Not the Final Report

Posted: Dec 24, 2003 2:50:10 PM

Hi, this is not the final report; I am going to be rather busy over the next few days as I am moving house, but I will have the rest of Kyoto / Osaka / Nara / Kobe - plus a general summary of the whole trip and what I thought of it - up as soon as I can find a few minutes in front of the keyboard.

Hmmm... it may take more than a few minutes.

Anyway, it's nearly 3am Christmas morning here in New Zealand, so I thought I'd send season's greetings to all you poor people stuck in inferior time-zones, and also mention a few other items of importance.

One of the people I stayed with, and someone who has offered many amusing comments here at the website, got married on the 20th of December. Yes, Tamsyn, my friend in Oxford, is now one of the band-brigade. You can read all about it at the website her now-husband has set up to celebrate the occasion: (and no complaining about the Flash intro!). Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

My sister Siska's boyfriend Tim celebrated his 21st birthday on the 1st of December, and although I did actually remember it on the day (it being written in my personal journal) I consistently forgot to send my congratulations. If needs be, I can blame the time-zones for this failure! Felicitations to our buddy Tim!

For everyone else, I hope you have a great Christmas (or other holiday of your choice if you are not that denomination), and an excellent New Year (if you are not Chinese or still using the Julian calendar). Enjoy yourself, wherever and whoever you are.


Maladroit   Dec 25, 2003 5:11:18 AM

Merry Christmas Damon!

Charlotte   Dec 25, 2003 10:07:44 AM

Merry Christmas from America, er, I mean Guam! Which is America with a lot of Japanese people. It's been a bit of a giggle being in cars that drive on the opposite of the road and people speaking American accents instead of Japanese.

Today we bought Dr Pepper, Fritolays, Reese's Cups and a sandwich for lunch and just sat on the beach and tonight we are having Christmas dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. *laughs* The strangest Christmas food I've ever had, I think.

Sahi   Dec 25, 2003 3:39:01 PM

Hohoho! And a merry Christmas to all your readers and yourself, Damon!

Aan`allein   Dec 26, 2003 12:53:24 AM

*scurries in, quickly waves to all, promises to read this latest report as soon as he finds himself real _decent_ internet access again and once more calls out for help (okay, so it wasn't much of a report, but I wrote all this before I tossed in the coin)*

Internet access here in Coromandel town sucks bigtime, and I'm not going to risk going to any site where I'd have to log in, as I estimate chances of a keylogger on this compu here to be pretty high (and thus I don't have email access), but...

Could someone here please give Tiny some advance warning (or maybe he even reads this place himself - that'd be even better) that I'll be going to Mount Manganui from sunday the 28th until whatever-day-that'll-be the 2nd of January and am thus up for meeting him during that time? Maybe he could email me a phone number to contact him on, or already choose some place/time to meet him (from the 29th onwards, so that I have some time to locate an internet cafe over there to actually read said email), or something... Just let him know I'll be coming over in any case. Thanks. :)

*grumbles over Whitianga being completely full during New Year's (even though he called a week in advance) and thus having to rearrange his plans*

Also, since I'm here anyway - After Mt Manganui my current plans are to head to Gisborn, and then on to Wellington (which harbors the largest concentration of Kiwis currently in NZ, right?) - Making some tentative plans for a bigger meet to happen over there somewhere between the 7th and the 27th of January would be good (I'll narrow down those dates as soon as I can - and if it turns out that there'll be only one or two dates that (most) everyone could actually make it, then I'll adjust my plans to that).

Ooh, and merry christmas to all-and-sunder!

Damon   Dec 27, 2003 3:59:45 AM

Hey Aan - yeah, hopefully he reads this at some point, seeing as I still don't have his e-mail address (and it's his birthday on the 28th, so be sure to wish him a happy one if/when you see him!). Hope your NZ Christmas was a good one!

Tiny   Dec 27, 2003 6:51:54 AM

It's all under control ... I think. I may have difficulty finding Aan among the hordes of partying teenagers at the Mount. We'll see :)

Damon   Dec 27, 2003 10:00:06 PM

Good luck, and happy birthday!

For everyone else: I'm moving house properly today, but things will take a while to tidy up and put in order before I can dedicate the time necessary to writing up Osaka and the general summary. Probably best to wait also, because it's still holiday season now and everyone has their own stuff to worry about!

Aan`allein   Dec 28, 2003 4:59:54 AM

I plan to completely avoid the partying actually, though I might want to do a sunrise from the Mount on the 1st.
(Didn't plan on being here at all until after New Year's due to your warning - but there wasn't a bed left to be booked in Whitianga.) :/

Anyhoo, I'll give you a call later today or tomorrow.

Damon: g'luck with moving house, and apologies for abusing your place for communication like this. :)

Binky   Dec 29, 2003 2:38:25 AM

Aan - g'luck for avoiding the partying at the Mount. I'm betting what you'll mostly see at sunrise there is broken glass and other detritus from mass teenage revelry.

Tiny   Dec 29, 2003 8:49:04 AM

Or if this weather keeps up, you'll be seeing a lot of rain and fog :)

Tamsyn   Dec 30, 2003 2:29:01 PM

Yup, all married. :)

I actually got homesick the other night. We went out to dinner in my favourite restaurant - a little Thai place in a panelled Tudor building - and saw a couple of New Zealanders there. They were easily spotted by a) large greenstone pendants, b) completely inadequate clothing for the Oxford winter, and c) their accents, which could be heard in Banbury.

We were bored so we said hello, and it turned out that one of them was the Labour MP for Christchurch. In fact, we'd used his model for the decriminalisation of prostitution in our last NZ university debate. He'd just got it passed as law, which he seemed rather pleased about, and he was now taking a deserved break in Europe with his good-looking boyfriend.

Sometimes I forget how gloriously politically liberal NZ is. Sigh.

Damon   Dec 30, 2003 7:20:35 PM

Congrats once more *grin*

And I don't know what you mean about the liberal political climate of NZ, what with Tim Barnett (I'm guessing that's the guy you met?), and our Rastafarian MP, and our transsexual MP...

Oh, um, yeah.

It's truly amazing to think that in some countries (*cough*America*cough*) even the thought of a female leader seems unlikely.

Damon   Jan 1, 2004 10:42:58 PM

Aan, you *are* planning to drop in to Palmerston North to say hi, aren't you? I have a couch now, and you are quite welcome to crash on it if you want.

lian   Jan 2, 2004 12:26:55 AM

Ah, that would be so glorious if now that you've paid a visit to the world, it's now our turn and we visited ones should eventually all show up on your doorstep? *g*

In other words, gracious new year! I'm reading too much Jane Austen lately, thinking that Aan will 'wait on you, hopefully'.
(I liked Darcy better when he was an unfeeling, ill-mannered klotz, but now he's turned all mushy like his deary friend Bingley. Sigh.)

Alas. I hope the housemoving went smoothly? If you have a couch to spare, everything should be well :)

Aan`allein   Jan 2, 2004 2:01:57 AM

Palmerston North... uhm... *grabs his LP*
Dammit dude, whatcha doing over there? Seeing as how your itinerary had you ending up in Wellington, I assumed that's where you lived. (Though I now do recall Tiny saying something about this...)

uhm... *grabs his Intercity timetable* Phew - that works out, it's on the way from Gisborne to Wellington. Ok, I'll be there on the... uhm, 4th plus five nights, makes... the 9th. Which should be a Friday. Arriving at 16:00 - are you anywhere _near_ the InterCity stop?
Would this work at all for you? Can I count on the couch so I don't need to go and call hostels?

And Binky and other Wellingtonners who might be here, we need to arrange things for a meet not too long after that. And with "we", I mean _you_ (seeing as how I'm hardly ever online). :D Though I intend to hang around in Wellington for at least a week (if not more) before I hop over to the South Island, so not that much of a rush yet...

Aan   Jan 2, 2004 2:02:42 AM

Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone! :)

Damon   Jan 2, 2004 5:35:36 AM

Sorry, there's a whole thing where Palmy doesn't have a good international airport. The Intercity Stop is near to the centre of town; my place is perhaps a half hour walk from there? I don't have a car, but I can always help carry the pack, as I'm used to it at this stage! The couch is open, not only to you but also to any of my other international friends who manage to get here (I think Lian could bounce this far...).

Although I should warn you that Palmy is not the tourist centre of the country. Or even the region. *wince*

Also, I believe that Binky and John are the only people in Wellington to meet. Claudia is in one of the Hutt cities, if I recall correctly. Depending on whether I find a job or not I can be around Wellington as well; I could even catch the same bus down as you!

Just curious, did you manage to find Tiny? Have you seen RotK yet?

Tiny   Jan 2, 2004 10:15:17 AM

Yes, we caught up on the 30th.

We found some local scenery to admire, I learned how wrong our pizza and icecream are, and Aan discovered the taste of L&P. And how sad our ADSL is while downloading his 1600+ emails at my house.

And I have a list of new books to go shopping for...

Rimmers   Jan 2, 2004 12:31:48 PM

happy new year to all!

the final report will take a while, i can imagine, to sort out all the imaginations...

RotK was good. i cannot decide which part was best.

*smarch fidget*

Aan`allein   Jan 3, 2004 7:45:21 AM

damon: sent you an email with details 'n stuff at travel@
Did indeed meet up with Tiny, and am currently hanging out with him again. I've only seen RotK twice so far, with friends from another message board in Auckland. (Definitely am going to need to add a few more viewings to that number.) :)

Binky   Jan 4, 2004 1:48:57 AM

I was up in Palmy yesterday, and kept an eye out for random Damons, but didn't see any. I didn't have the leisure to make a formal appointment, however, as my time was either spent accompanying my boyfriend's family (including numerous small cousins who quote Gollum whenever possible) around Pak'n'slave or the Warehouse, or up at their farm 20 mins out of town (but with a lovely little river nearby).

So if you're looking for tourist spots to enjoy, a dip in a rural NZ river is about as kiwi as it gets - just head up Kahuterawa Rd (near the junction for highway 57) until you see the river. Car needed for this adventure. And tolerance for eels.

Binky   Jan 5, 2004 5:37:48 AM

In case people haven't heard elsewhere, this is the "Shadowmarch is reborn" notification fairy making her visit.

Maladroit   Jan 8, 2004 5:35:01 PM

Somebody shake the bed and wake that procrastinating fellow up!! (busy holidays/family time me arse)

Damon   Jan 8, 2004 9:05:38 PM

I'm getting there! There are numerous reasons why this last report is taking so long, and procrastination is just the best of them.

Should have a few surprises for you Smarchers, though...

Captain Roberto T. Fruitbat   Jan 9, 2004 4:41:23 PM

Will there be pictures? I want pictures! Especially the one of you posing with a gun.

lian   Jan 10, 2004 8:54:39 PM

This is an intolerably impertinent order to *not* take your time with this one! *fidgets*
And I'm really missing you over there at S' I'm no the only one! Do come over, will you?

fangler   Jan 12, 2004 11:02:22 PM

what she said. come back to us, damon!

strangeshe   Jan 14, 2004 12:48:33 AM

We misses you, we does ;)

Damon   Jan 16, 2004 10:55:30 AM

Quit yer complaining! I'm writing the final report right now - if I can manage to get it done it should be online in another hour or so.

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