Tragedy in most people either expands the mind or contracts the heart. For those that are willing to grow it can expand both.
Downtown on a Saturday night
Wandered around Downtown tonight. The concept of space on the pavement and free flowing movement (even though Kiwis consider this buzzing) still hasn’t left me and maybe won’t for some time. At 9pm people mingle in day time clothes, casually enjoying the night. Buskers line Queen Street and one really good guitar player sends mellow chords into the warm air. Crowds clump together on the pavement in front of the Town Hall to get a better view of the light show being projected onto the building. It turns the exterior into a sandcastle, a Hansel and Gretel style sweet house, a rocket and Big Ben amongst others. It’s all in aid of the overhauling of NZ’s broadband industry (so Lindy told me the night before, her agency had been involved). The broadband is being brought up to speed and millions is being spent on it. The telecom company that won the contract were the underdog in the contest and this campaign is all about taking a second look and seeing something different. Paralleling this journey I am on I thought. As I stand and watch a group of Kiwi men barge through the crowd, shoving me out the way. One of them doesn’t just slap my bottom, but almost lifts me up from the grip he has on it. As crowd clearance methods go it’s both original and proprietarily aggressive.
It’s only when I leave Downtown on the last bus do things seem to be getting started. Now the night outfits are on. Kiwis come out late to party. Short dresses and high heels clatter in a drunken zig zag motion down the streets. Every few paces a group of drunken girls burst into song. Men cruise along in cars, leaning out the windows, calling out to any girl (who they call ‘bitches’), short skirted or otherwise. I sink wearily into my bus seat and vow to do clubbing another night.
The Kings of Leon Song
I swear I am being haunted by Kings of Leon. Or to be precise one song. Before I left England ‘Use Somebody’ was playing all the time on the radio. The days leading up to the split it had a knack of playing at emotive moments on NZ radio. On the day of the split the Man’s little cousin and I were on the beach and she rammed her mobile in my ear, playing me this song, knowing nothing of my now strong aversion to it. It was on the car radio again 30 minutes later. Standing now in the Skytower looking at pendants that the Man has dangling in his car somewhere a stereo bursts into life and plays the same damn song. Right, time to leave.