Me: Australian for “yank”

Well, after wandering around Christchurch taking care of loose ends (mailing stuff ahead of me to China, sending postcards, buying some stuff I needed, cleaning out the backpack and throwing some stuff away) I woke up at 2:00AM this morning, had breakfast, chatted with an old drunk homeless guy in the front of the hostel for a little bit and was picked up by a shuttle to the airport. When I arrived and tried to check in, I was informed that I didn’t have a visa to Australia and needed one.

“But they always took care of that for me at the airport.”

“Nope, you need to apply. Here’s a web address. You can go over to the internet terminal and apply online. It’s instant”.

One credit card charge of $20 dollars later, I was instantly approved for a visa (hmm…ripped off maybe? Sounds like a very complicated and intense qualification process).

“WILL CASEY COBB PLEASE COME PICK UP HIS BAG. CASEY COBB. PLEASE PICK UP YOUR BAG”, I heard over the loud speaker. I had left my bag at the front desk – after all, I’m in New Zealand.

I walked back sheepishly. The security guy looked pissed. Ease up buddy, at least it put a little excitement in your life. Being a security guard in the New Zealand airport would be like being the sheriff of a small town. Nothing ever happens. Ever. Except sometimes some drunk stumbles into somewhere he’s not supposed to. Then there’s BIG trouble.

So anyways, I got checked in, sat around for a while then checked in. The next thing I knew, I was in Australia. I had smartly printed out my bank account balances before hand so as to avoid any hassle for not having an exit ticket out of Australia, so the whole process went down without a hitch. After using the bathroom to freshen up and pondering the “Deposit used syringes here” sign (Australia tackles drug problems with facilitation and treatment which reduces AIDS/infection disease rates rather than ignore the problem like my homeland), I called a hostel I picked out of my guidebook with a free airport shuttle service and was informed that the shuttle was waiting not 20 feet from me. I then got my name on the list and met Michael, a guy from Sweden, who was the shuttle driver. He helped me out with brochures and advice while we were waiting for others and then took me to the hostel with two other English chicks. I checked into the hostel, had some lunch, and here I am. I’m getting really good at this.

I’m really tired but don’t have much time here so I have to get as much as I can out of the little time I have. I am planning on only being here for about a month (with 15 days fudge factor) so I’ll be running around quite a bit.

It’s just a matter of keeping up with myself.

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