Is there anything to do in the "real" world other than shop?

Yesterday at 10:15 AM we loaded onto the now-famous "Ivan the Terra-Bus" and shuttled out to the Pegasus blue-ice runway, where we had touched down almost exactly four months ago. After about an hour of milling around on the ice under bright blue skies and a straining sun someone spotted the inbound C-17 off in the northern sky and we all trooped around the pallets of cargo like mutton, trying to get a view. Only one forklift was available to unload their cargo and then reload ours, so it was another two hours of standing on the ice, a herd of enormous red parkas, before we were finally able to collect our last McMurdo sack lunches and clamber aboard, wearing our bulky ECW boots for the last time. An uneventful 4 hours and 45 minutes later we were landing in New Zealand.

Christchurch appears to be a riot of commerce; After checking in to our hotel I wandered down Colombo St. looking for a late night snack, turning back about where the shopping district gives way to cut-rate electronics stores, Khmer noodles shops and lingerie parlors hawking garish Christmas panty-sets. This morning banks are bustling, there is traffic in the streets and suddenly I am back in civilization. I'm off to the botanical gardens to smell the flowers.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back to what we laughingly call reality -
glad to know you back in shopping wonderland.
But I bet you are missing the penguins already.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's shopping and then there's shopping. Though lacking your experience, I have it on good authority that NZ is particularly rich in quality second-hand bookshops. Many was the empire-builder who went out there, his Oxford or Cambridge library stuffed into trunks carried by native bearers, never to return. So keep your eyese pealed, or if your prefer peeled for Longmans' large octavo edition of Shakespeare or any other of my long-sought desiderata.