Saturday, February 5, 2011

FLASHBACK: The Chronicles of Mordor: Part III

NOTE: I killed my MySpace account today. But I didn't want to lose one of my proudest accomplishments ... The Chronicles of Mordor. They led to this blog and I think they're pretty good. I did not want to lose them. So I'm republishing them here, with slight editing.

Originally published July 15, 2008

Previously on the Chronicles of Mordor …

I forgot to tell all y'all about my discovery of the dumbest sport known to man. It's called Netball and it's the bastard child of basketball. It's all female and the rim has no backboard. No one's allowed to dribble and once the ball goes into the post (or whatever it's called in the decrepit universe of netball) the defender can't defend. Yup, no defense allowed, so whoever has the shot gets to measure the shot for a while and then shoot, followed by polite applause. It's like throwing the ball down to Garnett and Pau Gasol has to back off and not play defense. Wait, that's how the Lakers played in Game 6. Score!

Here begins the journey within the journey where the three of us loaded into Monica's car destined for the beautiful sights that the South Island can provide. First, we had to stop at Starbucks. Now Zach might be able to eat a scone, work the iPod and drink a coffee while driving, but he can't read the paper as well, so I held his coffee for him. Of course at the slightest bump it splashed all over my pants, the pair I wore when I took the tumble near Tunnel Beach. While I tried to clean the stains off, someone mentioned the word passport.

Uh oh.

Before this moment of realization, I knew I had lost a book. But it was just a book. Well, it used to be just a book. In the Auckland airport, where I walked through checkpoint after checkpoint, I had my passport sticking outside my book for convenience. Once I finally landed in Dunedin, I went into a bathroom, put the book down and never picked it up. "Who puts their passport in a book?" Monica asked in disgust. This guy!

We took a slight detour to the airport, which was on the way to Te Anau. I felt sick the entire way. How could I misplace that? How on earth could I be so stupid? Thankfully, the airport police had the book and passport stored away in a safe place, even with my bookmark in place, to Zach's amusement. In Boston, I always busted his chops about losing his Husky Card, his wallet, his credit cards, his phone, or his keys. Karma can be a fickle beast.

Note: My cell phone died during this trip so I could not retrieve any messages until I got a new one, which was just last week. One of the many messages I had missed was a call from the airport telling me they had my passport. That would have been nice to know at the time.

Having been bailed out by those nice New Zealand folk, we began our adventure, driving past 3.5 million sheep (I counted) until we reached Te Anau, quiet little place close to Milford Sound. We checked in to our hostel, where I stared lustily at the computers since it had been a week since I last used the internet and not once since the Celtics trounced the Lakers to win the title. I made a note to return to those machines later.

Then we went to a park where we did our best to fit in … by playing catch with a baseball. Imagine, for a second, if you're walking innocently down an American street and you see people playing cricket. That's what it must have been like for the locals to see us. I brought out The Talon (yeah, I named my glove. Wanna fight about it?) and I warmed up the ol' cannon. Now, Zach might tell you Monica can throw faster and he might be right, but I have a better splitter. I brought that out later as Zach and I tossed some innings. He had his curve working and I had my David Bowie (Ch...Ch...Change up) working. My elbow would be killing me later that night and the next day, but damn it, it was still fun.

Te Anau, while a nice place, shuts down at 8 p.m. I would soon find out that's the norm in New Zealand. We found one of the two or three places open that night, a little Italian place. We sat there a long time, running through a litany of Northeastern stories that Zach had already shared with the entire Mariposa/Dunedin populations. I'm known as the "not like this" guy in each city, all my other grand achievements unfortunately thrown by the wayside.

The next morning, Commander Hosseini steered us to what has been called the top tourist attraction in the world – Milford Sound. Once you see it, you can understand why it earns such praise. The clouds were out in full force that day, which made for a spooky atmosphere. It reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the mountains popping out of the waters and right into a big swath of gray clouds. Very much like a fantasy land. Mordor, perhaps.

This place is usually jam-packed with tourists, especially in the summer months. On that day, however, it was the three of us and maybe seven others on a boat that sailed out into the water, between the mountains and right next to a few waterfalls. Words won't do the place justice. Check my pictures! And to see what it looks like during the warm months, you can find a million photos on Google. All I can say about it is this: I can't imagine another place like it in the world.

I've gone on long enough so this entry must come to a close. The networks want me to add some sex appeal and violence, so I'll make a few more mentions of Zach's girl-magnet All-Blacks scarf and perhaps I'll kill off a character or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment