10 September 2011

A chaotic night out

This Friday night we decided to brave the crowds in downtown Auckland to check out the festivities surrounding the opening game of the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand vs. Tonga.  Parts of it were fun, but I'm still not sure it was worth the hassle.  Our original plan was to meet up with our CouchSurfing friends, Jess & Fletch, but the main venue filled within 20 minutes of opening, when we hadn't even left Mangere.


We decided to drive to Greenlane train station and ride in from there, but as we were misguidedly walking down a dead end street to get to the platform, a couple getting into their car outside their house offered to drive us into town.*  What luck!  Rob & Jo were lovely to offer, and they dropped us off closer than I expected.  It seemed our evening was off to a brilliant start.  The crowds were thick all around the downtown area, so we decided to get sushi at a quiet place where Sam and I had lunched a few days earlier.  Dinner was delicious, but unfortunately involved a miscommunication on the staff's part that led to a less than pleasant ending to our meal.  At least Elise & Sylvain weren't charged the $24 extra for the upgrade our waitress had given them without asking.

*Sorry, Mom, I know you told me not to accept rides from strangers.



We tried fighting our way through the street crowds to catch a glimpse of the big screen, but it proved too laborious and we decided watching the game at a pub would be more enjoyable. Most bars had lines out the door, and when I finally found one with no line, the bouncer said he wasn't letting anymore people inside. Immediately after he said it, 3 people came out, so I offered, "3 out, 3 in?" and he accepted, even letting our 4th slip by.

Library bar

The Library Bar, as it's called, turned out to be a pretty cool place, with eclectic vintage decor, shelves upon shelves of books and lots of comfy seating.

Our little friend

We had a drink and played a couple games of Jenga before deciding we really should head to the train before the NZ/Tonga game ended.

Starting the jenga

LOL Elise

Library bar

As it turns out, the train system was in total chaos and nobody in official uniforms seemed to have a clue what was going on.  Throngs of people were crushing into the station, with lines halfway down the block.  We slipped through near the front, but still had to wait around an hour to get on a train.  We were surrounded by many friendly people, and one very unfriendly (and drunk) couple who harassed us until a gentle giant of a Polynesian man wearing a French flag as a cape stepped in to intervene.  God bless him.

Right as we reached our station the power went out on the train, so I hope all the people we were riding with didn't have to wait long.  We were relieved to be on our way home at last.  What a mess!

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