So I’m on my Mercian and headed to Wellington to visit my mother and sort out some Visas.
No I’m not apparently. My first point of call is to my Travel Agent Diane. Diane’s got her ears on when it comes to the Chinese and visas. She has heard that those embassy staff in wellington are rated the most diligent officers in the country. When it comes to Chinese embassy staff the Wellington ones are so conscientious that they don’t even take morning tea break. The best officers in the Peoples Republic are sent to Wellington and before they leave the homeland they’re advised that anyone wanting to cycle China must be mentally deranged and there’s a section in the application that states that mentally deranged people should not be issued with a visa. So I must not go and annoy said officers under any circumstances. And my application will be sent to the Auckland Embassy where Chinese New year is celebrated all year.
And the Vietnamese assure me they are back on the job and if I annoy them in Wellington things will only take longer. So it’s off to the Capital to see Mum after many years of absence.
The 130km ride to Picton was without incident. In fact it sailed by so painlessly that I arrived 3 hours before my ferry was due to leave! Three hours watching chubby cruise liner people eating ice creams and buying knick knacks. I spent the time productively worrying about how I was going to survive the loneliness in South America next month! Then Mercian and I were on the ferry for another 3 ½ hours of forced relaxation. Either there were hundreds of kids on the ferry or the same dozen or so kept tearing past screaming as they did laps around the ship. I don’t think we lost any overboard because the same number appeared to keep coming past for the whole voyage. The parents were no doubt in the ships bar tanking up on premix drinks to try to make the rest of their trip, once the ferry docked and they had the little darlings back, go without stress.
|Victoria University. Easterfield Building Where I Used to Study.|
I was filled with nostalgia as I cycled through Wellington on the way to my sister’s place. When I grew up in Wellington I cycled and motorcycled everywhere so cycling there now was full of memories. From the age of 12yrs until I left when I was about 23yrs I pedalled the windy city. My sister lives on the hill suburbs above the university and since I hadn’t been there for about 10yrs I lost my way temporarily in the dark. Ringing her wasn’t an option as she is currently in Vietnam on holiday. So it was find her house or sleep on the street for the night. And I must say the streets actually seemed safer than I remember them. Quiet in fact.
|The Hotel where I was Night Manager.( We all took turns at sleeping the night away).|
I was relieved when I finally stumbled on the correct street and after finding the hidden key let myself in. Things got even better when I found the instant coffee and a bit of sugar. I was a worried for a minute because I think my sister is a tea drinker and seeing real coffee equipment was leading me to believe that Nescafe instant might not be allowed in the house. But I was wrong. While getting my instant coffee fix I looked up to see a cat giving me the eye through the window while simultaneously giving me an earful of complaint. It was wet and windy outside so I let the little fellaess in. Well I’m not sure if my sister has got a cat but she certainly has now. Very friendly feline quickly made herself at home taking the best bed.
|Government Buildings. (I never Worked Here, but they are near where the chinese embassy staff hang out.)|
I wasn’t looking forward to visiting my 92yr old mother today but it had to be done. I really didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure she would recognise me as she’s suffered from dementia for years. In the end I thought that even if she didn’t recognise me I would feel better afterwards. Following two visits today I really didn’t achieve anything since my mother gave no indication one way or the other that she knew what was happening around her. And I felt pretty sad after the whole thing. You could cry seeing your mother as such an old person like this. Tomorrow I will try again to get some connection with my mum. It may well be the last time I see her.
Until then it’s Chinese for dinner and a chance to read a bike magazine I brought with me.