Well, it’s been a whirlwind few days. I’ve made it to NZ and what an adventure it’s been. My plane rides were uneventful. We didn’t even have much turbulence. The 13 hour one, which I was dreading, turned out to be the easiest of the lot. We had a good strong wind helping us along, so it was shorted to 11 ½ hours! We were fed (and it wasn’t terrible) and I even slept without taking sleeping pills! Then they gave us breakfast (at 2 in the morning) and we landed at 4 am. Then the adventure through Auckland customs and rechecking baggage and then it was a waiting game until my plane to Wellington. I walked 15 minutes from the International terminal to the Domestic one. In the dark. Then I staked out a window seat and watched the sun rise. I thought it was a good omen to begin my trip to watch the sky turn from black to yellow, orange and green. Then it changed to pink and purple and red. The sky was a perfect blue. The few clouds there were drifted across the sky like nothing. They say it’s been a horrible summer. A bit rainy and cold. It was 70 and sunny. I’ll take that over CT’s 11 degrees any day.
Then, the plane to Wellington was canceled because of electrical problems. So, they trucked us onto another Wellington flight and I made it here only a half hour later than I was supposed to. I got picked up by a nice girl named Sophie, we grabbed my many bags and jumped on a bus to my hall. She told me my name sounds like a movie star’s name and that she liked all the double l’s. I asked if there were many Mollies on the island and she said no, only really little kids, since the name is apparently gaining popularity.
After the harrowing bus ride (Wellington is basically just a series of hills) in which I was suitably impressed by our driver (and the bus’) maneuverability, we lugged my combined 100 and something lbs of luggage to the main office. I met the heads of the hall, they gave me keys, forms to sign and told me I’d be rooming with 4 boys for the new couple of days. They said they told them I was coming, so they would clean up, but if I didn’t like it, they would put me somewhere else. I said it would be fine, and off we went. Up yet another hill, down to the end of a very narrow path and up to a door with the handle in the MIDDLE! I unlocked, I walked into room 3 (!), dragged my stuff in and slumped down. The room is quite large. Bigger than my single at SHU, for sure. Maybe about the size of my room at home, only it looks bigger because the ceilings are higher. The walls are bare (and a bit scuffed), there’s nothing on the cork board (yet), and I don’t have any hangers or tacks, but my bed is made, my clothes are put away and my suit cases are hidden. I found out that internet must be purchased separately, and was a bit bummed. I wanted that connection to the other side, something easy to keep me grounded during this time of supreme uncertainty.
So, I decided it would be a good idea to go into the city, explore a bit, and get my bearings. I left at 11:30 am. I wandered down the hill, across the motorway (via a bridge, don’t freak out), and right into the city. I walked up streets and down streets and into underground parts of shopping centers. I was looking for something inexpensive for lunch (laughable in the city, it turns out), for a Starbucks that had internet, for a bank to open an account, and for a store where I could buy a pay-as-you-go phone. I found the Starbucks, but walked past it because their “free” wi-fi was only for an hour, with the purchase of a 4 dollar beverage. I found numerous places to eat, but sandwiches were something like 9 dollars a piece; I found the phone store, but it was insanely packed so I kept going, and I couldn’t for the life of me find a supermarket, or a shop, or a grocery store. And when I asked people where I could find one…they looked at me like I was crazy. I am speaking English! Frustrated, I found a place that sold baked potatoes with stuff on them. They looked good, so I ordered one with chili and veggies and cheese. Well, it can be confirmed that the NZ-ers do not know how to do chili. It was like baked beans (yes, the backyard barbeque kind) with cumin powder thrown in. Everything else on it was great, but the “chili” kind of ruined it.
Then I sucked it up and went to Starbucks. I bought an iced tea and hoofed it upstairs to check email and the like. Responded to parentals and let the friends know I made it, looked up grocery stores around me and then set off again. I crossed the street, bought a phone and then went to the grocery store for shampoo, milk, cereal and fruit….which was 30 bucks. Then tried to find my way home. At this time, it was about 3. I didn’t get home until about 5. I got lost, I could not figure out how to get back to my damn apt. And whenever I asked anyone, on Victoria campus no less, they couldn’t tell me. Finally, a nice Irish woman, who’s name I never got, kind of knew how to get there, but couldn’t describe it, so she just walked me there. I came in, said hello and had short convos with my roomies (I have one from CT now), took a shower and was sleeping my 7. And I slept until 7:30 this morning. I woke up, ate breakfast and started writing. It’s been a bit hectic and crazy. Hopefully things will get easier once I have some kind of concrete schedule and my real roomies come in. They’ve all been here before, so hopefully they can help me out in all the areas that I clearly need some work in.
I’ve done some more exploring the last few days, I’ve bought real groceries that were not terribly expensive (chicken, lamb AND shrimp) with pasta, rice, veggies, and other staples. I am slowly figuring out places to go and how to get there. I was asked to give people directions today, so that must mean something…nevermind that I couldn’t figure out how to direct them where they needed to go.
Tonight is one of my temporary roommate’s birthdays. There is going to be a party, and I have been invited. This is something to look forward to and I’m excited about it. So excited I might try to make a cake. I will let you know how that endeavor goes, if it goes.
As up and down as it’s been, right now it’s up and I will take it.
This is Molly the (future) librarian, signing off.