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It’s That Time Again…

November 8th, 2010 by the_lifer

Will, running late even by software programmer standards, took the car across town to work. Walking to his car park at the end of the day, he passes by one of the signs of a Wellington spring: a pair of backpackers, struggling against the gale, trying to hold onto their hats and packs while reading a city map.  Then, one of them, clocking his T-shirt and jeans, speaks to him as to a kindred spirit.

“Excuse me, do you know, please, where is the YHA hostel?”

“Oh, yeah, mate, you just go down to the end of this street, take the right onto Wakefield, for maybe two kilometers – ”

The other one, a slim blonde girl, says wearily, “There is a bus, maybe?”

Will feels for their tiredness. He knows what that ache in the shoulders is like. “I tell you what. I’ll give you a ride! My car’s right in here!” The backpackers’ pinched faces open into stunning, surprised smiles.

On the brief journey, their story tumbles out. Hanne and Bo got on their plane in Europe with visions of clean, green Middle-Earth dancing in their heads. They had the idea that they wanted to go “off the track that is beaten” and find the real New Zealand. Some small town, like Bulls, or Te Awamutu, or Eketahuna.  Finding it had disillusioned them greatly. Tired of the sidewalks being rolled up at 8 each night, they had embarked on the next stage of their adventure, Making It In Wellywood.

Bo has ambitions of being an extra in The Hobbit film (he’s been growing his beard and hair on purpose), or at least bringing Peter Jackson his coffee.  Hanne is not aware that her wish “to find a job in marketing or public relations, just for the summer” is equally unlikely to be fulfilled. They are utterly confident that being EU citizens covered by the Working Holiday visa will open any necessary doors. Wellington is so much better already, it feels good to be back in a real city, and the people here are all so nice, thank you so very much for the ride.

Will declines their offer of petrol money. Hanne and Bo are going to need it themselves.

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