Day 15: Half-way point & lots of travel

So I'm pretty much 50% done with the big Asia trip, having just arrived in New Zealand a couple of hours ago.  The duration of my travels will be here (2/3) and Sydney (1/3), give or take.  

Not a huge amount to report on Day 5 for the simple reason that I've been traveling kind of endlessly.  I got in at 4:30 PM in New Zealand (that's 12:30 AM EST), and I got picked up to go to the airport in Bangkok at 10 PM New Zealand time last night.  In other words, I've been in planes and automobiles for roughly 18 1/2 hours.  While I haven't seen much worthy of my camera, I have seen quite a bit of:

  • Boardwalk Empire (Season 1) -- finally watching this!!
  • Red 2 (because I have discriminating taste in films)
  • The Purge (because I have discriminating taste in films)
  • The inside of my eyelids
  • Airport lounges
  • Highways

So I have no particularly interesting imagery to share!  

The duration of the trip I just made to get to NZ is a useful reminder of something we Americans usually get wrong:  Australia/NZ is not really part of Asia.  There is a reason why Australia/Oceania/Australasia is considered its own continent for both geologic reasons as well as the fact that it's pretty far removed from Asia.  This distance is particularly true if comparing where the Australia population centers are vs. Asia and even more so for New Zealand.  By way of example, here's a fun fact:  by virtue of being 19 hours ahead of West Coast time right now (albeit a bit of a Daylight Savings anomaly), New Zealand is for practical purposes three hours behind LA and six hours from NY.  It is six hours ahead of Bangkok.  

As well, it's worth making the obvious point that NZ and Australia have an incredibly different feel from the rest of Asia.  They really are their own places.  I'm not sure why I'm belaboring this so much other than to call into question why I've been calling it my big Asia trip.  Maybe I should rename it my big Pacific Rim trip.  Maybe it really doesn't matter, and I'm just rambling because I'm now jet lagged once again.  

   And there is New Zealand, tucked into the corner and barely making the Pacific Rim photo...

And there is New Zealand, tucked into the corner and barely making the Pacific Rim photo...

This brings me to yet another point.  I'm jet lagged.  Again!  Ugh.  Going to NZ from Bangkok/Bhutan is basically like going to France from NY.  I've been living across so many different time zones that I'm beginning to feel like a guest star in the movie Inception.  Or maybe Memento.  

No matter.  I am massively proud of myself for motivating to go to a tiny local gym near my hotel in Christchurch because heaven forbid I miss one of my weight lifting days.  I am OCD, hear me roar!  Now it's time to grab a beer downstairs, something light for dinner, and get ready for a 7 AM departure on my great big bike trip on the west coast of the South Island.   

Jet lagged, brain dead, but still standing.

Dave