Busking and flying.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Usually, being a musician plus a dollar or so gets you a cup of coffee. Being a street musician (busker) can actually make one a dollar or two. In my case, about 35 dollars. Also a big fat joint from one of the other street musicians, who, along with a couple of his friends, came to listen and made me play songs for them. I guess I may be doing something right with my marginal musical talent to have the other buskers come over to watch. Perhaps it is the strategy of playing in only a g-string with a palm-and feather head dress on. . Well, actually, I dress as I normally would, but maybe sometime I will have to try the loincloth method, it might bring in money from lonely middle-aged houswives, desperate for a thrill. .
Busking in Aukland is fairly lucrative, unlike the states, where people are too paranoid to look at you, thinking in their fox-news minds that you might be some kind of musical bin laden, or a serial killer whose weapon of choice is a cheap chinese guitar bought in India.
God bless america. .
The Kiwis are much freer with their appreciation of the street musician, they think that it adds to the character of the city, and give their change readily. There are numerous types of "listeners," from the stealth foot-tapper who shyly waits in the corner and drops in his change quickly as he hurries away, to the excitable guy who is a little bit off, or perhaps a little drunk, and stands in front of you doing a flambouyant air-guitar with his best "guitar-face" on. .
Children are the best, though, they dance, sometimes sing or try to strum the instrument, generally fascinated by the sound of music coming from somewhere else than a little box. Perhaps it is that children these days are not exposed near enough to live players, most of the music they get is in the form of thumping ghetto gangsta beats, the "music" courtesy of a computer, and the words from some poser who tries to glorify a violent "hood" lifestyle that really never has existed, and only does because the profit-mongering record weasels force-feed this stuff to youth, who really don't have all that many options as far as music made by real human beings with actual talent goes.
Okay, perhaps enough of my ranting. Some hip-hop is really brilliant, but most is just stamped out crap, IMHO. .
All in all, though playing on Queen Street, I made about 11 dollars an hour, not bad for a professional musician. Maybe I should go into rap and hip-hop. Then I could make the big money. . .
I was taken very good care of in New Zealand, especially in Aukland by my friends.
Back at the ranch, Kim cooked up a nice meal, Gary arrived from his squash game, and we three had a couple of drinks, calling it an early night. Busking tires one out as if one had worked labor all day, and I would have to wake up at 5 or so to get to the airport for my flight at 7:50. .. . . er. . .um. .

7:05!!! I had misread my itinerary paper, confusing my flight with my australian departure, and had thought my flight was actually 7:50. Checking the time in the morning, I realized my mistake, and coming up to the check-in line (about a mile long) at 6:35, I began to have serious doubts about making the plane.
Fortunately New zealand Air staff are just as friendly and helpful as the Kiwis at large are. I was hustled to the front of the line, and checked in effortlessly, moving on to breeze through customs, made my seat, and the flight took off about three minutes after I sat down and buckled my seatbelt. After all the waiting and checking in early I have done, I guess I got some of it back this time. Maybe I will always come late--it seems to make things easier. . .

Three hours later I landed in the island kingdom of Fiji, home of "kava" and former home of cannibalistic mountain tribes. Keep your wits, and you will keep your limbs. . .
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