Wellington CBD – Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery
By the time I arrived at my pre-booked accommodation in Wellington, I was ready to sit down and wet my whistle. This thought turned out to be a bit premature as it transpired that what I had booked, and what I was presented with, were vastly different. Upon entering the establishment I checked my confirmation email that read “double with ensuite – superior comfort with a double bed and ensuite bathroom.” What in fact I was given was a single, top bunk in a dorm with eight other individuals and a small locker to store my belongings. The thought of staying a second longer, didn’t even enter my consciousness. Being beyond a station in life where I want to share a bedroom with seven complete strangers in bunk beds, I simply collected my belongings, politely bid everyone good day and walked out the door.
Fortunately for me, after a quick Google search and a few phone calls later I found myself walking into the lobby of a nice block of hotel apartments that were only a few minutes away from Lambton Quay and nearby Courtenay Place. The staff were friendly and the room was spacious and clean with everything that is required of a decent room. It was free of bunks, it had an ensuite and I didn’t have to share it with anyone. Dropping my bags on the bed, I went in search of food and beer.
Having been to Wellington a few times, I felt like I knew the city fairly well. However, this time it felt different. The city seemed almost frightened. Over the streets and business there hung a shroud of angst and apprehension. Fear of a new kind seemed to be terrorizing the city. Large gangs of middle aged women had invaded for the 2022 World of WearableArt Show.
Taking over the city streets in numbers of up to eight or nine at a time, they walked giggling and laughing, forcing passers-by onto the pavement. The bars, nightclubs and cocktail lounges had been compelled to stock extra supplies of Merlot, Lindauer, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz while the once calm and peaceful streets of Wellington weren’t going to be safe after 7:00pm. These ladies had their husbands at home and were ready to flirt with the 18 year old bartender and dance inappropriately to Rock DJ by Robbie Williams.
This was a situation I wanted no part of. Taking shelter in a quiet restaurant that featured cuisine from South East Asia, I washed it all down with a few Heineken, then beat a hasty retreat to my hotel for the rest of the evening.