Friday, 30 October 2009

Boredom Busters

We're off on yet another long road trip tonight, back to the Hawkes Bay. Given that we're leaving Auckland right on rush hour, the entire trip will probably take about 6.5 hours.
Now some people quite enjoy car trips, in fact I don't mind them during the day if there's some good tunes on the radio and some lovely scenery, which there usually is in good old NZ. But when it's 10pm, pitch black and you're stuck behind a stinky sheep truck doing 10 km/h around the twisty bends of the Napier Taupo Road and you JUST WANT TO GET THERE, God, the allure of the car isn't so beguiling. Plus, because I am so bored, I tend to get reallllllllly hungry. Last car trip we broke our healthy eating run and had Burgerings, Maccas, lollies, and an icecream. So. This time I am planning.
To avoid the binge eating, I'm going to the supermarket and preparing a wee picnic. Rice crackers, ready-popped popcorn, dried fruit, and as a treat, some lollies. Dinner will be filled rolls with cottage cheese, ham and tomato. Will throw in a 4 pack of sugar-free Red Bull to keep our eyes open. I may buy a chocolate bar for Richard to keep him quiet.
To get the conversation going, as we're both so tired this week and have just about had enough of everything, I'm writing a good thorough list of conversation-starters. Things like:
  • What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
  • Who was your favourite teacher and why?
  • What's your dream home or holiday?
  • What's your opinion on global warming? (Not).

These should avoid those conversations that degenerate into "but you're not even listening to what I'm saying. No, you're not. You're changing everything I'm saying. So much for MY opinion then.." etc.

Am also going to bring out those brilliant car-trip games from my childhood. My favourite was going through the alphabet listing towns in NZ. A was Auckland. B was Bulls. Etc. P was the best one to get because of all the P Towns on the Kapiti Coast. Paraparaumu, Plimmerton, Paekakariki....Eye Spy was another good one. I would always pick something totally random, like the cigarette lighter in the car itself. Although because no-one could pick it, everyone got bored and would move onto something else. The other good ones were car cricket, which was something like you scored a 6 for every red car, a truck was out, white car was 1 run. Of course travelling with my Dad meant we had to listen to the news every 15 minutes UP FULL BLAST, and not the fun news either that went for 30 seconds, it was the full Newstalk ZB read by a very British sounding lady who talked about countries I'd never even heard of. Then Dad would smoke a stinky Benson and Hedges cigarette and drive too fast around corners. We'd be feeling ill in the back seat surrounded by beach towels and buckets and shovels and BBQs, and Mum would be passing us warm Orange and Mango Just Juice. Combination of all this meant we would need to stop to throw up and Dad would refuse because there was NOWHERE SAFE TO PULL OVER so he and Mum pretty much ended up wearing most of it.

Aaaah family life. Nothing like a good tangent to get you reminiscing.

1 comment:

Jen on the Edge said...

When I was growing up, seatbelts weren't mandatory, so my parents would just pile all of the kids in the backseat. We'd sit wherever there was room -- on the seat, on the floor, lying across everybody. And then we'd drive something like 8 or even 14 hours like that. Oh, and we'd have NOTHING to do during that whole time. No CD player or even a cassette player, just AM radio in the middle of Indiana or West Virginia or some other godforsaken place.

Now, when we get in the car, even if it's just a two hour drive, both kids have their iPods, Nintendo DS's, various small toys, a stack of books, and plenty of snacks. And they're wearing their seatbelts of course, plus our car has airbags all around.