the top of a mountain
or eating banana chips on the side of one. 




Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weather patterns

For the people I've left at home, now is the time to finally go outside and remember  the feeling of warm sunlight after your lengthy hibernation.
For those of us in the southern hemisphere it is time to feel the warmth dissipate and the days become shorter as we gradually lean further from the sun. In Nelson the air becomes crisper, the mountains become clearer, the sunsets more beautiful, and watching summer fade away doesn't seem so bad.

Salads are replaced with [international versions of] soup,* shorts are more frequently supplemented with long pants, and pilsners are traded for porters and stouts.** Less backpackers are willing to brave sleeping in tents and suddenly conversations turn from "Where are you going next?" to "When are you going home?"

Nostalgia rides in with the cold fronts and the atmosphere feels entirely different. People change in accordance with the seasons. They can be cold as their travels end or warming up to the idea of a sweet winter in a new place. There is less new influence and you start to appreciate the people who remain constant. In Nelson I'm finding friendship in unexpected places and feeling like part of a community.

Look it's a team of soccer (football) players:
After our first game, we tied 1-1 and I seem to be so happy I can't open my eyes 

It's weird how you can feel at home in a place where everyone was a stranger only 4 months ago. I wrote the bulk of this post over a month ago and just realised it had been sitting un-posted in the queue. The words ring even truer now than they did when I wrote them from inside a hostel.

*I make excellent coconut curry. Just FYI.
**Or dark Wheat beers, like Wheat and Greet by Founders Brewery. Banana, Chocolate, and the feeling of warmth hitting your soul, it's the perfect beer for sitting around a bonfire. Sold?

Monday, May 30, 2016

The roach

Let us begin with a picture lesson:
Here we have what I was raised to believe is a cockroach:
Almost cute in their inferiority to the penny. Like Lincoln is ready to smash them with his tiny copper* head. 

Here is the "Palmetto Bug" that Florida tries to claim isn't a giant nasty cockroach by giving it an exotic sounding name. 
We know what you are roach. We know. 

And here, is the monstrosity that is the New Zealand native cockroach. 
He appears to be wearing a suit of armour. He is. 

I know him well for several reasons.
1. I frequently find him crawling from crevices in kegs.
2. I frequently smash him and rinse his lifeless corpse in to a drain.
3. He attempted to frame me for a murder-suicide off a cliff.

It was a beautiful day, as my comrade and I drove from Picton to Nelson. We had just left a lovely Air Bnb where a talented artist and her husband gifted us so much fruit our dietary fibre would not be an issue for the duration of our travels. Adam climbed a tree:
We made many stops to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings:

We laughed, we listened to an audio book, we talked about the weird amount of fruit in the car, and just as the bliss of the day was fully setting in, the sun was in my eyes. I had sunglasses, but it was the type of sunlight which reflects off of freshly damp pavement and the light came from everywhere. I needed shade. Shade which could only be provided by a Sun visor. For reasons unbeknownst to both of us, Adam was the one who reached to put the visor down.
The following tale is a completely accurate representation and in no way a dramatisation of the unfolding events.** 

Simultaneously we heard the most maniacal laughter, smelled the ungodliest stench, and felt a terror our hearts had not yet known. As he slowly released the sun visor we beheld the vilest creature permitted to roam, nay, scurry this earth. I could hear him daring me to swerve off the cliffside, taking us both to our doom, leaving him free to scavenge the fruit and leave the scene without a trace. In a moment of clarity Adam closed the visor and held his fist there insisting I pull the car over. Despite the conflicting dialogues I was able to take us safely off the road to an embankment, and with ladylike poise I promptly threw the door open and removed myself from the roach's vicinity. The next was a harrowing scene which pains me even now to recreate for you. Adam released the beast from the visor and proceeded to punch it, and attack it with a picture frame. Wounded, but protected by his body armour the monster escaped in to the centre console of the Peugeot, to mend to his wounds and plot his counter-attack. 

45 minutes of the most uncomfortable drive you can imagine later we arrived at the local store where we purchased 3 bug bombs. As I played Soccer, Adam removed every belonging from the car and attempted to rob the creature of his sanctuary by creating a toxic environment. 

So many words, so few visuals. Here is my team practising while the sun sets behind the mountains

Still unconvinced, and unable to attain closure of his demise we chose to once again poison the air of the car in case the first attack wasn't enough. Eventually, we eased our minds and decided he was likely dead. This story has a warm-hearted ending, which I will save for another time because I can. Yay for cliff-hangers!



Forgive the slight or not-so-slight changes you may be observing on this blog layout. I have been attempting for some time to update the aesthetic nature of this site to no avail. Turns out Google hasn't updated this blogging resource, likely since they created it. My apologies. 

*please don't waste your time explaining to me that they are in fact no longer made of copper, of this I am aware, and if you weren't then now you are. You're welcome. 
**...