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Fragments of a trip 14-October-2000 Saturday (1Wk New Zealand)

The insides of all offices look the same don't they? I mean what makes one big corporate office different from the next? The specially branded motivational posters? Perhaps it is the people. But how would I know I'm here for a second week and I know a handful of names. The work is going well I'm sort of cruising until I realise I have run out of cold and flu tablets. I start to wonder if I am becoming an addict, 2 weeks straight popping these things every morning and every afternoon. This is a bad thing. I resolve to go the next day without any... that day is a disaster.


I'm looking up at the beads of rain in this atrium, they form perfect pearl like globes on the sloped glass ceiling. They float up there, above my head until they coalesce, drawn together by something that seems more magical than surface tension. Perhaps it is the music from the lonely saxophonist, his minidisc player providing the backup, candles setting the mood. I'm mulling over a beer, here in this strange city. Bob, the guy I'm working for has gone silent and I'm left to those sorts of thoughts that gather around you like a ragged grey cloak. I wonder why she never got back in touch with me.


The moonlight beams in across the bay, Friday the 13th full moon, and I'm sitting in a posh restaurant surrounded by happy faces. Quaffing a rich deep Pinot Noir, nibbling at my smoked eel on a bed of potato and something or other salad. I follow this up with a rare steak laid across a cashew and blue cheese butter. The red current glaze is a dream.

The conversation turns nasty, it's like that time I found myself stuck in a Christian intervention, people are hassling me, asking me questions, drilling to my core, this sort of thing is clearly a violation of human rights. However, this time rather than asking me to embrace God they are asking me to move to New Zealand. I consider it for about 30 seconds, which surprises me somewhat, but tonight, the food, the view, the weather, a mystical conjunction of visual glamour and tastes has made me a little suggestible.


I'm looking down at the waves, we are at that height when they all seem to be static, a crisscrossed pattern of lines hanging off the coast. I spot a small fishing vessel and lift my hand to wave, it is an insanity I know but sometimes you do things just to make yourself happy. The waves soon convert into a pattern of street and buildings. I see the city sprawl outside, neat orderly rows of houses, green trees, black lanes. Out a bit further I can see the office edifices, vertical tombs for the middle class. I muse to myself that all office buildings look the same from the outside it makes me chuckle. Up here, floating like some scruffy unwashed bird in the early morning air I sense the beauty of the city, I see places I know, there is Damo's house, Chatswood, a spike of tall buildings like a seismic anomaly on the flat suburbs around it, the bridge. It's all so beautiful in the small.

As we drop lower the detail starts to come out, the city is less pretty at eye level. Perhaps it is just my tired eye overwhelmed by the etchings of civilisation on the landscape.