The van was loaded with a dozen people from my writing course. Enthusiastically, I squeezed my buttocks between those of my classmates in the rear row, where space was limited and conversations inevitable — but that was easy to deal with because I was with good company. Nevertheless, a scent of competition was in the air. At least that’s what I hoped it was. We left Dunedin northwards and followed the windy road along the coast.
Some of the graduate students of the Science Communication Centre went on a film-assignment, destination: Dunedin’s landfill and its residents, the pūkeko. I joined them on the trip because I needed to get out of the office, and also because I wondered how garbage was handled on an island country such as New Zealand.