My local supermarket, Foodtang Mt Eden, is open 24 hours. It takes, like one, maybe two minutes to drive there and is an excellent source of late night, um, food. I hate going to the supermarket during the day. Night is one of the times where it’s not filled with annoying people.
So I was there tonight and I noticed that I was the only white person there. All the other customers and the staff were Pacific Islanders, Asians and Indians. That is what is cool about living in Auckland. The soundtrack to this multi-ethnic experience was “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure.
When I was 18 the drinking age was 20. My friend, who I will called Shania, and I used to want to go out and have fun. We’d try to get into pubs. I never had trouble getting into bars – when I was 14 I started getting mistaken for 20 – but Shania looked 18, so chances are we’d get turned away by bouncers.
The solution to this was to go to a liquor store and buy some cheap spumante, Italiano and Bernadino were about $4 a bottle. We’d buy a bottle each and head off into Garden Place, sit on our special park bench, and drink.
Garden Place is quite nice now, but ten years ago it was quite different. In the ’50s it had been a carpark, so the lighting was still high up and left lots of dark shadowy places. There were lots of shrubs and various vegetation that also created little dark corners. Our special park bench was in one of those corners.
It wasn’t totally hidden away. The occasional drunken bloke would see us and invite us ladies back to his farm in Ohaupo (or whatever). But one night we met some guys who we haven’t forgotten about yet.
A bunch of homies came over. Oh yes, homies. Not notorious T.H.U.G.S, not niggaz representing the wesside, but homies. They were, like us, a bit drunk. One of them started talking to us. Shania explained how we’d tried to get into a bar but had been turned away because we didn’t have any I.D.
The homie said, “Ow, I’ve got some I.D. I’ve got some I… [points to eye] D… [points to crotch].” We all laughed at that, and he repeated the joke several times.
Eventually Shania and I grew tired of their hey-babying and wanted to get away. We made some sort of excuse and quickly took off down Alexandra Street. They seemed to be following us, so we went down a dark alley way, which lead to the back of the Herald’s Hamilton office. We hung out around large piles newspaper and waited until we couldn’t hear the homies bragging about their I.D.
And that is why the drinking age should remain at 18.