The day started out horribly for me. I had booked skydiving, and arrived at the shop at 7:30, all ready to go. I paid, signed my life away, and began preparing. As we were about to leave, the air traffic controller called and said the winds were too strong. Skydiving was canceled. I couldn't reschedule, as we were all leaving at 9:30. I tried to think the whole, "It just wasn't meant to be" nonsense, but let's get serious. Even if it wasn't meant to be, how does that make me feel any better about losing my chance to go skydiving in the most beautiful place I've ever seen? This set the precedent for the rest of my day, although I honestly did try to "think happy thoughts."
Six hours or so were spent crammed in a van, as we traveled across New Zealand, from Queenstown to Christchurch. The drive was great, and the scenery was gorgeous. Unfortunately, I was exhausted and kept falling asleep. I believe I have hit a point where no matter how much sleep I get, I am just continually exhausted. Maybe a few days of sleep, like a hibernating bear, will cure that when I get home in a few days.
We arrived in Christchurch, stored our bags at the airport, and went out on a quest to find food (I'm pretty sure this quest occurs everywhere we go. Food is a big deal folks). We got our grub on, and then walked around the perimeter of the Central Business District. There are fences up, so that pedestrians/vehicles can't enter, due to the destruction and devastation that is on the other side. The earthquakes here have shut down the center of the city. I am not joking when I say that I felt like I was in the movie, "I am Legend."
After seeing what was to be seen of the Christchurch CBD, we headed to the 2012 World Buskers Festival. Local festivals are always a good way to learn about a community, and I'm afraid I wasn't impressed. The comedy that so many people were entertained by, was disgustingly raunchy. They didn't try to inadvertently touch on topics such as sex, drugs, and incest, which were the main focal points of the shows I bothered to listen to. Continual cursing, all kinds of words, were shouted out over loud speakers. Although you had to be 18 to enter the area in front of the stage, one could hear and see everything from outside that area. There were children eating, and playing, while the F bomb was yelled by the performers, and while they encouraged the spectators to repeat it back. There is no way a show like that would be at a festival in the states. I got up and left, hoping to find something better to listen to, but in the end, we all just went back to the airport to begin a night of...Well, you'll see.
One of my worst times in life (it's not horribly high up the list) is when my flights were delayed going from Jacksonville FL to Atlanta GA. After what seemed like forever, we finally took off, but I had already missed my connected from ATL to Seattle, WA. The next flight wasn't until the next morning. Now, most of you might be thinking, "No big deal," right? Well, this was my first time flying since I was an infant. It was a horrible experience, at 18 years old, having to spend all night in the Atlanta airport. The only thing that kept me sane, was the USO, where I was provided with some chairs to make into a little bed, and some snacks.
So that's the past. Now, why is it being dredged up? At this second, I am sitting in the Christchurch Airport, at 4:24 in the morning, and I have been here since 10pm. Due to our early flight (6:30), we decided to not get a hotel and to just sleep in the airport. Well, there is no sleep in this airport. You are only allowed to sleep in a designated area, and it's freezing cold. You can't sleep on the chairs, only the floor. Yea, maybe I'm whining... but let's be real. It's almost 4:30 and I haven't slept. When that's by choice, it's one thing... but I've been splayed out on this floor, trying to sleep, with absolutely no success.
Overall I wish we had just stayed in Queenstown. It was too late to change plane tickets ($300 ticket instead of $80), so we tried to make the best of it. Maybe this is just my bad mood talking, but another day in Queenstown, would have been SO much better. I will come back to Queenstown one day, that's for sure. I fell in love with the city, the country side, the air, the food, the people... I was just in awe every moment that I spent in the area. For now, the next stop is Auckland, where we will then kill time before leaving for Sydney. I hope to get a cab and make it to worship as soon as our plane lands in Auckland. Fingers crossed!