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March 9, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

From Cork to Beijing

My wide-eyed youthful enthusiasm has passed, and instead of seeing stuff, taking it all in, and snapping a photo as I had in previous travels; in this trip I had experiences. So instead of providing a blow by blow account of exactly what happened on my trip, I thought I’d give you what it felt like: snippets and tiny moments. So what follows is a collection of emails, g-chats and text messages sent and received during my time away between me and various comrades.

Sun, Dec 28, 2008at 6:27AM

Had a great time in san fran, had yummy Mexican food and did lots of wandering—it is a beautiful city and rather cultural. Went to the Museum of African Diaspora (musuem of modern art closed, I’d already checked), then a coffee from Starbucks and off to yerba berma park—Martin Luther King memorial, then for a ride on a 19th century carousel! (or three rides in fact), Chinatown is amazing. Had a lovely seafood dinner, then on to a bar where we met some lovely americans—both actors/producers in LA—I got their cards!

Man it feels really good to be clean.

Sun, Dec 28, 2008at 8:18AM

San Fran sounds cool. Did it turn you gay? I heard it turns you gay. Nothing wrong with being gay. Especially in San Fran. Did you get in a car chase? That’s the place to do it.

Mon, Dec 29, 2008at 1:18AM

No gay in San Fran but the Americans we met were a gay couple and we talked about all of that, proposition 8 etc. We did have an extremely offensive taxi driver who called black people “cockroaches” and pointed out crack addicts on our taxi drive. He talked about how he punched gays in his taxi who tried to give him blow jobs but he did drive us around at 3.30am on Christmas eve morning searching for fast food, so it wasn’t all bad.

Today is briefings and after lunch, I’ll sit an adjudicating test. That’ll determine if I get to go to a good room in round one and get to chair the panel or I have to watch a bad room. Tonight we are going to a big gaming complex for pool and kareoke and bowling etc. But it will be early to bed because then we have 3 full on days of debating and then ‘break night’ where the top 32 teams are annouced (there’s over 300 teams here) and the top adjudicaters, and we party on in a big club complex somewhere.

Mon, Dec 29, 2008at 7:52AM

How awesome you met a racist taxi driver! It’s interesting cos you meet them and it’s okay because it is a very finite relationship so you can choose whether to get fucked off or just witness it as a story about a fucked up guy you met, but then it’s not okay because they have fucking thousands of these finite relationships and that’s quite a coup for racism.

Fri, Jan 2, 2009at 11:35PM

My NYE buzz started pretty badly. I got out of my last round, which was terrible, me and the chair almost got rolled by two muppets who honestly didn’t know anything about debating. We had to argue with them for 45 minutes. When I got out all the New Zealanders had gone back to the hotel. (the polite thing is to stay and discuss debates) and were already having dinner. The bottle shop closed at seven, and they had already been and hadn’t got me any alcohol. I was extremely pissed off. and ended up finding a bottle store, finding they didn’t take eftpos, returning to the uni to get cash, going back to the bottle store and then taking an hour getting lost on the way back to the hotel, in increasingly dodgy areas, whilst carting around several bottles of spirits and beers, and tottering around in my orange boots.

I yelled at Polly when I got back, had a malibu and we both apologised and the world was righted again. I was also incredibly fucking tired. The party itself was pretty good, they had an irish band, then a swing band in the main hall, then an irish bar and then like an 80s disco room. We spent a good portion of the night watching incredibly nerdy guys feel up attractive girls, and by feel up I mean, FEEL UP, which is pretty sad, but amusing.

Sun, Jan 11, 2009at 8:53 PM

Of course just to see you again and hear about all your intrepid adventures. Me and Eli’s lives have been unwhole, incomplete, unfulfilled, since your departure. Our hearts are filled with absense, sorrow, despair, and longing. We anticipate you imminent arrival with hope and wistfullness as we trust your return shall rid us of the tragic yearning for you that has been tugging at our heart strings like a plump swiss milkmaid yanks on a cows little teeties.

With love as ever

Your Robin

Fri, Jan 9, 2009at 9:14PM

Off to Paris now.

Fri, Jan 9, 2009at 9:47PM

Sacre bleu!

I went to Kilbirnie today, but that’s not really the same?

Tue, Jan 13, 2009at 2:52AM

off to china now

Tue, Jan 13, 2009at 7:02AM

Yeah, same.

Oh wait, I thought you said Christchurch, but you didn’t, you said China. Same thing, really


Fri, Jan 16, 2009at 3:59AM


Thank you for your e-mail!

I am away in Europe from 24 December until 16 January. I will be checking e-mail, but only intermittently.

Au revoir!



About the Author ()

Well hello there. Eleanor was the Theatre Editor in 2007, now she writes the Women's Column and just generally minces about the Salient office. Eleanor is currently an Honours student in Theatre (with a touch of gender). She also has a BCA in Marketing but she tries to keep that on the d-low (embarrassing, because she loves academic integrity and also perpetuating the myth that she's a tad bohemian). If you've got a gender agenda, woo her by taking her a BYO Malaysian. She lies, if you show any interest at all she'll probably tackle you in the street and force you to write a column.

Comments (1)

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  1. James Keating says:

    I think you’ll find it’s called Yerba Buena.

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