Friday, 27 April 2012

Bodger and Badger

Whoops! I blinked and another 3 weeks has gone by... so much for blogging every week. The trouble is now we have slowed down a bit there is a lot less to report back on... I haven't fallen down any toilets, been accosted by any foreigners or locked myself in any where, its all been very average. So let's see, last time I wrote we were on the hunt for a house and job and had just arrived in Wellington. A fair bit has happened since then I suppose, we switched hostels and made our first friend since leaving England - a girl from New York called keynisha, who is very straight talking and funny so we get on pretty well, she calls us the brits and I tell her when she's being too loud and have taught her how to queue properly ready for when she goes to London in the summer. We stayed in the new hostel just long enough to meet the smelliest man in the world, and then thankfully we signed for our lovely little (emphasis on the little) studio flat. I got a job in a fancy bar where I promptly began to get in trouble for doing terrible things like put the straws on the wrong side of the glass. I was given a 14 page drinks menu and told to memorize it by the next shift... I'm guessing you all know that I did not do this. It has come in useful to use as a tray when I'm eating though. It also turns out that people struggle to understand my accent even more in a noisy bar, I spent a good 5 minutes trying to say badger to a customer, while he repeated back 'mad dog' and looked baffled. Had to resort to saying baaahdger before he understood. (just so this story makes sense, there was a stuffed badger in the bar - don't even ask) 3 shifts in I had an epiphany... I didn't actually want to waste my year off working somewhere that I absolutely hated. And more importantly we are not as poor as I thought! I walked straight into the bar and quit, definitely getting a lot more spontaneous, I've never done anything like that before! Any doubts I had about my decision where wiped away when two of the managers spent a shift trying to guess my bra size. Definitely not the place for me! Sean has got work in a Telesales sort of place, it sounds like one of the least organised places in the country but he has been put in charge of spreadsheets so seems fairly content with that! It's good money as well which is always nice. Not sure what my next step will be. Not a bar though, I know that much! Maybe some sort of hermit that lives in the library? That's kind of it on the news front (i told you it wasn't going to be exciting!) We are just pottering along as always, Sean laid back as usual and me waiting to be asked to star in the hobbit at any moment. Fingers crossed everybody please! Lots of kisses to everyone! Xxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The search for hobbits begins...

Sorry its been a while everyone... time seems to keep sneaking past me out here and I didn't realise it had been so long! Lets see, last time I wrote I was hoping to find some lovely Australian wildlife to boast about. Well, karma got me for that one as I got bitten on the foot that very day and proceeded to swell up and pus up like a beauty! Consulted some of the natives and they seemed to think it was a spider bite, and I agree that that is cool enough so I have decided it definitely was a spider! Plus, when it had deflated a little I am pretty sure I could see fang marks in there. Other than that the rest of Melbourne was very lovely and pretty uneventful. We went to the Museum and I got let in for free as the man thought I was under 16 - Sean and his friend Tynan thought it was absolutely hilarious until I said that he must have thought they were a gay couple and I was their adopted daughter. That shut them up! The only other bits to report were that me and Sean have been introduced to the delights of Chinese dumplings (I believe we ate over 50 of them between 3 of us) and that I went back and got another ceasar pizza. Okay two. Our next stop was Ayers Rock, our christmas present from my lovely Pops. Now this my sound pretty stupid but the one thing I could think as we flew over the outback was... its HUGE! And very very empty, except for one or two big red rocks that is. Our hotel was lovely, and even had a bath in it, so I made sure I had three baths over the two days we were there, just to make the most of such a rare treat. The rock itself is just mind blowing. We walked most of the way around it and there are bits of information about what certain sections are used for in terms of the rituals and traditions which was pretty interesting for us anthropology geeks. There are a lot of rumours about not being able to climb it but you can. The Aboriginal people that own the land don't say don't climb it, as long as you don't think that the purpose is to climb it and ignore the views, sounds and experiences than you can. We climbed about a third of the way up and then sat taking in the surroundings for a while, definitely a once in a life time experience. Following on from there we went to Sydney to stay with Sean's friend Rich from Uni, and his girlfriend and friend. Had to get the ferry to the part of Sydney where they live, little did we realise that the ferry leaves from between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House! More free views and pinch yourself moments. We must have taken that ferry at least 10 times while we stayed there and I don't think there was a single trip where we didn't take a picture. On our first day we went to Palm Beach where they make Home and Away. I don't watch it but took some pictures to make Jenny jealous! Over the next few days explored the sights of Sydney - aquarium and Sydney Tower on Monday and Oceanworld and Wildlife Centre on Tuesday. Oh and Chinatown for lunch on both days- seems we are not ready to leave noodles behind! Met some lovely cuddly koalas and fell in love with a big fat wombat. Sean said it wouldn't fit in my bag though so didn't steal it. Next time. Decided to take a little trip to the Blue Mountains while we were so close, so on Wednesday last week took the train up to Katoomba to see some sights. Saw some. A coffee shop called Morgan's and a shop called Woodys. Oh and a mouse infestation in the hostel. Went walking the next day to Echo Point, a lookout and took in some pretty impressive views, and then wound our way down into the valley to Katoomba Falls. Got caught in a slight down pour en route but didn't mind too much as it meant we could shelter in a cave and eat our sandwiches - every cloud! On the way home saw some wild kookaburras chilling out (and yes I only recognised them because I had been to the wildlife centre two days before), which was quite exciting! On Friday we spent the morning travelling back to Sydney, and the afternoon making the most of our last dregs of Aussie sunshine on the beach - Sean went snorkelling and then exhausted himself on the boogie board while I exhausted myself watching him and worrying that he was going to be swept out to sea - may have been watching too much Australian news. Saturday finally arrived and so did the day I finally (after 10 years of waiting) made it to New Zealand! Our flight wasn't quite as smooth as planned as there was a school rugby team on there, and not one of them, including the teachers, had sat in the right seat. Chaos ensued when they were told they SHOULD be in the allocated seat and after a good 15 minutes a few of them swapped seats and then the teacher got told off by the hostess as he was using his phone. We watched and were smug that we had done the British thing and sat in the allocated seats. Aside from that the journey went ok, and before we knew it we appeared to be flying over the Yorkshire Dales. Checked in to our hostel in Auckland and went out for a Chinese (I think we might be addicted...). Our first day on the other side of the world we decided to go to Auckland Museum and get some culture and knowledge. Who did we see outside when we got there? Some MORRIS DANCERS. Was ashamed to hear a boy say 'oh look, England Dancers' so went in and hid in the museum until they had gone. Museum was really good, surprised myself by remembering a lot of my Pacific Societies Module but we were both a bit upset that the Volcano simulator wasn't working :( Then went for a lovely stroll around the park land and along to the harbour where we discovered that Sean's bank card has stopped working. Chinese Curry for dinner! Next day decided to be even more cultureful and go to the Art Gallery. Really enjoyed it, although still not convinced by a lot of this 'modern art'. Luckily there were discreet little signs that explained what the video of a man screaming meant, and what the piece of sofa with a plug hole in it meant, so that a philistine like me could at least nod and pretend that I 'got' it. Some of the other bits were great though! On Tuesday we got the coach to what will hopefully be our home for the next few months (and yes it also happens to be home to the filming of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit - what a lucky coincidence!) Wellington! Coach journey was long, about 12 hours overally, but made better by the jolly driver who in his welcoming speech forgot where we were going ("oh balls") and then when people were late back from lunch made a speech into his microphone about how selfish they were, that they had made everyone else late, and if any of the on time people wanted to have words with these naughty people he would be only too happy to point them out for us. We loved him! Coach was a double decker and we got prime seats on the top at the front - first few hours was like being on a bus through the Shire and in the afternoon we went past Lake Taupo which is VAST and then drove over the Volcanic Plateau - best coach journey ever without a doubt! Although am pretty sure an elderly german lady was stalking me throughout. At the first toilet stop she wanted to know if we were leaving so she could have our seats, fair enough. At the lunch stop, I came out the toilet cubicle, guess who was there. We sat on a wall to eat our lunch, guess who came and sat next to us. I got a hot chocolate from the machine, guess who was waiting behind me to use it. I wouldn't mind but she looked at me like she wanted to kill me throughout these little meetings. Got to Wellington after dark, my joy was hampered by desperation for a wee - I was a fool not to go when we stopped at 430 and he warned us it was the last stop. Misplaced faith in my bladder. First two days have been a bit of a muddle as we try and work out what we are doing - managed to get NZ sim cards sorted yesterday and do some serious house hunting, and think we may have found somewhere nice, got to go and confirm on Weds though so don't want to jinx it! Will be pretty scary as we have to sign a contract for three months and pay upfront, so as soon as we do that the pressure will really be on to find work :( already applied for a bits though, but everything will shut down over Easter so will be put on hold a bit! Now if you don't mind I need to go out and look for hobbits. I know there must be some around here somewhere! Lots of love, and missing everyone lots. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx