18May,14

relax – it’s australia

INTERIOR – INTERROGATION ROOM AT CHRISTCHURCH AIRPORT – DAY – OR NIGHT (can’t remember)

Four good-looking lads from Germany were kept for three hours of questioning by a New Zealand customs officer. Let’s call him Oliver. Though pretty fucked up by sleepless nights in Bangkok and at Sydney airport, our guys managed to convince Oliver of their noble intentions. After also convincing the narcotics officer that even if they may have looked like, they were not smuggling any banned substances, the monkeys were finally granted access to the country.

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So much for the introduction to a world tour chapter studded with lights and also shadows.

The first three days in Christchurch are easy to describe:

Rain. Hangover. Jailhouse… our hostel for the first night – the name speaks for itself.  ‘I want to go back to Bali!!!’

But after getting a few things organized, a lot of sleeping and shaking off the occasional overweight teenager begging for food at Burger King, we managed to come back to old strength. The remaining question was: will it be enough to struggle with the adversities that were expecting us here? The Asian mantra always seemed to be ‘can’ and in New Zealand we were confronted with a whole lot of ‘cannots’. Anyways, after having practiced our songs with Cameron, our drummer for the New Zealand section, and the successful setup of a few shows in the Kiwi country, we went south. Our destination: Cromwell, literally in the middle of nowhere. On the way to this vine-town in a truly desert-like part of New Zealand, we saw a lot of sheep, opossums (all of them roadkills) and even a few hobbits. Too bad we didn’t take any pictures of those guys. But here are some sheep.

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In Cromwell we met Matze, a friend from Stuttgart, and took a break to relax our lazy bones. At this point we thought that we had upcoming gigs in Dunedin and Wanaka. But first we went to the adventurer city a.k.a ‘the backpacker hell’ Queenstown to have a decent party night. Which we definitely had.

Sadly the gigs in Dunedin and Wanaka didn’t work out due to technical difficulties at the venues, which we figured is simple to explain: The music venues in New Zealand don’t have their own stage equipment, so they rely on the bands bringing or renting amps and stuff, which we obviously had not brought from Germany. Plus some of the people we got in touch with were not really reliable or even responsive after they had made promises. But despite of that it was definitely a new situation for us to deal with as we were quite spoiled by the ‘can’ mentality of Asia.

However we told ourselves ‘Relax – it’s Australia’ and did what every tourist does on the southern island: exploring the beautiful countryside. So we went hiking around Wanaka Lake where we spent a few nights at a policeman’s house. He was kind of a hardliner with straightforward ways of handling guests at his house. “No party, no noise, no dodgy downloads o.O, eviction without warning!” But he was a fair and actually a really nice guy.

Then we headed towards Franz Josef and the eponymous glacier along a once more stunning countryside along the west coast. It felt like crossing the coastline of Ireland, the jungle of Indonesia and the Rocky Mountains within a few hours.

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The two days in Franz Josef were absolutely great. Quad biking, hiking, hot tubbing, singing with the backpackers (see the video here!!) and a helicopter hike to the top of the glacier – these are only a few highlights we can report from those intense days. It was a lot of fun for us! Special thanks to Julia, another friend from home, who works as an adventure guide over there and made this all possible and affordable for us. Yeah, you gotta have friends around the globe.

The next day we found ourselves back in Christchurch. Show time!

Sunday’s show at the Dux Live was fun but definitely would have deserved a bigger audience. However, we were really stoked about Cameron really rockin’ our songs after only one rehearsal. Later some of the people attending the show joined us for the after show party at our place, which turned out to be a really fun night. In fact the monkey package must have been quite convincing as two students attending the Dux Live show set up a show at the Lincoln University a few days later. So we called our drummer and went to the campus where we were rewarded with a night that let us forget all the ups and downs we went through over the past two weeks. The two students and now friends, Sara and Agnes, did an amazing job organizing and promoting the gig so we had a lot of people attending and do what we are given legs for: DANCE!

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So at this point there is not much left to say than:

Good bye New Zealand – Hello California!!!

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