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Exploring Portobello

Exploring Portobello

Hungry people are less fun to hang out with than not-hungry people. It’s funny how that works. It’s such a simple idea and yet it can have a dramatic affect on your happiness. I get grumpy when I’m hungry; Tra gets grumpy when he’s hungry. We still love each other, but I fell in love with a well-fed Tra and the latter is an annoying friend tagging along in our relationship. I’m sure he feels the same sometimes. Even though I know this, sometimes I overlook it’s importance.

Tra and I haven’t been outside of Dunedin since February. Because of this we have been planning to visit Portobello, a tiny little village on the Otago Peninsula. The weather sabotaged  our plans for one weekend and ever since we’ve been keeping our eyes open for a relatively dry weekend to visit. Portobello is only a 40 minute bus ride away from our flat we really have no excuse for not visiting more often. When my dad was helping me move to New Zealand we visited Portobello and had a great time at the small pub and cafe. Tra had never visited Portobello. So, when Tra got home from work at 3 p.m. on a Friday I suggested we visit. He asked if he could eat before we left, I reminded him that the sun was quickly setting and that we could eat at the pub. He agreed.

When you don’t have a car sometimes long bus rides can be kind of exciting. For Tra it was his first time seeing the Otago Peninsula in person and not from afar. The roads are narrow and right on the edge of the water. They feel like the roads on HWY 101 at home where you feel like you could tip over and fall into the water after every twist and turn. The closer we got to Portobello the less sunlight we had to work with. I was worried that our photos wouldn’t turn out. When we arrived Tra was excited to explore someplace new, but he was hangry and I could tell. He asked if we could eat but I pleaded that we needed to take advantage of the light while we had it. Unfortunately our lack of foresight reared it’s ugly head when we realized that the cute cafe we were excited to visit was already closed. No bother, the pub was still available.

We walked up to the water and then to the local cemetery to snap some photos and get to know the town a little better. It really is such a cool little place. Tra was hungry and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Sometimes unexpected forces can shape events even though they shouldn’t. I’m usually a planner. The usual Emma would have thought “before we visit Portobello we need to check the weather forecast, the opening and closing times of all the places we want to visit, the bus schedule and make sure we are well fed.” But I wanted to be spontaneous.

When we entered the pub we were slightly confused by the layout and found our way into the restaurant section of the pub and eagerly looked over the menu. After 10 minutes of browsing the waitress approached us and asked us if we were interested in dinner. Yes was an understatement.

“I am going to need to see some identification from both of you. If you look under 25 we need identification.”

Crap. In our rush to leave I had forgotten my my passport. The waitress politely told us that she would be unable to serve us and asked us to leave. It was embarrassing and irritating and I felt bad for Tra who had not forgotten his passport and had now been waiting over two hours since before we left our flat to eat. Every other restaurant was closed and our only option was the convenience store.

So there we were, Tra and I, eating Tim Tams, Mentos and microwaved mince pies on a bench overlooking the bay laughing about how dumb we were. We jokingly directed our anger at Portobello itself, calling it the worst place in all of New Zealand. It isn’t; at least I think. It was a nice little town and I hope to visit it again soon, but next time with an ID and a belly full of food.

Music Pick of the Week

Each week I try and highlight an Indie music artist at the end of my blog post. If you would like me to consider your music please email me.

This week I’ve chosen a wicked beat from the Vancouver beatmaker Karmaeiic. Give it a listen and maybe consider giving him a follow on soundcloud.