cast your mind back my friendCast your mind back 10 years.

Where were you in the dawn of this millennium? Such a big deal was made of the year 2000 coming to pass. Like we were all expecting the world’s problems would go away because we reached this milestone. We kept hearing about how this was a once in a lifetime event. This is all true I guess, considering humans are lucky to live 100 years! Unless you’re chanting words like “there can be only one” – then chances are you might have been one of the lucky people amongst the other 6 billion to see the millennium pass. There was a lot being made about the Y2K bug and New Zealand being the first timezone in the world to go down in flames because of it. There were even civil defense warnings on television, saying we should be “prepared for an emergency” with spare batteries, water and tinned food etc.

All that said though. Everything turned out pretty damn good really. For one, being the new millennium, cities around the world threw their budgets out the window to put on lavish displays, shows and performances to entertain the people ready to ring it in. I was 18 years old, and the drinking law had just been dropped to 18 from 21 just a month prior. My education had just finished up for the year and I was free from all study. It was like the stars aligned for me, and I was going to make the most of it with a genuine party effort. Not sure why, but the memories from that night still make me laugh. There was something intangible in the air. I was new to the city of Christchurch (1 year in) and was enjoying it. I had made some new friends that year, and we formed our own little group for the evening along with a couple of my other friends from years gone by.

The night ended up being quite an epic one. Christchurch came alive. It’s a flat city, and very pedestrian friendly, so people were in the central city in full force. We are very fortunate that the New Years period down here is over summer. I can’t imagine what it would be like celebrating in the cold. A lot of occurrences went down to remember the night by. Including convincing my friends that it was a good idea to catch a cab to New Brighton. One of Christchurch’s beaches. The idea was to fully experience the New Year / Millennium we would see the sunrise. We make our way out there by cab, but the wait was quite a while. Half of the crew was asleep by the time the cab arrived. After the trek out there, we notice that basically everyone from the central city has ditched the partying there, and continued onto the beach. EVERYONE had the exact same idea. Of course they did. It was like something from the opening scene of Baywatch. Hundreds if not thousands of people on a strip of beach, where you can hardly see the actual sand due to the abundance of human beings. I think there was an hour to go before the sunset was due to come up, so we found a spot to settle into for the wait. I don’t know about my friends, as my memory is a little hazy, but I fell asleep. Around this time the weather turned from an OK morning to slightly rainy. Once I awoke I noticed it had gone from pitch black darkness to slightly grey. The weather was so bad that everyone missed the sunrise as it was too gloomy.

Add insult into injury? Sure. This was compounded by the fact that so many people needed to catch a cab back to their home that there were none whatsoever free for the journey back into the city. There were a lot of taxis in the area. None were available. After a very long walk, possibly an hour to an hour and a half later, in the direction of the city centre we stopped at a bus stop and noticed that the timetable was due to start in 15 or so minutes. We waited for the bus from that point. It arrived, packed completely to the brim. We barely fit in. For a couple of bucks I found space in a baggage part of the bus to sit in for the ride back. It was such an insane ending to a massive night/day. We were all tired and completely pissed off at each other by the end of it. Though now that its all done and passed, I’d say it was probably one of the highlights of my life.

How so? Well, it introduced me to to new things that would help change my direction while in the city. One was the Dux de Lux. I can’t believe it took me a year before I found the place, but it is now THE only place I go drinking in Christchurch. If you want to drink fine brews (it is its own micro brewery – as well as serving the traditional beverages), eat good seafood or vegetarian food, and just have a great time. This is the place in Christchurch you need to visit. Plus they’ll cover your sports if your into it, and bands play there too. Win!

The other introduction was Adam. Who was the replacement at a local Subway store for another Canadian dude that I knew working there. I had met Adam a couple of times before, but he was scheduled to work the busy shift that new years night. We went in early to say hi to the guys working that shift that evening. Adam mentioned he was due to get two hours off and would be hitting the Dux de Lux later on as his flatmates worked there. It was close to where one of my friends apartment was. We invited Adam back there first, and then all hung out at the Dux afterwards. Had it not been for the timing of that moment, I’m not sure there would have been the opportunity to hang with Adam, and I would not be making this comic as it is right now. I’m very thankful for all of it.

It’s hard to imagine that was ten years ago. Scarily enough, months after that night, I still had people hitting me up on the street who had remember a conversation I had with them on the night. It was just one of those nights I guess. Heh.

Above is one of the panels from one of my new comics. You will get to see the page soon hopefully.

Thanks for reading
Marc!