In British TV culture, there is a popular iconic hero called "Dr. Who." Since the early sixties, this character has made both TV and big screen appearances with the role of the Doctor being played by a succession of actors. The premise of the story is that the Doctor is a Time Lord, able to travel backwards and forwards in time using his time ship, the Tardis. The Tardis looks, from the outside, like an old London police phone box. But it is also "transdimensional, " which means that inside it is HUGE with many many rooms. And one other defining characteristic of the Tardis is this: It is broken. Sure, the Doctor can sometimes go from time A to time B with reasonable accuracy, but on the whole, what makes the series interesting is that you are never sure if the Tardis is going to (a) work, or (b) get to when it is supposed to be going.
That just about sums up my perceptions of Time as it now exists on my Australasia tour. Traveling from Adelaide to Auckland, NZ necessitated a change of 2 hours 30 minutes forward. Yes, there is a bizarre 30-minute variation. The flight from Auckland to Christchurch (same day) didn't need a time change - until we got to the hotel. The friendly staff reminded my colleagues and I that Daylight Savings was about to kick in at 2:00 am. At this stage, I was unsure of the time, the date, and even the day, so I decided to just give up on the whole thing. The Doctor is a slightly eccentric character and I was now beginning to understand why - he has clearly decided to toss the whole notion of Time out the window.
All I now knew was that it was late and I was hungry. Time to go find something to eat.
Along the banks of the river in Christchurch is a strip of eating places. We got there too late for any significant food intake but the Sticky Fingers restaurant was able to provide three vital products; beer, pizza, and chips. And for those who need the translation, "chips" in NZ and Australia are "French fries." The other good news was that one of the pizzas on offer was the "Carnivore." Bearing in mind that for the past week I seem to have been trying hard to eat my way through the entire animal population of the Southern hemisphere, choosing the "Carnivore" was a no brainer.
And it was indeed meaty! Chicken, ham, barbecue sauce, and several other dead animals made it a deliciously fulfilling offering, enhanced by tomato sauce-laden fries. Washed down with a couple of glasses of Speight's, this meal took us through to "late" - remember, I had given up on trying to work out the time. We walked past the other watering holes along the bank of the river, which were all by now full of folks eating, drinking, and making merry. Given two weeks to explore, I think I could quite happily have spent all my time drifting from place to place without having to eat in the same place twice.
Eventually, I crawled into bed, ignored the clock, and slept though until I felt hungry. I mean, who needs a clock anyway?