Had a great night out on the town in Dunedin last night. Started the socialisation at the University staff club around 3 pm having caught up for an old mate, Ross Blanch, for the first time in around 19 years. Ross was elected OUSA President in 1986 in a by-election when the then President quit to join the Labour Research Unit. Ross was actually declared the loser by one vote on the day voting ended (which prompted much alcohol to drown sorrows), but then the next day in the recount they found one vote had been placed in the wrong pile, and he then won by one vote (which prompted much alcohol to celebrate).
Nowadays he is very respectable managing the Clubs and Socs Centre, and is filling in for a year as the General Manager of OUSA. After drinks at the staff club with Ross and Andrew Geddis, I headed to the Cook to meet bloggers Bryce Edwards and Geoffrey Miller. Geoffrey does the ACT Watch blog “From Douglas to Dancing” and is just visiting Dunedin from Germany where he normally resides. Also in the group was a young Austrian socialist, who is here as part of her “masculinity studies” academic research. What a great research topic I thought – so she gets to study Kiwi males out on the town
After a few drinks at the Captain Cook we went to Mou Very – the self titled Smallest Bar in the Universe.
It was here that the Austrian gained the impression that I am a famous person. As we squeezed through the alleyway, a guy in the alleyway looked at me and asked if I was David Farrar. Then as we went outside, I had a brief chat with the owner (who I had done some polling for in 2007 when he stood for Mayor). Then we sat down on the pavement seats and were engaged in an animated discussion when a gentleman walking past stopped and asked the group if one of us was David Farrar, as he had heard me on National Radio but did not know what I looked like. God – I know my voice can be distinctive but that is weird to be recognised on voice alone. The gentleman was actually visiting from Timaru. Then finally a few minutes after that a IT tech and his girlfriend passed by and greeted me.
We then headed further south to the Octagon and went to Pequeno, where the stag party had been the night before. The waitress of course greeted me by name, further cementing the impression everyone in Dunedin knows me. We then took a corner booth and had several rounds of cocktails. Pequeno is a gorgeous hidden away bar, and I recommend it thoroughly to anyone else visiting NZ. The booths even have curtains around them so you can have total privacy. Mind you the staff were a bit alarmed, when we pulled the curtains so we could take a photo of our Austrian colleague’s tatoo!
I am technically half Austrian, so was interesting to talk to about Vienna, as I am planning to visit there next year.
Finally got home on Saturday morning. Partying in Dunedin is proving to be very tiring, and I may need a holiday to recover from it!