Friday, January 8, 2010

Hoboin' it up

This Christmas we flew into Wellington, chipper and eager to unite with the band of sisters and brothers assembling at my parents country home.

But not before we were met by one of my dearest friends, Kylie, who picked us up from the airport and escorted us to her home for a delicious breakfast. Kylie's husband had to leave us for work eventually, which left us with Kylie and her two gorgeous children. And after a while, it came time for us to leave too.

Kylie + 2 kids + Angela + Haki + Esky = too many people for Kylie's vehicle.

"No problem!" I cried, "We'll walk over to the train station - it's not far!"

Pickle 2:
  • Angela's suitcase (clothing and Christmas gifts)
  • + Haki's suitcase (clothing, toiletries for all of us, and the Jolly Jumper etc.)
  • + Esky's suitcase (clothing, nappies, bibs, baby food, everything required for a baby's week away)
  • + Angela's carry-on satchel (wallets, cellphones, chargers, toys for the flight, itineraries)
  • + Haki's carry-on back-pack (breakable gifts, The Moby, the camera)
  • + Esky's carry-on duffel bag (the usual nappy bag)
  • + Esky's carseat
  • + Esky (10kg of squishy goodness / lard)
  • - a buggy
  • =much difficulty getting to the train station in one trip.
Or, for the algebra-lovers amongst us, 6b + c + E = ?

Yes, all of that listing business was very defensive. I think I packed well! I only took one pair of shoes!

Either Haki or I noted it really wasn't difficult to carry all our stuff at the airport, what with the complimentary luggage trolleys 'n' all.

Kylie joked, "You could steal a trolley from New World!"

My eyes lit up.

And so I scuttled off, nabbed a trolley, wheeled it across the street and down the block, and back up the drive.

After we had loaded up, hugged our good-byes, and wheeled what looked like all we owned out the drive, up the block, and across the street...a human waiting at the train station informed us we had just missed the train out towards my parents' place. The next was 30 minutes away.

Hmmm. It was at this point that I decided I would call the olds' and find someone to come pick us up from where we were - since the drive was 30 minutes by car and we were going to need picked up anyway (10 minutes drive from the house) - same amount of waiting time, only we'd be straight in a car for home, and in the company of family sooner.

Time to wait for pick-up.

With our motherload trolley.

We could have made another trip up the strip just for scene-making's sake, but with the wind, and Kylie's kids no doubt needing their mother's 100% attention after us invading their home, we set up a temporary camp. In a parking lot.

Who cares what people think? Who says they're even thinking anything, anyway? After a few hobo jokes, we leaned back and tried to soak in some North Island rays.

It was then that a man with dreadlocks and a wide gait called out across the parking lot, "You guys need a ride somewhere?" Haki and I exchanged glances. I was grateful his sentence didn't add with, "like, to a half-way house?" We assessed his vehicle. "I've got a van!" he continued. Despite the appeal of joining Dreadsman and his brood in the seat-free back of his vehicle, we respectfully declined, explaining family was already on the way.

Good kiwi.

I watched Haki making efforts to settle in on the concrete. I looked at Esky on my lap. 30 minutes. I decided if I went and bought drinks from New World it would a) make the time pass more quickly b) transform the entire experience into a "fun treat" and, most importantly, c) legitimise our trolley usage.

With Esky on my hip, I made my way down the first aisle...and there eyed up the sparkling grape juice. It was on special. And it was Christmas...nothing says "fun treat" like the sparkling Mormon alternative, right kids? I toyed with the idea of getting it in a paper bag. I snickered to myself. Would Haki drink any? Would he be too embarrassed? More for me? Man, you're heavy, Esky. The drink's not chilled - it's not even that good warm.


I grabbed two other drinks, and returned to our urban turf.

And that is when I caught Haki using one of the bags as a pillow; lying horizontally. That's right, the man was attempting to nap on the sidewalk with a faithful trolley full of belongings at arm's length. I wished I'd bought the grape juice.

The shot (above) is what I got after he saw me approaching and scrambling to somehow hold Esky, our drinks, and get a photo on my cell. Here he has accepted I will be documenting this experience, so I might as well retrieve the camera from our bags and free up my hands.

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