After spending Thursday early morning hurrying around finding all my things and shoving them into a suitcase, I remained awake until the following morning when my Dad and I left Timaru for Christchurch to catch a 7am flight. Being prompt individuals, we ensured we were at the airport three and a half hours before departure. However, we were lucky enough to be able to check our bags in and go upstairs and get a coffee - if only to stay awake until 7. Just after 7 we left NZ, and into the air, the flight attendants called for assistance from any medical personnel on board. An hour into the flight, we were put on standby - and told we may be asked to return to Christchurch. After we crossed the halfway point, we breathed a sigh of relief as we knew we weren't returning to Christchurch.
We hopped on a train and spent the afternoon in Ormond, looking around the suburb where I had lined up a flat interview, but soon afterwards, we discovered that it would not occur. We sidled back into the city in a sweltering heat, had showers, and headed down to the docklands for a meal before Pearl Jam.
Pearl Jam was insane. It started with an impressive performance from Liam Finn, topped up with some incredible beats from Ben Harper, of whom I wasn't actually expecting much. When he invited Eddie out on stage during his set to perform a duet of Under Pressure, it boosted the expectations of the evening. As people poured into the stadium, Pearl Jam came on, and performed for nearly 1:45 before disappearing for a short (and I mean short) break. They returned and played for a further hour before concluding their set. As usual, the crowd begged for an encore, and back they came, bringing Ben Harper with, and performing a 4 song encore. By this time I was incredibly tired - been up for nearly 36 hours at this point. The cheeky sods in the mosh pit then demanded a second encore, which was adhered to, this time with Liam Finn accompanying them. They played an excellent version of Throw Your Arms Around Me. After this 6 song encore, we disappeared home and hit the hay.
Saturday 21 November:
Today we had arranged a meeting to look through a flat in Mentone, which is a good 45 minute train ride from the city. The suburb was very clean and pleasant, and automatically felt like a great place. The current tenant was a nice bloke who seems to be easy going and friendly; the flat was as expected, and fairly well priced. I paid a bond and took a set of keys, signing the accompanying documentation - I have somewhere to live! We went up a couple of stops and found an enormous mall (Southlands Shopping Centre), and had a poke around there, which filled in the day. Walking back to the train station, we came across a bed sales outlet, and went in to check it out. Found a comfortable queen sized bed, with a base, for $800 - down from $1600, and what would be worth over $2k in NZ. Ordered it on the spot, and will get it delivered next week. Went to see 2012 at the cinema at the Crown - quite disappointing - great SFX, but perhaps too much; made the story so unbelievable. Kate Roger from 3 News was right - if you see this movie, leave your brain at the door.
Sunday 22 November:
Didn't do too much today, just chilled out and went for a look around some clothes shops in Highpoint near Footscray. Good to get a bunch of new clothes, makes me feel like a new person. Pity the weather was so crap though, was pissing down - and it just so happened that I wasn't wearing very warm clothes. Luckily we caught our tram and connecting train without much delay. Spent the afternoon poking through Myers, JB Hi-Fi, and other assorted stores. Went to iMax to see a coral documentary narrated by Jim Carey on the humongosaurus 7 storey-high screen. Was insane.