” Punch ” … A Poem written & performed by Big Virge

Well folks, another month has passed, and as usual currently, just enough crazy things have happened to leave me feeling, a little punch drunk, with all that I am hearing & seeing to be standard actions in this world of ours.

Politicians backstabbing and deceiving one another !!!

Elections coming here in Barbados, and many seem to be saying the same as was said by quite a few people in the US, before Donald Trump became President.

If Freundel’s crew retain power here, heads are talking about Canada as a safe haven.

Well, what I will say is that on the surface, it looks like one of the better countries to be in at the moment.

However, is anywhere really safe and prosperous these days ?

America & England do not exactly offer safe havens to go, unless you are willing to ignore the social issues that currently surround living in either country currently.

Money Money Money though, still has people acting funny !

Desperation is almost like a new breathing apparatus for the majority, as prices continue to rise, whilst wages are not rising at quite the same pace.

Trouble’s a brewing, and as said, the political ring has the Punch Drunk feeling being thrown around, however, Meghan & William did their thing over the weekend, with a whole heap of pomp and ceremony.

It’s always interesting to me, to see how celebrities who claim to represent art that should influence peoples’ perceptions of say, everything from Capitalism, to, Historical Wrongs that have been suitably covered up, yet, they are quick to accept an invitation from one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST, family of colonialists, who, in no small way have contributed to not only, the inequalities of this world, through their legacies of brutality, greed and receipt, but have profited in ways that make their money seem much more dirty, than any that’s being laundered currently.

It’s incredible that, so soon after the acknowledgement that Windrush Migrants were deemed to basically, not exist, presumably because of their lack of economic benefit to the country now, that, no-one was at the Royal Wedding, protesting the idea of William, grabbing himself, a bit of colour to create an image of acceptance, for people of colour, even within the royal family !?!

It’s pretty amazing really, when you add in, the current, ” Brexit ” vibe, and the, ” Hostile Environment “, that was supposed to be the policy towards todays’ immigrants, trying to get to stay in the UK.

As said, it’s all getting a bit too much for my brain to cope with, so, let me get back to the piece i’m sharing this month.

Well, having watched a pretty decent fight between Adonis Stevenson & Badou Jack any Light Heavyweight last night, which for a change, ended with a controversial verdict, that actually, wasn’t that controversial.

No Knockout Punches were thrown, that landed, but there were some brutal shots that were taken, that warrant a rematch after the draw decision which allows Stevenson to keep his belt for now.

So, for boxing fans, this month’s piece speaks on more than boxing, but pays homage to some of the great fighters, who have inspired me over the years, in more ways that one.

They may be premier athletes, but, I think i’ve done enough now, to prove that i’m a premier wordsmith, and this piece will definitively explain why …..

Simply, because as the poem states, when it comes to my wordplay ….

It Definitely has a Heavyweight ….

” Punch ” ….

Check it out …..

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The V in NZ … written by Big Virge 15/01/2016

So, having travelled ….

A VERY LONG WAY … !!!!!!

My arrival in NZ, came, just about …….

…. without, a last minute mis-hap ….. !!!!!

Taking my time, having gone through the rather, rigorous security checks at Sydney International, I very nearly, missed my Qantas Airlines flight, into Queenstown.

I’m developing a bit of a habit of either, missing flights, or, ALMOST… missing them, so, upon finally hearing the last call for my name, I had no idea how far away the gate was for my flight !!!!!

So, I did as much of a Usain Bolt as I could, with my hand luggage, and luckily, got there in time for me to be transported, via my own bus, to the aircraft, and finally, was on my way to my final outbound destination !

I have to say, considering my distaste for Sydney, and the Australian vibes I had been encountering, since landing in Fiji. I was very impressed with Qantas, very nice seating, and entertainment, and pretty good food too !

Thus, a quick flight across the water to Queenstown, NZ, and wow, what a view as soon as you could see the landscape of the, South Island !!!

Having alighted from the aircraft, not only was I greeted by warm weather, but, as i’m sure it is, with most people arriving for the first time in this part of the world, my jaw dropped, when looking at the views that surrounded me, mountainous ranges, a plethora of different greens, from hillsides, to trees, to basically everything around us, even a couple of snow capped mountains, far in the distance !!!

Thus, my dream of seeing this country, with my own eyes had been fulfilled, so, through customs, and time to get to my hotel, and get to enjoying this experience !

It would seem that travellers’ cheques are now, somewhat outdated, as it took forever, to get some currency, but, the young ginger gentlemen, who worked at Travelex, after having to call a few heads, managed to get me some local NZ Dollars.

The airport in Queenstown is a well designed, very clean, and impressive building, every other vision, was an advert for some kind of outdoor activity, from assisted, Parachute Jumping, to Bungee Jumps, and the list went on and on ……

So, immediately upon leaving the airport, a cab pulls up, and, off we go, he explains the trip is basically 10 mins, and then, as I hear his accent, ask what his deal was, and, he was the first of numerous immigrants, I was to meet.

Just to give you an idea, I met immigrants from Germany, like the taxi driver, Holland, Scotland, England, America, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Taiwan, China & India, within my two week stay …..

This must have been the first place i’ve EVER, been to, where I did not see or meet a black immigrant, anywhere, during my entire stay, crazy, but kinda nice to have the white boys, take care of my bags upon arrival, one of the few, White Kiwis I met in Queenstown !!!!!

It’s crazy, but yup, from a colonial perspective, NZ has an abundance of nationals, from other places, who have not only visited, but have then, through sponsorship programmes, found work, and made lives for themselves, in this beautiful part of the world, and when you witness the beauty of this country, in the summer, as I did, you can see why !!!!!

The 1st of December, being the official, beginning of summer, was when i’d arrived, in slightly overcast conditions, but, by the time i’d unpacked and indulged in the suite of a room that overlooked Lake Wakatipu’, it was a beautiful, sunny evening !!!!!

At first glance, the lake was an awesome vision, extraordinarily clear water, and ducks galore, at it’s banks, chilling near to a jetty where the local water taxis stop, and dock, before ferrying people back to Queenstown itself.

The Hilton complex is a very well designed, I guess, you could say, mini-town of it’s own, everything, from a spa, to pub grub, and a more, snooty vibe of a restaurant. A cafe, art gallery, swimming pool and jacuzzi, and plenty of conference space for the business traveller.

I was of course, as stated, a singular entity, in being the, one and only, black person in the hotel.

The workers, were either asian, or caucasian, a welcome change from what I usually see when I travel.

So, off I trotted for a walk, and from the first walk I took, which took me through a place called, ” Peace Park “, I knew i’d made a smart choice to come to NZ, while i’m young enough to enjoy it, even with my number of ailing body parts, as I age.

45 …. ain’t that old, granted …

…. but, it’s old enough to know that certain trips are not gonna be so easy, in future years, so, I quickly, took in the sights, a beautiful sunset, gulls lounging on one of the many jetties, on either side of this, Great Lake, and a very pleasant hour was spent acclimatising, and taking in the sights, that were literally a walk away from my hotel room, which overlooked the lake …..

Worth EVERY PENNY … !!!!!

Fireplace, Bathroom, with a PROPER Bath, shower, and seating area, with table and chairs outside

Pure NICENESS !!!!!

So, off for some food, hit the pub, which is not as it sounds folks, this wasn’t, some Albert Square, wannabe’, type pub !

I was greeted by a youngish’ looking, bearded Scot, Phil, who indulged in conversation, while he worked, and we struck up a chord, pretty much, straight away. A cool guy, who wasn’t seemingly, aware of where the Maoris, I was keen to meet would be … LOL … !!!!!

We did laugh when one of his colleagues was like, there is a Maori show at The Peak, a tourist attraction, 20 minutes away, in Queenstown !!!!!!

So, upon looking at the menu, there was a nice range of foods, lots of meat, and some gourmet-ish’, type additions, weekly barbecues, local wines, and a couple of local beers, which I tried, and found to be, well brewed, and i’d say, a 6.5/10, in terms of the beers i’ve tried over the years.

This was far from being, some, cheap and cheerful, ” Pub Grub “, type vibe ……

So, back to my room, to catch some Z’s, and to get ready to sample the world of the South Island of New Zealand …..

Experiences that I shall expand upon, in my next few blog posts …..

But Finally …..

The V was in New Zealand …… !!!!!

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The Road to Hana … written by Big Virge 27/11/2014

….. and my final blog post covering my trip to Maui, well, it has to speak on the AMAZING …….

” Road to Hana ! “ 

Okay so, to end my Hawaii journal, more good stuff now peoples’ ….

…. and I do mean … GOOD STUFF !!!

The road to Hana is a Maui excursion that actually has a T-Shirt named after it, which I am now proud to say I own … !!!

…. and the T-Shirt gives a very clear indication of just how extraordinary the journey is, and the reason is because the T-Shirt states, in no uncertain terms ….

” I survived the road to Hana !!! ” 

So, to give you a clue as to why it says that, well, if you’ve ever watched, Ice Truckers, or, any of those shows that give you visions of … The Most Dangerous roads in the World … !!!

Well, this is clearly, one of those roads !!!!

Blind spots and bends, as well as single lane bridges, and parts of this road, that two cars, simply, cannot pass !!!

However, it is a road filled with wonder, from black sand beaches, to caves where, figures from this islands past, allegedly hid, to avoid all sorts of horrific things !

One particular spot has a clear water pool that is basically, part of a cavern. So, it’s a fresh water pool. Extremely clear, as well as being, SERIOUSLY COLD !!!
Cold enough for me, from just looking at it, to keep my black ass out of it !!!

Anyway, this road happens to be, one of those roads, that, if you’re a little too cocky…. Well, bad things can happen to ya !!!!

This part of Maui, is filled with forests of green, hiking trails, and waterfalls galore, from smaller versions, to some breathtaking visions, that seem to just appear out of the side of these, precipitous hillsides, to cascade into pools of water, that are now used, through expansive irrigation, to feed the huge sugar cane cultivation, that is a massive part of Mauis’ economy, and sugar exports. 

There I was thinking the Caribbean had the lions’ share of sugar exports, until hearing of the massive crop of sugar cane that is grown and harvested in Maui, that can grow up to 18 ft or so, and requires, huge amounts of water to ensure a fruitful yield !!!

Anyway, I digress, the road to Hana is indeed, as picturesque, as it is dangerous !!!!

The plant life, which in many cases, has been brought into the island, is varied, colourful, and in some cases, has proven to be invasive, to the point where some plants have had to be removed due to their wish to overrun, their fellow, brothers and sisters, like the worst kind of corporate styled, takeover !

Anyways, the usage of the waterfalls, and, subsequent water flows by the East Maui Irrigation company, is indeed impressive, considering the terrain that they have to navigate the water through …. and it is when you see their trucks driving along this road, that you realise the dangers of driving through this area, with any level of irresponsibility !!!

Do it … At Your PERIL !!!!!!!

…. Especially, once you pass through the quaint area of Hana, which is home to a very small community, a very small school and NO HOSPITAL !!!

Airlift bizness be running, to help anyone who is in need of any SERIOUS ATTENTION, in a hurry !!!!

Pretty crazy, but, this is how remote this part of Maui is. I cannot define it in words, as hard as I might try, but, believe me when I say, you need to see it, and should probably let an expert drive you, before you play … “Billy Big Bollocks”, and hire a Mustang or some other fancy ride to prove to yourself, or your partner, how cool you are ….. as you may just find yourself looking, rather weak, when you are being tailgated by locals who treat this road, like a regular city road, even when, bends twist acutely, and then overlook, extreme drops, not all into water either !!!!!

Some of the drops are straight onto cliff faces, and, volcanic rocks sharp enough to cut you in a thousand places, very quickly i’m sure !!!!

However, there are some great food spots and a very cool winery, from which I can now, highly recommend, the … Maui Blanc, which soothed my palette, near to the end of the drive, which, with all the stops, took the best part of a day, which again confirms, the expansive nature of this road, which, even had some areas that are named after African Planes, of an apparently, similar vein.

A bit cheeky i’m thinking, as everything from the symbol used by locals, to basically say, ” Hang Loose “, called, ” The Shaka “, to the culture of this island, would, much like many other places on this globe, when you assess them, have directly connectable themes, to ancient African Culture and heritage.

It’s actually, quite hard to belief that they don’t, especially when observing how they are used !!!

The road to Hana, as with much of Maui, has this spiritual feel and energy to it, that emanates through its landscapes, and historical tales. However, from a religious perspective, there were visions of different religious variables, of course, Catholic and Christian influences, and, rather large crosses, in certain hillsides, betray a past that defines the invasive nature of foreign religions, even in places as remote as Hana.

There was one church that is defined as being, ” Congregational “, which, seems to indicate an all accepting nature, but, once I see, Protestant or Christian faiths, being mentioned, seems to be quite the paradox, as neither denomination, defines all encompassing, or, inclusive, to me.

However, as the story of this particular church was related to us by our driver, Dave, it became apparent that this church, indeed, has the blessings of the …

” Most High ” …

as, many years before, it was the ONLY building, to survive a Tsunami, that hit the area, and demolished, pretty much everything else !!!!!

Pretty Incredible, and seemingly ….

Divinely Holy !

… having entered, it felt very eerie, if somewhat, awe inspiring, to imagine that, such a building withstood one of the most destructive forces of nature, and trust me, the waters surrounding this area, crash into the shore, with enormous power, at the best of times, let alone what would of been, the worst of times !!!

Okay so, moving on, this is one of those remote places in the world where the super rich, in some cases, have bought land, and, built secluded properties, for personal retreats, Oprah, being one of those people, apparently, for one of her dogs, she built a home for her dog trainer to take care of her dog/s, as there is some issue with bringing animals in and out of Maui !!!

Well, that’s when you know you are wealthy, when you can buy a home, in the hills, to avoid not having to have a pet being held in quarantine, when you fly in … ?!?

…. and, on that note, I will leave you with the thought of picturesque visions of sunsets from hilltops and mountainous regions, that truly define what, ” The Road to Hana “, exhibits.

It is a day excursion, that leaves you with some, stunning visual and culinary tastes.

I shouldn’t say apparently, but, one of those sights, was watching one of the drivers, basically, cliff dive off one of the sides of a waterfall, into a pool of water, that isn’t even that deep !!!!!

A memory that i’ll always keep.

“The Road to Hana”, people ….

NOT …. for the faint hearted, but, if you really want to take in what Maui has to offer, visually, it’s one you’ve, ABSOLUTELY, got to see … !!!!!

Aloha from me …

The Brother … Big V …

Peace.

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