It seems as though Christchurch is meant to hold nothing but ill will for me. I stayed with Pia for a couple of nights and had a fun time catching up. She was due to have another friend from Chile come visit her on Thursday and she wanted to spend time with him so I told her I would crash with Maddy. Unfortunately, Maddy’s phone was out of credit and she wasn’t texting me back. Over facebook she told me I should text her and she would find a way to get back to me. Thursday night came and, despite multiple calls and texts, still no word. It was now 10pm and I still hadn’t heard from her..it looked like I was on my own. I took off for the one hostel I knew would be open, the YMCA. Much to my dismay a night at the YMCA would cost me a ridiculous $66/night! Even if I were a multi-millionaire I would not spend that much money on a hostel simply on principle, and applying for this work permit has put me well below the poverty line. I made my way through Hagley Park with plans to find an open hostel across the city. By the time I got about halfway through the park I couldn’t be bothered to find an open hostel (that pack gets heavy!), plus it had started to rain. As I trudged along in despair I saw it: a shelter/rest area. Large, covered, benches conveniently lining the inside…the perfect place to sleep. I would be out of the rain and out of (most of) the light. With a bright outlook for the night I skipped gleefully towards my salvation. As soon as I walked in I heard a rustle coming from the darkest corner.
“Mghsagmgjhg” slurred a sleepy female voice as a form rose from the darkness.
I hadn’t seen anyone there and let out a startled squeak. “Oh! Uhh…sorry…mind if I sleep here for a bit?”I heard a consenting, “Mmnghm yeah ‘sfine.” before she dropped back into sleep. As I crawled into my sleeping bag I caught more than a mild whiff of urine. Great.
Hobo number two appeared right before I drifted off and curled up on the floor under his blanket. I barely remember him showing up but man was he a loud sleeper! All through the night he would grunt and snore, keeping me in that awkward, half conscious state between sleep and waking. At about 3am a third hobo stumbled into the rest area, drowning in booze and looking like he’s completely lost the plot. He was yelling to himself about a variety of things as I peered groggily out at him. He stood in front of the girl and yelled, “Rachel! Rachel! I got you some smokes! Do you want them?! Rachel, who are these new people!?” I maintained the impression of being asleep, watching this whole scene play out through slitted eyes with my face hidden to near invisibility between my cap and sleeping bag, trying my hardest not to move to avoid attention.
“Who’s that on the floor?!” the drunk hobo yelled.
“Mmmnmhgh Morley” Rachel murmured in a sleepy voice.
“Oh. Well who’s that in the corner?”
“I don’t know.”
Oh please oh please oh please oh please don’t come over here…
It appeared as though all three of these hobos knew each other and I had unwittingly wandered into a sort of…hobo nest. On the one hand my concern was slowly growing but on the other I found it so very funny that I was stuck in this situation it was hard not to laugh. The drunk one thankfully did not come over to investigate me and continued his loud yelling as he unfurled his sleeping bag. All went silent and I drifted off to sleep once again.
I very nearly jumped off my bench when hobo number three resumed his tirade two hours later. I kept my face to the hopefully urine free wall while I listened to him curse who knows what and yell to Rachel that he loved her. Then, with a very loud and juicy sounding fart, he began packing up his things to leave. On his way out I heard a full bottle of beer shatter as he dropped it before shuffling over my way. Pleeeeease please keep walking past. I heard him stop and then-
Oh my— is he peeing on me?! No…on my stuff? No……? Ever so slowly (and as silently as possible) I turned and stole a peek over my shoulder. Thank you Jesus he was just peeing NEXT to me! As soon as he emptied his bladder he lurched off into the budding dawn. I waited until 630am before stealing away, leaving Rachel and hobo number two in their peaceful slumber. I never did see their faces.