New Zealand Men Wear the Most Ridiculous Shorts

It’s the tail-end of a raging storm and I have been completely flattened by New Zealand New Year’s. I’ve spent nearly every night for the past two weeks behind a bar until the wee hours of the morning. I haven’t had the chance to see how busy other evening joints are, but we are absolutely slammed. After waitressing in the grill for five hours, I bartend for five more. The night before New Year’s, I sold over $3,000 in drinks, easily. I’m one of seven bartenders.

Christmas was fine. We both worked the days on either side of the holiday. Pat and I sort of opted out to avoid getting too homesick. We didn’t get each other gifts, but we did share a bottle of wine and some nice cheese on the shore of the lake!

Johnny the deer-hunting helicopter pilot, whom I adore, in the classic kiwi male get up - rugby shirt, rugby shorts (stubbies), and "jandals" (when worn by men, flip flops are ONLY called jandals).

It’s late spring here, and the local cherries can be had for $3 a pound in certain secret places. I’ve been gorging myself sick, but I love it and can’t stop. It rained so hard and so long here that the lake — over 30 miles long — rose ten feet. TEN FEET. We watched as the floating docks reached their limits and then slowly disappeared. Today the top six inches of the posts are finally peeking out of the water. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been for a swim yet. After our first two weeks of unseasonably insanely warm weather up in Makarora, the next two weeks were chilly with constant gale force winds and rain. The forecast says a happy medium should be returning. Maybe that’s my New Year’s resolution. Swim in the lake at least once a week.

I’m busting out twelve hours tonight for New Year’s, so I’m off for a nap. Since New Zealand is one of the first countries to ring in midnight, let me preemptively welcome you to 2011!

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