In Queenstown your life can flash before your eyes for many reasons.
Adventure sports obviously, competitive heavy drinking and anytime you’re driving along State Highway 6 and see a rental car about to make a right turn.
But, just generally, time and life seems to be passing by here at an alarmingly unnatural rate.
Is anyone out there even slightly worried about how it is October already? Or even just Thursday already? Or the afternoon already? There’s always cliched tourism PR bumf about places being ‘on fast forward’, but Queenstown does seem to have a real, tangible problem with time.
There are not enough days in the week. You work five days and then suddenly, somehow, it’s Sunday evening again and you haven’t made the bed, washed the car, mowed the lawn or done your homework.
There’s loads to do on the weekends, that’s why people live here. So maybe we could just quietly introduce an extra day – just for Queenstown. A lovely extra Sunday.
Tourists wouldn’t notice. Most of them are so hammered on Saturday night, they’re not even sure what species they are on a Sunday morning, never mind what day it is. Anytime anyone noticed and said “wasn’t it Sunday yesterday” we could just bluff them, stare at them questioningly and ask if they’re okay.
To get around whatever insane time/money equation local business owners raise in opposition to Queenstown Second Sundays, we could just introduce a rule that no one works. No one.
All businesses remain closed. All shops, petrol stations, gyms, cafes, airports and hospitals – closed. If you get ill on Second Sunday, you fend for yourself.
We should put it to a vote. Of course they did used to have days like this. They were called Sunday.
But this isn’t just about having time to relax. Time in Queenstown is tick-tocking by quicker than elsewhere, trust me, and it’s impossible to cram in work, health, hobbies, and kids, never mind nights out, snowboarding, mountain biking, cinema and correspondence to aging aunties – and we have to eat food on top of that as well.
American author H Jackson Brown says we shouldn’t say we don’t have enough time because we have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein.
And local MP Bill English was photographed last April running the Routeburn Classic, which presumably he had to train for while also juggling constituency work, his job as Minister of Finance, along with a wife and six kids.
So some people somehow find the time – although saying that Teresa, Da Vinci and Einstein didn’t live in Queenstown.
Einstein himself, who knew more than Jackson Brown about time, said: “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
That’s the problem – living in Queenstown can be so absorbing that time slips by unnoticed and suddenly it’s October again. It will be Christmas soon. That doesn’t bear thinking about.
God knows how quickly time moves in Rotorua, which is the adventure capital of New Zealand … apparently.