Saturday, 22 September 2007

Confessions of a callow Kiwi

Doesn't have quite the same ring as a The Rotten Log, but fuck it, it's after midnight and there's a rugby match I must watch. I told Rotten I could outdo him for vacuity in youthful diary entries, so steel yourself and cast your eyes over this sorrowful lot, if you dare. These are the first entries into my travel log just prior to my original departure from Aotearoa many years ago:

Thursday, 28 November 1991
The beginning of a fresh chapter in my life. Who knows what fate has in store for me. Sixteen-and-a-half months in Alexandra, Central Otago, has left me feeling deeply ambivalent about a possible future re-entry into the world of journalism, and it has certainly done nothing to endear me to small towns. Of course, I never really gave it my best shot since I didn't want to be there in the first place [well, some things never change]. But at least it's given me some work experience and earned me enough money to finally fulfill my appetite for travel, and for that I am grateful.

With only three weeks to go before I depart for Germany I should be starting to feel the effects of adrenal glands working overtime. However, have left the dispiriting atmophere of Alexandra, the first taste of freedom has already greeted me with more cause for anxiety - the escalating problem of obtaining this damned Grandparent Entry Certificate for the UK. Time is rapidly running out in which to have my application processed, so I must somehow engineer a letter originating from a UK job agency within the next week if I'm to avoid the alternative of a simple two-year work permit. I only hope Nikki's English friend comes through for me. Will attempt to fax some urgent messages to England tomorrow as a last resort.

Friday, 29 November 1991
Another uninspiring day considering just how much I had been looking forward to leaving Alexandra. Managed to fax a miserable one letter to a secretarial job agency in London [!] although I think I'm beginning to clutch at straws. If I don't receive any replies by Monday, I'll have to ring the British Consulate-General in Auckland, explain my predicament and practically beg them to give me this confounded certificate. Hopefully, tomorrow will be less enervating - shall compile a list of suitable job agencies from the London telephone and yellow pages directory, maybe do some Christmas shopping, and then organise what and how many tapes to take with me [music cassettes for those of you who didn't come of age until the 1990s]. Still haven't made any serious attempt to begin reading yet and this is bound to cause my consternation at a later date.

Took in a visually sumptuous film with Lisa and Peter tonight entitled 'The Comfort of Strangers'. A very interesting film, but as usual my superficial knowledge of film, art and literature meant I was not really able to comprehend much until it was pointed out to me by a friend at the pub later on. My lack of perspicacity is becoming somewhat troublesome in light of my immenent arrival in a German university town [Tubingen] and flat where the general level of understanding over these things is sure to be several light years head of my own. Even my understanding of the New Zealand political scene, especially health issues, is shamefully inadequate, despite the fact I've been a journalist for the past two years. My hitch-hiking ride from Dr Wade of the blood transfusion unit revealed just how insufficient my general knowledge is. [This Dr Wade refers to a ride I got out of Alexandra from a medical practitioner who lectured me on AIDS and youth sex culture, and how human sexual relations would be changed for ever after by the epidemic...].

[Och; the naivety and folly of youth.]

1 comment:

Rotten said...

Kivak, I like it. You're right: it's horrible. But I like it.

I like the honesty and the exposure. It's like I'm seeing a whole new Kivak. Keep it coming.

I'm going to drop another Rotten Log come October but I'm not going to try to outdo you in the embarrassment department with it because, really, that shit I spewed back then makes me uncomfortable. When I first stood up after my recent reading of that old crap my asshole was puckered so tight the chair came up with me.

But you've hit the right mix of openness without belaboring things. Write on.