I had a 5 p.m. shift at work on Thursday, so I decided to drive to Alexandra to file the paperwork for my Manager’s certificate. In New Zealand, all establishments selling alcohol must have a person with their certificate present at all times during operating hours. At Nugget Point Queenstown Hotel, where I work, we have zero staff members with their ticket. So I was off on my way to Alexandra, a mere 70 minute drive from Queenstown.
The low lying fog is really common in and amongst the mountains of Queenstown and the region of Otago. Otago is basically like the province Queenstown and Alexandra are in. Kiwis call ’em regions, we call ’em provinces. Same shit, different country.
I had been in contact with the Central Otago District Council about getting my certificate. E-mails went back and forth and I decided a good time for me to make it in to apply, formally, in person. I was to speak to their head honcho, Ray, upon arrival. That way, he could verify all my documents were correct and in good order before the process began.
After the documents are processed, I would have an interview with the Council to confirm that I indeed know what the liquor laws entail, and to ensure I am a person of good character and so on and so forth.
I made it to Alexandra by 12 noon on the dot, as I had promised. I walked into the office, asked for Ray, and went into his office. He looked over my application and was impressed with all my personal and employment references. He then looked puzzled, and asked me where I will be employed. I said, “At Nugget Point in Queenstown.” He asked me where I lived, I said, “Right across the street from Nugget Point, in Queenstown.” He then continued to laugh in my face, and ask me why I am in Alexandra? I told him it was because I looked online, and it said I need to apply to the Central Otago District Council – being that I am working/living in Otago. He continued in laughter, as he explained to me that Queenstown is a separate district – called “Queenstown Lakes District” which is separate from the district of “Central Otago.” All of this instantly made sense to me, because even I thought it was retarded that I had to drive an hour to some little shit town to get my Queenstown license when Queenstown is the most popular place in all of Otago – especially when it comes to food and beverage establishments.
I began to understand why Ray was laughing at me, and I began to laugh a little myself. I was telling Ray about how beautiful the drive was, passing through the valleys with low visibility and the sun attempting to course through the thick walls of fog. It was a brilliant sight for the entire hour and 10 minute drive – I enjoyed every second of it.
I was embarrassed for about three seconds when Ray chuckled in my face, but then I realised that I had a wicked awesome time driving to Alexandra. It was a fun little solo road trip with great tunes, curvy roads, and great sights. The ominous fog made the whole thing really peaceful.
When I was leaving Alexandra, I went to Subway. I got a footlong three pepper chicken on whole wheat. Three pepper chicken doesn’t exist back in Canada, so it was part of my unique experience. Anyways, back to the story…
I didn’t have to be at work for four hours, so I decided to take my time on the way back, and catch some photos of the eery experience ahead of me.
As I drove back to Queenstown, it became inconvenient to stop the car, unplug my phone, find a good spot, take a few photos, get back in, plug in my phone and head off to the next would-be lookout photo-spot. I don’t usually take photos, but I wanted to capture my little roadie for Jessica while she worked.
This little trip gave me a lot of time to think, which seemed like it had been forever since I was privileged with this much free time. Since we moved to Queenstown three weeks ago, we’ve been so focused on finding a place to live, I got a job then quit it, I got a new job, Jess got a job, I started going to the gym again, and we have been trying out the Queenstown attractions, most notable being skydiving. I used to cherish the time spent driving across Calgary to school or work, and this felt like I had that time once again.
The best little experiences, are the unexpected ones. I thought this trip would be boring, and inconvenient. I was wrong, it was embarrassing and inconvenient, but it was also very pleasurable and very needed.
Going out of town is always great – little trips around Alberta were always sweet with Ryan and the traveling gunshow. That basically meant we would drive out of town and get wasted elsewhere, but nonetheless, any road trip is a good road trip. It’s good to get away from the norm, even if for a short time.
All I know is, I cannot wait for another road trip. Staying in one place is great for reasons like feeling like home and feeling settled, but the excitement of new destinations can never be topped.
Until next time, Kusz out!