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Posts tagged ‘Auckland’

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Auckland

When I arrived in Auckland in 2007, life felt full of fun, adventure and possibilities.

It was my first time on my own in another country, thousands of miles away from home.

I can’t remember exactly how I spent my days then. I do recall that there was a lot of walking around looking for places to get a fry-up from cafes recommended in Lonely Planet.

I do remember going to the backpacker bar in the basement of my hostel most nights, so a good chunk of my days were likely taken up with hangovers. This also explains the meed for fry-ups. Sadly, the backpacker bar has now closed. But I’ll always have the memories, or lack of them.

In February 2007, I even managed to do three standup gigs in Auckland. A tally I have thus far been unable to top in this city as it’s now pretty much impossible to get a response to emails. But maybe after that poor third gig I’ve been forever blacklisted.

One thing I have been able to do after 13 years was the jump off Auckland Sky Tower.

The Sky Jump is not really a bungee.  You’re just lowered really quickly to the ground with a harness. It is 192 metres though.

In 2007, this was the first thing like this I’d ever done. I have a vivid memory of stepping off the platform with nothing beneath my feet, which is a good metaphor for a couple of decisions I’ve made in life.

Thirteen years later, it was still fun but a little tame compared with the Nevis bungee out of a cable car in Queenstown.

I was originally hoping to bring my show to Auckland Fringe, but was unable to get one of those pesky venues sorted by the registration deadline.

Other than the Sky Jump, I haven’t done a massive amount in my four days here. Although yesterday, I found a craft ale bar and had to sample three pints with my fish and chips. And today, I walked up to Mt Eden today to see the volcano and views of the city.

Tomorrow, I head to Gisborne. I’ve not been there before, so can tick off another part of NZ I’ve been to. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some surfing for the first time since 1996.

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Sydney

Wherever possible, I try and avoid staying in hostel dorm rooms. This is mainly for the sake of my sanity and to avoid getting woken up at stupid hours by total strangers. Although I found this much less of a problem when I was normally drunk and aged 22.

To save a bit of money in Sydney, I stayed in a capsule/pod hostel. I’ve stayed in them in Singapore and Christchurch and that curtain and three walls provide some much-needed privacy.

It doesn’t necessarily stop you being woken up though. On one night in Sydney, the lady in the pod above mine was shouting several times. I expect she was having a nightmare and it had nothing to do with me being in the bunk below.

Not only this, but my bed was right next to the six lockers, meaning that I was regularly disturbed by the sound of doors closing. Earplugs only get you so far.

Another thing was that the kitchen only had two saucepans and two frying pans. This dramatically limits the number of people that can be cooking at any one time.

And they also had the genius rota of closing both bathrooms for cleaning at around 10pm, at the exact time when many wanting an early night need to use them.

I’ll be honest, I probably won’t return there.

In terms of a city, Sydney is fine. Albeit very touristy. And I added to the tally by doing the standard tourist things of visiting the Sydney Opera House and the Habour Bridge.

My travels so far have has mainly been confined to cities, which is all well and good but are not really the best place for adventures. This is partly due to me having to scrap my drive along the south Australian coast. Although I’m sure I’d find something to moan about wherever I was, especially with a car involved. And these annoyances have a habit of occurring when you’re trying to do it on the cheap.

A perfect example is that I’m now staying in a cheap hotel in Auckland and have a group of noisy twats staying on the same corridor.

I think it’s safe to say that I like the idea of travelling more than the reality. It’s always better in my head. Cheaper too, but still with the gripes. 

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Perth Fringe 2020 – Show four

I thought last night was going to be quiet, but the discounts I set up for a certain number tickets have worked magically.

I ended up with 36 people, which is my largest crowd in Australia to date. It’s just under half of the largest audience the show has ever had, mind, but it is at least some progress in Perth.

The show was enjoyable and I am increasingly turning into more of an arsehole quizmaster with every show. It has always been a fun persona to play with, but seems to be amplified in Australia.

Tonight, I currently have ten people with tickets booked. When I first started doing the show in 2014, my main aim was to get at least double figure audiences every day during Edinburgh that year. So this is at least a success by those modest standards.

Another factor at play here is likely due to it begin Australia Day. So I expect that potential punters already have other plans. Probably something barbecue and beach-related if Aussie stereotypes are to be believed.

As always, it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing. I’m reluctant to spend too long out in the heat flyering, as it’ll just make me ill. And there’s me reverting to my national stereotype of being a whinging Pom. I make no apologies.

In itinerary news, I’ve now booked a five night trip to Sydney after Melbourne. Then, I’ll be heading to New Zealand slightly earlier than I originally planned. I’ve just booked a few nights stay in Auckland, which by some strange coincidence also coincides with the dates I arrived in 2007 as a clean shaven, 22-year-old idiot.

I’m also planning to get a bus to travel around the country. But unlike the bus I took in 2007, this one isn’t green and full of 18 year olds. I’m going to spend a few nights in places I haven’t been before as I make my way down to Wellington. The itinerary is all coming together.