The only thing standing between you and me is the bus, baby

I had the day off today, so I decided to go to Sylvia Park because it is a mall and it is shiny and new.

I considered taking the train – the new Sylvia Park station opens today – but it actually looks like going from Mt Eden station Sylvia Park could require three trains, which is, like, totally ridiculous.

So instead I took the 512 bus. It starts off fairly ordinarily – Symonds, Khyber, Broadway, Great South, Main Highway, Ellerlie-Panmure Highway, but then once it hits Mt Wellington, it goes on this dizzying circuit of various suburban streets, including one called Ferndale, which is the fictitious setting of Shortland Street, which makes me think that the bus isn’t actually grinding around the suburban hills, but rather I’ve accidentally jumped across a vortex in the space-time continuum and am in a parallel universe/limbo where I must circle the mean streets of Ferndale South in a bus until finally I get to jump back in to the relative civilisation of Mt Wellington Highway.

Now, when I first visited Sylvia Park a few weeks ago, it was a quiet Friday. The mall felt like a 1960s English Corbusian-inspired housing estate that had been turned into a New Zealand mall, and I was quite excited by it all.

But when I got to Sylvia Park today, I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. It was the school holidays, so the mall was packed with babies&children&teenagers.

Enough Sylvia Park school holidays mayhem! I jumped on the first bus that came along with “DOWNTOWN” on its destination board. What I didn’t realise was that it went to downtown via Panmure, when meant entering a whole other space-time continuum and going on more crazy-ass circuits, past butcher shops that offer discount rates on sausages for sports clubs and hangis.

But as it happened, I’d just signed up with Twitter, so I amused myself by sending progress reports to the interwebs:

Life would be so much easier if I were a shut-in/hermit (hermette?) type.

Notorious M.A.L.L.

I was waiting in line at an ATM at St Lukes and noticed that the fellow standing nearby playing with his cellphone was none other than Savage from Deceptikonz. As tempted as I was to break into the chorus of “Stop, Drop and Roll,” instead I stayed incognito.

After I’d finished with the ATM, I was hobbling along in my blister inducing shoes (I’m breaking them in, very slowly, very painfully) and I noticed I was catching up to Savage. He was walking really slowly, like he had sore feet too. Maybe the burden of fame is crushing down upon his being.

It’s said that television makes people look fatter than they are in real life, but he looked fatter than he does on TV (That’s ok ’cause he’s doing all he can just to lose some weight, trying to feel healthy and get in shape.) But, not surprisingly, he looked a lot shorter. He also proved one of the “What Not To Wear” pieces of advice: if you’re short, wearing long shorts just make them look like short trousers, which tricks the eye into thinking that your legs are shorter than they really are. He also had some white cloth tied around his head.

We were both headed up the escalator and as he got up to the second level, a group of teenage boys were sitting on some seats in front of the escalators. They all saw Savage, recognised him and their eyes bulged and jaws dropped. They had a quick conversation that seemed to be like “Is that him? OMG, it’s him! Let’s follow him!” and, keeping a safe distance, they followed him down to the other end of the mall.

See, I’ve always maintained that hanging out at the mall is really hardcore, and this just proves it.