January 27th 1983

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The back route down to Paihia

A small milestone today – probably.  Quite an easy day’s work, since I was told that we were swapping another 2 pallets worth of beer.  Which meant lugging out another 120 crates onto pallets, ready to be picked up by the supplier.  And then, of course, I had to carry down the beers we were given in exchange.  Tho’ unfortunately I was given some help this time, so it didn’t take too long.  And then Gordon collared me to give me the not totally unexpected news that today would be my last day, because they were cutting down on staff, + in any case I’d only been taken on for a couple of days… I made it easy on him, sympathising, agreeing, etc.  Various other members of the staff have been given the push in the past few days, + even Joe was cut down to just 3 days a week, so obviously I was in a particularly vulnerable position, being foreign, + with no particular skills to offer, especially since Robert is now about.  I didn’t feel too upset about it – in some ways it’s almost a relief, but it’s more that the timing is a bit off, as we reckon to be leaving around Feb 13th.  Ah well.  There were a couple of jobs to do to fill out the afternoon, + that was it.

Oh yes, during the morning a face from the past had re-appeared – Kent, a drunken Kiwi we’d met on Tahiti.  I was lugging crates when all of a sudden he appeared.  He was, it seemed, staying at Twin Pines.  Better still, he offered to take us out this evening in his car, arranging to meet us at about 4 or 5.  Val brought some clean clothes up for me to change into, + I had a quick shower, but still Kent didn’t show.  Tom reminded me at this time that it was the tradition in NZ for a person who is leaving a job to “shout” (or treat) drinks for all.  A bit strong that, but while in Rome, I suppose…  So, since Kent still hadn’t turned up, Val + I went into the pub + had a drink or 2.  We were with Tom + Robert, + started playing the matches on the bottle game, the one Rob had shown  us in Canada, which livened the proceedings a little, as well as getting the booze flowing down several throats.  After a while we gave up on Kent (+ quite right too, as the  bugger never did show) + had a meal – very nice – + then moved over to join some acquaintances of Tom’s in the corner.  And tho’ we didn’t really know anybody very well, still had a good time.  More games, much booze, some crazy events (such as Robert + one of the girls tumbling out of the window.)  Val felt a  bit left out of things, I think – she misses friends at home, + in any case isn’t into drinking at the moment.

Come closing time, I was pretty sozzled, + apart from picking Gordon up + giving him a hug, was ready to crash.  Which I did – heading back to Robert’s caravan for a lie-down, + then going home.  Val joined me later, after having coffee (she says) with Tom.  A big pity I went so fast really, since we heard the next day that it had gone on until the very small hours, with Brian, the bar manager, shouting champagne, since it was his birthday, as well as indulging his particular hobby – ripping girls’ knickers off.  He’s a nice bloke really – I wish we’d been in on the fun.  But we weren’t.

Don’t know what I can say about Brian and his antics, all the more so since I expressed a desire to be in ion “the fun” – hmm. Different times, different side of the world and all that. But maybe things have changed a little for the better, in that that sort of behaviour would more likely find one locked upo on a sexual assault charge nowadays… bjut should then, of course.

Does appear that my tenuous tenure at Twin Pines is finally creeping towards an end; all the better if that means we are on our way again. But the first mention of a date, and that just a couple of weeks or so away.

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