Each time we travel, there is at least one instance where my intuition does its little niggle nudging to make me aware of something, but I just brush it aside in total ignorance. You would think that the two times I did just such a thing and was attacked twice in Santiago, Chile, a lesson would be learned. I have trust issues. What can I say and my intuition is right up there with all of the other trust issues. Fortunately, this time was not a major issue.
Hence, when we went to bed last night, as customary, I set the mobile phone as an alarm clock. Ron will sleep until the very last milliseconds before he absolutely needs to get out of bed. He has perfected the three minute shower to the point you can calibrate your egg timer by him. His usual last communication at night is “I don’t need to get up until ____” . This is my signal that I need to be up and ready to go before I wake him. Last night, I thought he said “I don’t need to get up until 6:30.” With that in mind, I set the clock for 6am. However, that little voice in my head kept trying to pass messages through the synapses, but there must have been too much traffic at the time with all of the “To Do” lists racing through my mind. The intuitive messages never cleared the stop sign.
As most mornings, I am up before the alarm. I was showered, dressed, had my bed stripped of linens and ready to get breakfast ready when I wake up Ron. I am fixing tea, sharing the kitchen with four Asian women who are already eating bowls of noodles that are permeating the air with a luscious aroma making me now despise the English muffin I had been craving only thirty minutes earlier. Breakfast was ready: two cups of tea made, two muffins toasted and buttered, but no Ron.
After traipsing down the long hallway grumbling under my breath about his sense of time, I found he was still wandering aimlessly in a room the size of a large closet. “Breakfast is ready.” I say with the best non-irritated tone I can muster at that hour of the morning. “What is the rush? We have an hour before we need to catch the bus.” he questions. Finally that repressed thought comes to the surface. “What time is the bus again? “ I ask. The bus is at 7:05am, it is now 6:57am. Yesterday when we timed the walk, it took fifteen minutes to get to where the bus will pick us up. Being conscientious of hostel rules, plus having this complex about being the best boy in the world, I cannot leave our teacups unwashed. I dump the tea, toss the bags, wash the cups, dry them and have them arranged neatly on the shelf. I accomplish the same with the muffin plates and the butter knife.
Ron has already left me behind, which is fine. He is taller, but I am a faster walker, so I catch up and overtake him within minutes of my rushing out the hostel door. Thankfully, I had taken all of our linens down earlier and put them in the proper receptacle or I would have had a day long anxiety attacks over being a bad commune-ist.
If you remember my bout with the glacier, I can now confirm that it is not icy conditions that make me winded and wheezy. Flat, warm, dry land is just as unsatisfactory in stressful conditions. As I am racing to the bus stop, which happens to be another hostel, I am starting to resemble the offspring of the Pillsbury Doughboy and Huff’ N Puff the dragon. The Amazing Race has nothing on me; I am halfway to the bus stop when I see the bus pull around the corner. There are still 3 blocks to go, but the bus has the advantage over me. I weigh the options. I could say screw the bus and we stay another night, but then the domino effect would come into play. We would then miss our bus tomorrow. Option 2 – jump in front of the bus to slow it down. The final option – give the driver some signal that we should be on that bus, so wait for us. We will be there once I am fully resuscitated again. By divine intervention, the Asian women did what I could not manage. They stopped the bus. The driver let us on. It turned out it was not their bus, so they had to get off.
We made it back to Queenstown, moved to the YHA Central, because our bus leaves early tomorrow; this is right downtown, where the other YHA is not. Check-in is not until 2:30, but our suitcases are still locked away at the Lakefront property. After getting some breakfast, we dropped off what we felt comfortable leaving in long term storage at our new place and went to rescue our bags from the old one. Once we were downtown, we locked them up in storage too. That is where they will live until we leave for the bus.
There is so much beauty here in Queenstown; it is a thrill to be back. Good, now what do we do? Shop, we will shop for the things we did not get before. Sheep puppets are on the list for our friend’s children. Two sizes are perfect for the two small sized children, but both are under five years old. The same store and many others sell some rather queer products that even some of our bus drivers have mentioned as being best sellers here and in the Asian market. Two that I find particularly attention grabbing are the Green Lip mussels and sheep placenta. Reportedly, the Green Lip mussels restores joint tissue and is used for arthritis. Sheep placenta comes in several forms to fight aging. Choices are creams and capsules, Which is least tempting, to smear placenta on your face or to ingest it in capsules? In the short time we are in the store looking a the puppets, a drove of Asian pile into the store and plunk down the sheep placenta by the shrink wrapped 6 packs.
I looked at a bottle of sheep placenta capsules. The label states two pearls a day will meet your daily recommended requirements for sheep placenta, but possible side effects could be: wanting to graze, rather than eat full meals, turning sheepishly shy, continuing to believe the grass is greener in other pastures, your hair my need shearing more frequently, but if you feel baaaaad in anyway, stop taking them regardless of how young you may look. One thing is for sure, this is one factory tour I don’t mind missing out on. Just imagine, a slew of sheep lined up all giving birth at the same time, while they are collecting… well you get the idea. We are considering getting into the sheep ranching business after we heard it can take years off of your looks.