This has been a hectic week. It was a normal Monday (16th) until I got a call asking me if I wanted to attend the Asia-Pacific Internet Governance Forum in Tokyo. I said yes in principle but depends on dates – thinking it was a couple of months away. It turned out that it was starting Wednesday 18th. That would meant catching a flight at 0630 Tuesday to Auckland and then Tokyo to get there in time.
To complicate things further I was booked to fly to Auckland on Friday for a couple of VRWC meetings and then the National Party conference, followed by a week’s holiday in Vanuatu starting Sunday 29th.
This mean I would have to cancel my Friday meetings, as a flight back from Tokyo got back Saturday morning. At 8.30 pm Monday the funding for travel costs (which was from Google and the Japanese Internet Providers Association) was confirmed. This meant I had 10 hours to suddenly pack for Tokyo, Auckland and Vanuatu, arrange neighbours to collect some deliveries for me, and cancel various appointments. I don’t think I’ve ever before had such a short time-frame between knowing I was going overseas and actually going.
Did an all nighter and headed to Wgtn Airport around 5.30 am.
Got to Tokyo Tuesday night and then had to work for a few hours on a poll. Then up early Wednesday for conference. Went though until 8 pm, and Thursday it went until 6 pm and then had dinner with some of my co-panelists at the Google Tokyo office (very nice views!).
Friday I did the panel, and then flew out early evening arriving Auckland around 9.45 am. Had to go buy some new shirts at midday as literally had not had time to do laundry (but on plus side, new shirts are three sizes smaller than old ones) and then straight after lunch had to get some photos done at 2 pm for The Listener, and then straight from there to TV3 where I did a pre-record with Sam Hayes for Three60 on Sunday morning.
Straight from TV3 back to Sky City where I was due to host pre-dinner drinks for a few people at 5 pm. Had a great time – so good that hotel management felt obliged to show me their (up until then) obscure rules that parties may incur a $5,000 fine (yes, seriously) as the room value is $800,000 (which was crap – it was a suite but not that grand a one), and also that their rules prohibit more than two people in a room after midnight. I did ask them why they were banning threesomes, but they didn’t really take the joke 🙂
i thought it ironic one part of the hotel is telling me no parties, while another part had kindly supplied a couple of dozen extra glasses for us. Anyway we did lower the noise level and the at 7 pm headed off to the dinner. The dinner and debate (which I will touch on in a later post) went until 11 pm and then a few people (officially no more than one at a time) came up for end of night drinks. Well the last person left at 3.30 am and I had not slept much on the flight back from Tokyo that morning. I set wake up call for 5.30 am and woke up at 8.20 am. As my international flight was leaving at 9.30 am it would be fair to say I was somewhat panicked and had an extremely quick packing and shower.
Let hotel just after 8.30 am and rang Air NZ to say I would probably make airport at 9.05 pm, and any efforts to get me on the flight would be appreciated. They said no guarantees at that time.
Luckily traffic was light and my taxi driver was correctly incentivised (a flat fee if I got there on time) got me there just before 9 am. Managed to get bag on flight. Had to quickly grab some foreign currency and of course the gate was the furthest one away, and got there just as they were calling me by name. Whew.
Amazing how much you de-stress once you are actually on board the plane. Then four hours later land in Vanuatu and all is good. Beautiful climate, and staying on a private resort island for a week. Blogging will be lighter this week, but I do have some old posts times delayed.
My general intent is to always take a week off in the middle of winter to somewhere warm. Having had basically no sleep for three of the seven last nights, I definitely need it!