New to New Zealand – Auckland, New Zealand

When I finally collapsed into my seat on the plane leaving Brisbane, I was so grateful that no one was seated next to me. It wasn`t long before I was spread out over three seats using the three small blue pillows to cover and cushion my head. I was lulled into a dreamy altered state of consciousness as the adrenaline from my last weekend in Australia waned slowly but surely.

It was a very strange feeling as the plane dipped and cut through the turbulence. I sometimes felt like I was flying. Ok, I mean, without the plane. I guess this is where no sleep and heightened senses come into play. I played out the last three months trying to make some sense of it all but this was a lost cause as my mind was in a terrible tangle.

I picked at my dinner realizing that I hadn`t eaten much over the past few days. I attempted to watch a movie but my mind wouldn`t focus and I gave up stretching out once again to steal a catnap before we touched down in Auckland.

I tried to sleep on the plane but I kept getting woken by the chatty and energetic Dutch girl sitting behind me. Irene was determined to get me to agree to travel with her once we arrived in New Zealand. I explained to her politely as I could that I was still buzzing from the party in Australia and to ask me later, when I could think more clearly. Didn`t seem to work. She REALLY wanted a solid answer. I realized that she must be excited having come all the way from her home in Holland ready to embark on her 5 month study stint in Auckland. Finally, I said that “yes perhaps we could travel together” and she seemed content.

We traded info after sharing a shuttle into the city and I checked into my hostel. I explored and although I was exhausted, I was far too wired for sleep so I went down to the common area. I meant to do some reading on what adventures were avail to me in New Zealand but I ended up talking with an animated 12 year old who had just moved here from Zimbabwe. Tendai quickly quelled any fears I had about my rash decision to add Africa to my travel plans. I grew more and more excited with each story he told me before I bid him farewell in hopes of catching at least 1 hour of sleep.

I did sleep hard and woke 5 minutes before I was to meet Irene for supper. Who needs an alarm clock anyway? We explored Queen Street and ate some so-so takeout while watching some locals skateboard in the square.

I found a bookstore (my candy) and Irene laughed as she watched me mill around touching all the books. Oh, how I love the bookstore. The next day, Irene insisted that I come and stay with her at her flat as her other roommates were not due until the weekend leaving more than enough space.

We spent a few days visiting with Brinny and Chris (Irenes new roommate and boyfriend) learning to cook and speak Chinese. Chris is an excellent cook and taught me how to make a really yummy cabbage dish. I commented on how lucky Brinny was to have such a talented boyfriend. She pointed out that women have been cooking for so long, men in the kitchen is long overdue.

We made plans to make a quick jaunt to the Coromandel Peninsula before Irene was to start her studies and I would head south. So that’s precisely what we did.

This entry was posted in Australasia and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply