Saturday 8 Jan 2011 - Monday 10 Jan 2011 23 °C
I moved into my new house on Saturday morning and immediately felt exhausted and relieved. Dave, Brenda, and Italo (and Hachi!) welcomed me into their home and I was sooooo happy to finally belong somewhere. I didn't realize how much staying in a hostel made me feel displaced and lonely. I'm still lonely -- I spend a lot of time sitting in coffee shops or pub decks reading my book, or going to movies alone so I don't have to face spending a weekend night in my room. But I'll make friends, I'll fall into the groove of things here. I'm allowing a little bit more re-invention of myself since it's kind of like a fresh start, so I'm being very careful about how I talk to people. Once I get into the habit of it, I'll be exactly who I want to be. It's amazing how much going through depression affected me. My whole outlook is different, and I find more and more moments to congratulate myself for my positive thoughts, or for enjoying those moments of loneliness because later I may wish for them. My New Years Resolution, made 30 seconds before midnight, and told only to Catherine so far, lol, because she was sitting beside me on the couch at the time, is to not let myself fall back into depression. And this last week I've been tested beyond belief. I'm passing. And I'm letting myself believe that I'm actually out of it, for good.
Anyways, my new home is fantastic. It's beautiful, and the roomies are nice. Nothing close to as awesome as the previous ones though. :P It's great having a dog, and a piano, and a balcony...
So the great thing about NZ money is that there's no such thing as pennies or nickels! The coins are 10 (bronze), 20 (silver), 50 (larger silver), 1.00 (gold), and 2.00 (larger gold). It's really easy for calculations and such. AND their bills are all different coulored too! 5 is bronze, 10 is blue, 20 is green... it's great. Reminds me of home... :P
Speaking of home, the other day a girl recognized my necklace! Seriously, most people in Canada don't know that it's an Inukshuk, but someone on the other side of the world knew. She was an oriental girl that I was buying water from in a convenient store and she recognized it as the logo for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, but hey, good enough. :D I also saw a remedy coffee the other day! haha.
I've been looking at menus and trying to notice what is considered "local" food here and different from Canada. So far I've noticed that their obsession with kebabs is the same thing as Canada's (or at least Edmonton's) apparent obsession with donairs. Also, the kiwis are really big on something called a char-grilled vegetable salad which is absolutely amazing! Grilled sweet potato, potato, tomato, courgette (i.e. zucchini), pumpkin, etc. served on a bed or greens with fresh feta cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and some sort of garlic creamy dressing. (YUMMMM) There is also a lot of pies. Not apple pies, not dessert -- meat pies and vegetables pies, etc. Lastly, they eat a lot of avocado (compared to Canadians). For example, they don't have BLTs, they have BLATs (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato), and that is normal. Lots of the sandwiches and wraps include avocado. And of course, the seafood is so fresh it's almost still wriggling. :P Soooo good. I bet they have amazing sushi here, too bad I don't really like it. Maybe I'll try some in a week or two.
Anyways, so after moving in I just lazed about for the rest of the day -- bought a few things for my room, read my book, and went to a movie. (The Tourist is a crappy movie, do not pay money to see it! gawd.) Then on Sunday I explored the neighborhood (so nice!) and went to the Auckland Fish Market by the harbor. It was amazing! Tons of fresh butchered fish heads, haha, live eels, the whole kit-n-kaboodle. Lol. There were lots of places serving fresh seafood and a marketplace type area with raw freshly marinated and packaged fish. I found an area with and outdoor bbq and salad bar, ordered the snapper, which was amazing, and sat down to listen to some live cool jazz and enjoy the cool weather (ie. felt like 22 instead of 35, the kiwis kept saying it was good weather).
Sunday evening I made some friends! After the fish market I got some ice cream and sat under a tree in a park near the movie theatre on Queen St to read my book. A guy and his girlfriend were sitting near me, and commented on how good my ice cream looked. After they went and got some they came back and we started talking about sci fi novels, New Zealand, Canada, etc. Evan is from the USA and Courtney is a local and now they live in an apartment on Queen St. We exchanged numbers and they're taking me to the beach tomorrow! Yay! They're so nice. I'm excited. :D They told me to bring my togs, jandles, and towel for tomorrow... :S I had to ask someone what it meant: togs = swimsuit, jandles = flip flops. First encounter with kiwi slang.
Today (monday) was my first day at work! I didn't need to meet Heide until 1pm, so I took my time getting ready. I went to Habitual Fix for lunch which is a legendary fresh/healthy food place in New Zealand. And I have to say, it was LEGEN - DARY! I got a BLAT sandwich. Haha. Good stuff! Heide showed me around the university and we got some paperwork done. Bruce wasn't there, so I'll have to wait to meet him. I won't start any real work until next week since Heide wants to get a project set up for me. I mentioned that I was interested in Geology and she said she'd try to get me a project working on turbidity currents with the geology department! So exciting! She's super nice and told me that if I want a week off anytime to go see the country or anything, it's not a problem. I'm going to be practically working on my own stuff, so it's all up to me to work out a time schedule. I don't go in again until Wednesday at 2pm for my safety training. Afterwards I had time, so I went to the aquarium! Haha, the penguins were so cute. :P
Then I went and bought a new bathing suit and board shorts, since I needed them for tomorrow, and the selection is crazy here (obviously). When I got home my new roomies and I played a card game called shit-head (lol) and bonded over jack-n-coke. :D It was a lot of fun. I definitely fit in here. Haha the boys are playing some sort of medieval dueling game with a wii or something right now -- they look so funny jumping around waving their arms, Brenda and I are just sitting here laughing at them. This is good. I'm proud of myself... I'm going to be alright.