Knowing how Sherry feels about "blogs", I almost hesitate to post this, but... I found it so amusing (seeing that the guys are from Wellington), and a few here are interested in travelling to New Zealand, I would like to post two excerpts:
| Apr 27, 2004 10:46
...and on Friday, I went to Wellington.
I had a few people I wanted to interview down there, they weren't coming up my way, so Mohammed went to the Mountain. Or the Beehive, which is like a mountain, smaller and with worse carpet.
As it turned out, one of my Wellingtonians had to fly back from a last minute trip to Auckland to make the interview; another had to delay a car journey to Auckland so they could be interviewed; and the third confided they were moving to Auckland in a couple of weeks because they're sick of "the Wellington attitude." It seems I could have stayed put after all, but I'm glad I didn't.
By way of background, I went to high school at the venerable Upper Hutt College and did most of my degree at Victoria, so I have strong ties with Wellington. This was evidenced when the cameraman picked us up. On the way back from the airport, in Hataitai, there's a park my girlfriend-of-the-time and I "went to" every couple of days, when we were both in our teens and living at home under watchful eyes.
There's the building at the bottom of Cuba Street, which even today sports a dark stain running from its fourth floor down to the second. That was my stomach lining, circa 1993. A bleached patch of concrete outside an innocuous flat on The Terrace, Cask of Winegate, 1994. Nuff said. For a pamphlet and more information about Damian Christie's Bodily Fluids Tour of Wellington
, write to Cracker HQ at the usual address.
Having that sort of history with a town always makes revisiting it an interesting experience. Last time I was there it was in a three day whirlwind of Tolkein-inspired hype, so I didn't have much opportunity to mope around looking for old pets' gravesites.
This time was different. OK, I didn't go traipsing through pet cemeteries, but I found the whole experience a bit creepy nevertheless.
Wellington's a pretty small place, so everywhere I walked I saw people I once knew, or at least once occupied the same lecture with, or bludged a cigarette off on cold mornings in the quad. And everytime I didn't see someone I knew (or should that be "saw someone I didn't know"?), I was expecting to. So much of my day and a half there was spent vaguely anxious, looking over my shoulder.
Wellington's a great place to go for a weekend though. There's an excellent bar scene, the food's pretty good on the whole and the people are generally friendly, albeit many sport a JAFA-sized chip on their shoulder. I wouldn't want to reside there permanently though. Sorry Wellingtonians - nothing personal - I'd just prefer not to live in a town that sucks. Kidding.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun, saw Dimmer and Rhian Sheehan, bought some cool records and caught up with old and not-so-old friends. And I wrote a Russ-ku.
What's a Russ-ku you may ask? Well, it's a great new form of poetry that's taking the blogosphere by storm. Read Hard News and/or nzpundit if you want to learn more about the origins, suffice to say it's like a Haiku, but without all those annoying syllabic restrictions.
[As far as my two pingas go, I do find it a little strange how often Gordy, Craig and the New Guy Who Doesn't Know his 'their' from his 'there' refer to Russ. The only analogy I can draw is with Opposition politicians constantly referring to the Government (any Opposition, any Government), which is odd considering they should both theoretically occupy the same position. You don't find the Dominion Post running front page stories about the Herald every week or two. Anyhoo.]
But I can't argue with a poetic form of such aesthetic beauty, and so I present:
Wellington, a Russ-ku
by Damian Christie.
There were lots of pretty girls when I went to Wellington.
Like most other girls there [sic] age, they wore skirts and dresses.
Except with trousers underneath.
I've managed to get to a few shows at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, which is unlike me. Generally any such festival sees me looking through the programme, promising this time will be different, this time I'll go and see that play/film/show/exhibition, then finding said programme on the bottom of my In Tray a month later and swearing next time will be differentâ€¦
This time was different. I got in early, booked a bunch of tickets and now all I have to is swan up on the night. I've seen three so far, Australian Charlie Pickering, who did a great show about urban legends, Untold Tales of Maui
starring the very talented duo of Taika Cohen
(who as Taika Waititi made my favourite short film ever, 2 Cars, 1 Night
) and Jemaine Clement
(from Flight of the Conchords
). Both shows were very good, but unfortunately have now finished.
Last night I saw British comedian Andy Parsons. His show is continuing, but I'd suggest you could probably find better ways to spend your comedic dollar. Sorry all you nice folk at the ComedyFest, love ya, but he just wasn't particularly good.
I think comedy has (or should have) moved on from the "excuse me sir, you in the front row, yes what's your name pleaseâ€¦" and observations that weren't especially funny when Billy Connelly made them a decade ago ("What is it with people saying 'take care' instead of goodbyeâ€¦ it's like 'oh thanks for that, I was about to go and hurt myself'â€¦ and what about 'drive safe'â€¦ it's likeâ€¦).
But that's just my opinion, what would I know? It has however left me uttering a phrase I never thought I'd sayâ€¦ "Wow, some of that New Zealand comedy is really good, better than the overseas stuff". So this Comedy Fest, why not Buy NZ made? Apart from Mike King, obviously. Seeing Mike King when you're in the mood to laugh is like going to the swimming pool when you're hungry. But at least he's givin' it a go, eh? At least he's givin' it a go. Give me a break.
Flight of the Conchords
last show this Saturday promises to be damn good though, as does Taika's Incredible Show next week. See you there.
Both excerpts from the blog here: