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2002 09 10 - Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi Everyone;

First of all, I guess I need to give a bit of background on what I am up to, since everyone who hasn't heard from me in a while was completely confused by my last email.

After working at the Wellington City Council for the last 4 years as a computer programmer, I decided a month or two ago that it would be a good idea to quit my job.

I wanted to spend time hanging out with my family and friends, and I didn't think that anything meaningful could be accomplished in vacation timeframes, especially as everyone is scattered all over the place.

Also, I am young and like to travel, so why not. Also everyone else seems to be leaving to go overseas, so it looked like a good time to do something.

Ok, so I quit my job, and my vague plan is to visit my family and friends. The first stop so far has been Christchurch, where my mother, brother and sister live, along with 2 of my good friends, James and Bjorn. Sadly, many of my other friends have already run off to England.

I will probably stay in Christchurch about a month, and then go to Gisborne, where my dad lives. I will spend a week or 2 there with him and his family, and then go to Canada.

I'm not really what I am going to do in Canada, other then the fact that there are about 8 groups of relatives that I would like to stay with for a while. I guess I will have a look at the job market while I am over there, but I'm not really sure if I want to look for something long term, or in the computer industry. One idea that was suggested to me is the possiblity of working on a ski field, which sounds like it could be fun.

I guess a lot will be determined by how fast I burn through my savings. How fast that occurs remains to be seen. I am still trying to decrease my spending, but it is difficult after the last four years of living high on the hog.

Right, so that is more or less where my head is at, at the moment. Ok, now for the events of the last few days.

Ok, on the 6th Julian, Bjorn and I had breakfast at Drexels, and American style breakfast place in town. I had french toast with bacon and an egg, and it was really good.I think it was $12 or so. However, I had left home with Mom's car and office keys in my pocket, so there we got into town, picked up Bjorn, drove back to my house, dropped off the keys, then went back into town for breakfast. A lot of to and fro for so early in the morning.

After that Bjorn went off to the computer course he is doing, and Julian and I went and played mini golf at a new place on Yoldhurst (sp) Road. It was a pretty good course, with a lot of ramps and hills and so on, but no moving obsticles.

One good hole had a ramp you could hit the ball down, and then a machine shot your ball through the air into a big bucket and it dropped down by the hole.

Most of the holes were a par 2 or 3, so it was a very fast course, and although it was a good game, Julian and I both thought it was overpriced at $12. We probably played all 18 holes in about 40 minutes, and that included doing a few holes twice, and a bit of stuffing round. Of course Julian and I are mini golf super heros, and as such a bit faster then most.

Oh yeah, there were also a lot of sensors around that would trigger noises or water jets when you stood in certain places.

That night James, Bjorn, Julian and I all went round to Ki's house and had a few drinks with him and his flat mates before going into town. All of Ki's flat mates are pretty cool, and a good evening was had by all. I stayed at Ki's house friday night, and slept on the couch.

on Saturday night James, Bjorn and I went to see a punk band that Bjorns friends friends brother was playing in. That was an interesting experience. I ended up staying at James's house.

On Sunday he dropped me off in town, and I walked from the art center to Addington, which I guess is about 3 or 4 kilometers.I had missed the bus by 10 minutes and the next one was going to be an hour, so I figured I might as well walk along the route for as far as I could go, and maybe I would save a dollar or two on the fare. It was about 25 degrees, and I worked up a pretty good sweat, which was no doubt appreciated by the other people on the bus.

Sunday night I went to see the movie "Murder by numbers" starring Sandra Bullock. It was a pretty crappy movie with a few good parts. I would suggest waiting to see it on video, if you really must see it at all. I stayed the night at my brothers and then on monday walked back to my mothers house.

My brother lives at the north end of riccarton, and my mother lives at the south end of halswell, and I guess the distance was about 12 kilometers, so that was a pretty good walk too.

It was a good chance to see some of the new housing developments that have been going up around Halswell. Things sure do change fast when you aren't around to see them every day.

Ok, I notice that I am about at the 1000 word mark, so I will wrap things up for now. I will put this up on the internet here and put a few photos on that page as well

My last letter is here so you can look at the last photos there.

Ok, thanks to everyone who replied to my first letter, even if it was only to complain about the photos not coming through correctly. That was a problem with hotmail being sucky. I wouldn't mind comments on this new system of putting the photos on the internet instead.

Best wishes,
Shen

My brother Ki

Julian playing wild west mini golf

James and Bjorn

Self portrait

To look at the photos full size, click on them, then hit the backspace key to come back to this page