Tag: #backpacking

Do You Have a Boyfriend? 

Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a husband? Do you have children?

One the one hand, these questions could be percieved as progressive, “Do you have a boyfriend and is he so awesome that he is okay with you travelling around by yourself for the year while he takes care of your three children?”

On the other hand, the one I use most, I think “Why are you asking? Are you interested? I rate your opening line as a little forward, but I guess the world is coming to an end soon and no one has time for “what’s your name?””

One of the first question out of Fijian mouths is “Do you have a boyfriend?” If I answer no, the follow up question is “Husband? Kids”? I don’t think it’s meant to be creepy but to a New York brain it does have a little bit of a “I need a wife” or “I am recruiting for this cult and I need to find unattached women who could bear children” air about it. 

I’ve been told that these questions are in fact because here people are constantly looking to arrange someone with someone they know.

According to my current host to fend off this potential hoard (my host has an exaggerated idea of how many times this happens to me) I am to say that I have a husband. For extra emphasis, I’m going to add that I have three kids, and am such a bad mother that I’ve abandoned them for a year. Where’s my ring? Oh, my fingers got puffy in childbirth and I havent been able to wear it since. 


I hope two things:

1. Someday soon people stop asking this question to lone travelling women (or anyone)

2. The world changes enough that women can answer this question honestly without feeling like they have just surrendered themselves. 

You Know You’ve Been Travelling Too Long When…

We decide to eat lunch, at a time we know is about lunch time because we are hungry (except for obeying bus schedules, time is now a relative concept).

Our table fills up with other people and these other people start talking to each other. 

Nessa and I look at each other, we both have no idea how these people know each other: 2 Indian men, 3 Asian women, and 2 white men, all different ages. 

It sounds like a start of a joke, “7 people walk into a bar, one orders…”

In our heads we are both playing a multiple choice game:

A) tour group

B) tour group, but not a backpacker one

C) tour group?

We think, they must be part of a tour group? We’ve been travelling so long, the only explaination for people hanging out seems to be “tour group.” (“Friends” doesn’t even get considered).

They start discussing Game of Thrones, and how it’s so great cause it’s so unpredictable, the “main character dies in the second episode”

“Ninth” I interject 

And boom, we have our opening, “how do you guys know each other?” Curiosity bubbles out of our deadlocked brains…

“We work together, on Fridays we all come here to have lunch, so sorry if we’ve disrupted your lunch break”

“Haha don’t be, it’s all a break”

You know you’ve been travelling too long when it didn’t even occur to you that it was Friday and that people still worked…Or that they took lunch breaks.

Note to any spy agencies – don’t hire people with “backpacker brain”

Christchurch’s Re: Start Container Mall food truck area

Pre-Gaming St Patty’s Day

If you want to feel fresh before going out for St Patty’s Day, go to the spa. 

And so it was that three intrepid backpackers decided to treat themselves to a premium Polynesian Spa experience: 5 hot pools full of geothermal healing activity, one provided clean plush towel and a shower that came with shampoo (we would be lying if we didn’t say we did it for the shower)

It should be noted that the geothermal activity was sulfric, and hence smelled like rotten eggs. 

Three hours later, we were hard boiled. 

An hour after that, on our way to the bar, the smell of old breakfast eminated from our pores and slight concern lingered in the air. 

However, concern was unnecessary because St Patty’s Day in Rotorua (population 20,000) is just like anywhere else: the entire population crammed into one bar, getting sweaty, singing “Sweet Home Alabama” at the top of their lungs, everyone kind of on the same page about consciously not inhaling anything. 

In a town that always smells faintly of rotten eggs, humans that smell of rotten eggs was no big deal. Even in my giant man repelling green baseball cap men chose to talk to me (#thingsthatwouldnothappeninnewyork)

And now I’m scrambling on how to end this post, so I might just pull a Humpty Dumpty and crack off.