Thursday, July 26, 2012

Decidedly Kiwi

So I've had some interesting things happen the past couple days.  We'll start with my attending the Mid-Winter Christmas Festival.  It was Saturday night and I had gotten off of work early, which was good as I totally forgot clothes for the evening.  I was going to get picked up by Tim and Div for some Christmas carols and small town fun.  I decided to pick up my rain jacket and my bike lock and raced across town to meet up with them.  It was raining and the festival was very close to where I bought my bike from, so I know all about the hill to the hospital.

The festival was surprisingly packed given the weather.  I was lucky that I was the only biker so I got the lone parking spot right by the entrance.  Tim and Div met me at the door.  I'm assuming it is because I was easy to spot with my hi-viz jacket.  We were greeted by the sound of Christmas Carols and swirling snow flakes.  They had set up a snow machine to liven up the atmosphere, but I didn't find it very amusing to see snow even though its Winter.  We wondered around looking at the various crafts and goods before I decided to snack on a caramel crepe topped with powdered sugar.  There were vendors selling Christmas ornaments, roasted chestnuts, custom t-shirts, wood fire pizza, cupcakes, popcorn, and even BBQ!  My next stop was for a cookies and cream cupcake.  It was pretty interesting as there was a small oreo like cookie on top that was rolled in granulated sugar.  Then a very sugary frosting and an oreo hidden on the bottom.  I was debating the main course as there was a mobile wood fire pizza oven and it smelled amazing and then there was the BBQ smoker I see riding around town from time to time.  It smelled nice and smokey.  I decided to get both a pork and beef sandwich.  The pork was topped with apple sauce and the beef was topped with a hot sauce.  I wont really review the sandwiches as I was really expecting something else and didn't receive it.  I might just give up my BBQ hunt while I'm abroad.  We ran into Faye and Elaine, who I work with, at the festival and its a good thing.  When we were leaving the I realized that I had forgotten my bike lock key at home.  That morning I had gone out for a run and took only my house keys.  I quickly ran after the girls to ask for a lift home, which was a pain as I was in my cycling shoes.  They were awesome and gave me a ride home and then dropped me back off at my bike.  I grabbed my rain pants when I was at home as it was pissing out.

The next morning I'm riding in the rain into work along the 80 kph highway when I hit some glass.  I heard it crunch, but couldn't see it on the ground because of the rain.  It was a loud whoosh as all the air left my front tire.  I road another 5m until there was a side walk.  I pulled off and texted work saying I might be a little late as I had a flat.  I swapped out my tube and pumped up tire just enough not to hit my rim.  I really hate small pocket/frame pumps as they take forever to get your tire remotely close to full.  I did get to work about 5 minutes before 10.  Work was interesting as I got to talking to a guy who lives here permanently but is from California.  We were both joking around about central heating and a couple of other things that the Kiwis should invest in.  I also chatted up a couple that were going to the US and Canada for their sons 30th birthday.  We were talking about traveling down the Pacific Coast and that it is possible to do it in 24 hrs if you pushed it and did not sight seeing.  The couple did something unexpected and offered to have me over for lunch that evening.  I found it kinda weird that a stranger would invite a shop worker to their house after talking to them for about 20 minutes.  Since I had nothing going on, I took them up on their offer.  They were also kind enough to pick me up as their house is over in Welcome Bay which is a good 40 minute ride from my place and with the rain and not knowing where they live, it would have taken me much longer.  I did inform Beth of what I doing as well as my co-workers.  My co-workers said that was decidedly Kiwi to offer strangers over for a meal.

I was picked up by Emma and Wayne, the daughter and son-in-law, of Dave and Avril who I had met at macpac.  I was treated to a nice meal of chicken and beef curry, rice, steamed carrots, and pickled beets.  After dinner, we played cards and talked.  I learned a new game called "Nervous" and another that I don't recall the name of.  We played for a couple hours and then had a dessert of apple and ginger crumble.  Around 10 at night, I was driven home and went to promptly to bed.  The next morning, I woke up to head to my data gig only to find that I had a flat tire in the rear.  I waited until after work to fix it.  It wasn't so much as a flat as the glue around the stem had dissolved and the stem had fallen off.  So I spent the evening patching all the tubes I've popped since I bought this bike.  There were 4 of them.  I also cleaned my bike as its been raining pretty good for the past several days and my chain was starting to hate me.  I've gone and ordered a couple items from ground effect.  I've got a pair of short and 3/4 length rain pants.  My rain pants that I have now have proven to kinda suck.  They are also very long and I have to roll the legs up so I don't walk on or pull the leg through the chain.  I'll be rocking what I call man-pris here shortly!

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