Matthew's News and Gossip: 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003

Matthew's News and Gossip

A man with no talent, but armed with a digital camera, can waste lots of bandwidth

Monday, May 19, 2003

So I have now got all of the last photos from New Zealand up on the web. I'll write a little more about them later but here are photos from
Drive down the South Island and Views from the top in Queenstown
Milford Sound, the most beautiful fijord in the South Island (90 photos!)
Doubtful Sound -- Amazing Kayak trip on another beautiful Fijord
Kepler Track - I did a three day hike in this alpine wonder world. Amazing scenery but very long!
Caitlins Coast -- The most remote part of the South Island....a few penguins and lost of seals (and a mad Spanish girl called Carmen)!
Queenstown and the West Coast (heading north this time)
Wellington (windy! not too thrilling)
Amazing Art Deco town of Napier
Taupo and the drive to Auckland
Auckland Harbour and my friends the Crabbs
North of the North Island(lots of Dolphins again!)

posted by matthew  # 5:38 PM 

Friday, May 16, 2003

These are the abbreviated notes from Taiwan which were written and lost cause of my stupid Visor, or possibly because of my cheapness in refusing to buy a non-reconditioned one! I wrote this on the plane back from New Zealand, so now I'm a month or so behind in the narrative. Now I'm back in San Francisco I'll catch up on the rest of the blog over the next week or so, and then start complaining about life back in the US!

I left Lucy asleep in the total fleapit she'd insisted we stay in to save a little cash, and made it to the flight to Taiwan. Having met JB at the airport, he immediately dumped me on Peter Redden and Peter DeHoey. After hanging out at their friend Julian’s (?) house, we went over to Tom Macdonald's house--the scene of the wedding crime the next day! It was then on to the Bone and Pitcher (on right in this photo) bash. This was a quiet sober affair until anyone arrived. Then there was a table or two of white guys all sitting on one table while their Chinese girlfriends sat on another. The night turned into another of those Bill Bryson affairs which can’t be remembered the next day except that this time I had a digital camera. So some of the pictures reveal that there was some cake on the Bone, a bottle of tequila got in between these two young ladies and then it wasn't there but they still were! We ended at the unfeasibly cold beer bar with Daryl bashing here, where JB decided to see if Taiwan's police actually enforced drink-driving laws these days. Thankfully despite the roadblocks, they don't. Several very dubious photos of the whole bash are here.

The next day we went paintballing again. Great fun until someone noticed that in 30 minutes we all had to be at a wedding. Andrea and Barry's wedding was great! It was held in Tom's great house, which has been converted into a semi-Chinese temple. All the bridesmaids wore white, and looked glamorous (even lovely Ya-Ya when she fell over [on right here]). A whole pig had been roasting in the ground since 3am--Tom had gone to steal a couple of banana leaves to flavor the roast. After the groom Barry pronounced the pig done, two Samoans carried it out.

The wedding moved to the restaurant next door where there was more food than anyone could possibly eat. JB was the best man and made a riotous speech, in English explaining what a total lunatic Barry was and then in Chinese extolling his wonderful qualities. Then Barry did something similar until it was time for a bit of cabaret (something about "Too Much Ass For One Man") before the amazing Wong Brothers band took the stage. This was the first wedding that I've seen the groom rush from his bride to go play the drums. The rest of the Wong Brothers came all the way from Iowa. However, half-way through they were renamed by popular acclaim "Ya-Ya and the Kings" after their amazing bass player and lead singer. Everyone was jealous of TJ who got to go home with a rock-star. I spent the night dancing like a crazy man with a young lady called Amber (which got me into trouble later), but eventually it was time to go home. (I abandoned the camera a little early, so sorry too few photos of the party...) With about 15 people crammed into Chloe's car, there was no room for Roger Owens who decided that getting into the window and hanging onto Bob was the obvious approach. All the wedding photos are here.

The next day having staggered out from the hotel said goodbye to Chloe & Bob Kayser, JB and Peter Redden , dragged Roger and new Kiwis Doug and Paul out for a coffee, it was time for the hash. The China HHH is renowned for extremely dangerous behavior during and after the run. The run was in a beautiful spot but involved walking along tiny canals cut into the side of a very high mountain. Plus I was wearing flip-flops as I'd left all my gear in New Zealand. Still I was able to help a few Chinese girls survive the experience. The Hash grandmaster told me that there'd only ever been one death in a hash run but it was on that course! I managed to avoid being called for a few down-downs until right at the end when I was accused of over dancing at the wedding the night before (as well as a few indiscretions I didn't commit, unfortunately). The Hash photos are here

After that in Taiwan I stayed with Mark Dolan, who took me on an insane mountain run and hike up to a 3000 METRE peak, as well as surfing, to an inner city Hash past the world's smelliest river, and managed to miss my plane on numerous occasions. Some more photos of random Taiwan sights are here. I did though see the wonderful National Palace Museum....some cultured photos are here. Eventually after several attempts I escaped to Thailand where thousands of nurses met the plane to take everyone's temperature--the fear of SARS taking over the world.

After a weekend of drinking in Sydney with the Burleys, Forsters, & Gibbons but not the suddenly ill Cuthberts, and some very fine toad-fishing by me (even if it was derided by everyone else), and a riotous dinner with young wild-haired Vanessa, I made it to the airport third time lucky and managed to get back to New Zealand. The Sydney photos (mostly of the Burleys and me playing soccer and fishing, with a few of the Olympic stadium chucked in too) are here.

posted by matthew  # 12:57 PM 


08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002   09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002   10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002   11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002   12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003   01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003   02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003   03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003   04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003   05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003   06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003   07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003   08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003   09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003   10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003   01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004   04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004   05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004   07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004   11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004   12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005   01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005   02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005   04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005   06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005   12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006   01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006   01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007   12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008   09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008   01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009   01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010   12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011   12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012   12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014   12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?