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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

To Kaikoura

Unfortunately, the hostel in Nelson had free breakfast. If I were truly rational, I would have just ignored that fact and eaten something decent or nothing at all, but instead I had all manner of carbs, because it was there, because it was free, because it was before noon and I never make good decisions before noon. I ended up with a headache most of the day.

Harmoniah noticed some grapes growing in the bushes at the hostel in Nelson, right next to where the car was parked, just falling to the ground. So we brought some with us, and also grabbed some ting choy (a rare find), chilis, kumaras, and a small pumpkin at the local market. We arrived in Kaikoura early enough to whip up a late lunch in the hostel kitchen:

We got a twin at the hostel (the Albatros) for NZ$44, or about US$12 each, fairly typical throughout NZ, and maybe a couple dollars more than I'd have paid for a dorm bed but well worth the convenience (and lack of air-born microbes). After a couple days now of playing intellectual whore, I was starting to tire out, and so was she, so we had a quiet afternoon around the hostel reading and tending to laundry.

Then eventually we wandered off around Kaikoura...

(Note the foreshadowing return to drab attire...)

They had live music at the restaurant that night, a couple of guys doing Simon and Garfunkel's The Boxer at this particular moment. Note the moonlit water in the background:

During a quiet point in our dinner conversation, tears came to her eyes, but not so far as her cheeks. I looked at her with acceptance but not urgency, waited for her to tell me what I knew was coming.

She's a very smart girl, very meta. She told me that she felt sorry for me for not understanding all that she did, for not being spiritually enlightened. And she told me that I felt sorry for her, for not understanding what I did, for not seeing the simple logical truth of it all. And she told me that she was upset, emotionally, because if I was right, then her whole life has been a farce. And she told me that I'm much worse than just someone who disagrees with her--I'm the first person to really challenge her, because I can always answer the question "why?". And she told me that if she believed what I did--that life was not eternal--then she would be really living life to its fullest, never having a dull moment.

I told her I try to live life that way, but it's not so simple. And she blamed my (implied) failure on my lack of spiritual enlightenment (which of course is circular reasoning).

Inwardly, I just wallowed in the irony that at the moment it was her belief in the eternal spirit that was keeping me from living life to its fullest.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com