nz: auckland

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone

The Cave

The big attraction to Atiu is the Anatakitaki Kopeka Bird Caves and despite my reservations on doing something that was classified as a challenging walk on the makatea with inadequate shoes, I found myself waiting to be picked up for the tour.  The fact that I was told that I’d look like mince if I fell wasn’t helping matters at all but there were going to be 4 other people on this tour with me so they all couldn’t be experienced woodsmen right? WRONG.  As my luck would have it, I got put in the group with a quick-footed guide and 4 Aussies with sturdy feet who travelled around bush walking.

Before we even started, the idea of this walk was making me feel miserable as I was well out of my comfort zone.  Images of the river crossing at Waitakere Ranges kept flashing in my head as that’s my new benchmark for horrific trekking moments.  After all was said and done though, this wasn’t as bad as that despite having the same level of difficult to stay upright, the bird cave walk wasn’t as physically exerting.

The other big difference this time around was that I didn’t bail once because I had 5 experienced woodsmen that babied me the entire way.  They applied bug spray (Aussie strength) when the mozzies started picking on me; they held my hand when the going got tough (mind you not for comfort but to pull me back on my feet encase I did fall); they guided me along the harder spots with advice on where to step and what would make navigating the makatea easier; and most importantly, they cheered me on when my confidence was dipping low to make sure that I would continue the walk and see every inch of the cave along with them.  At the end of the day, I was glad that I did this walk but have absolutely zero desire to ever do anything like it again.

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Unpave My Path

My Ride Out Of NZ...

Over and over again, I had one friend or another look at me with concern and ask how I was holding up.  If there was even an ounce of sadness then I would have milked it like a drama queen but the thing was that I had fun but it was my time to leave – no regrets…no sadness as this chapter of my life was done and personally, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Sitting in the airport, I felt like a kid in a candy story because truth be told, I’ve been itching for weeks to board the plane with all my worldly possessions in tow.  I can’t help but be excited by the tropical island vacation, seeing familiar faces back home, and whatever else may cross my path.  I think it’s this unknown that excites me and I can’t wait to see what adventures I stumble upon once I hit the other side of the world (even if I am going the long way around).

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Hidden Gem: Ear Raper’s Paradise

There was this thing that happened to me back in June and to be perfectly honest no matter how much I’ve closed my eyes and pretended it never happened – IT DID.  This thing that happened was with someone I knew (someone who I stupidly trusted to never ever pull any bullshit move on me either) decided to give me a wet willy with his tongue.   To this day, I don’t understand why or what compelled him to do it…was my ear saying, “open for business” without the rest of me being unaware of it? 

Gross factor aside, I came up with many reasons to rationalize why anyone would ever do that to another human being…ever!  Mental illness and mean prank from his wife (yah, don’t even get me started on that) to keep him from cheating was high on the list.  Also, the amount of alcohol consumed might have been a contributing factor (note that I said factor not excuse…) that made it all seem like a valid move in his head?

Regardless, it was one of those moments that I locked away in the vault and almost forgot about until months later.  I was with a separate but related group of people and a random brings up how he likes a little tongue in ear!  After my private WTF moment, I asked around and to my horror the majority of kiwi males in my company told me that it takes a little getting used to but they like it (giving and receiving)! Ew!     

This is something I’ll never understand but everyone is entitled to their own kinks…I guess.  The moral of my story is that if you’re like me and decide to go out on the town in NZ, make sure that you’re alert and keep all holes covered or else you might get an unexpected surprise in your ear!

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Hidden Gem: One Night Stand – Apparently Not!

To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure where to begin with this but was urged by girlfriends to blog about it as its one of those discoveries (like no shoes) that leaves you baffled at the best of times.  I figure the place to start is how kiwis (for the record, different and unrelated people throughout the course of my stay) have explained it to us.   It all starts off with a binge drinking night out where fuelled by alcohol, you pash and go home with someone.  One night stand and that’s that right?  Well if you’re in NZ then NO because if it happens again in the future (days, weeks, months…whatever) it means that you like the person and if things don’t go as expected then the fallback is to blame the booze.  That being said, if it happens a 3rd time than BAM, you’re in a relationship.  Maybe it’s just the people I know but this is a major WTF moment as to us this means friends with benefits or booty call not RELATIONSHIP.

Also, when they’ve had a few then it doesn’t seem to deter the kiwi if you do or don’t want to be part of their dating ritual.  Single, married (fidelity isn’t one of those things that automatically comes with marriage in these parts), perverted or just plain crazy – they will aggressively come after you like a bull in a china shop.  It will lead to awkward moments where you get picked up and twirled or pushed up against walls and have your face licked or have someone jam their tongue in your ear or if you’re me – ALL OF THE ABOVE!  Sometimes I think my being Canadian must lead kiwis to confuse me with a popsicle but that’s not even half as awkward as having to explain to someone that just because we’ve had brunch, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to tell everyone that we’re a couple.

Keep in mind that all the above is nothing but a generalization but in my humble opinion, take it as the rule and not the exception.  All good though because what my time in NZ has taught me is that maybe I’m a hopeless romantic or atleast someone not willing to put up with being man-handled by intoxicated individuals who are so socially awkward that they’re unable to approach me while sober.  I may come across as a prude but the one thing I know for certain is that I’m looking for quality not quantity and can spot the difference despite how hard a guy might try.

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What The Future Holds…

Hanging From A Tree

To go or not to go was the question we were pondering while sitting on the beach on a rather gloomy summer’s day.  In the end (after the advice of a rather wise friend) we were on our way to the Chinese Lantern Festival.  Sadly, what sold us was the promise of amazing food stands (mmm, satay chicken and dumplings!) but what we’ll always treasure are the moments that were spent with the fortune-teller.

You see we were taking a food break (after all, a little digestion goes a long way in more eating) and decided to stroll around checking out the lanterns when we discovered a tent with a small sign saying “fortune-teller”.  Being who we were, there was no question other than to queue up and find out what our lives were going to be like.  After what seemed like eternity, it was our turn to had over $10 and find out what our future holds.

It was my turn first.  Turns out that I’m a fire dragon (already known fact that I discovered back in the day), my lucky number is 9 and on September 9th I’ll be getting some good news (but he couldn’t tell me what it was…fortune teller my ass!)  After that I was lectured about taking the long way to Ireland and that I will need to cover my throat in the winter months.  After further questioning, according to this man, my palm says I will have lots of emotional problems (but not the worst he’s ever seen), my face says that I’ll never struggle for money (yah, I’m as puzzled as you are), and for me – just boys…maybe 2 or 3 (slightly confused as I’m not sure if we’re talking about children or my work environment).

Musical Turtles - What's Not To Love

As for my partner in crime – she’s a mental monkey doctor and her lucky number is 4.  After trying to convince her to move to Hong Kong and then saying she could get her family from the UK to move to Hong Kong he went on a rant about how marriage is just an institution set up for the government to make money (bitter much?).  He brought up relationships but couldn’t expand any further without seeing her partner before saying that she’d have 1 or maybe 2 kids (twins).  

At this point, we were busting a gut as every new thing he said was even more ridiculous than the last.  As there was an increasing queue for his services, we were quickly dismissed with the simply words of, “okay…go now…bye”.  A story that might only be funny if you were in the moment but probably the best $10 I’ve spent in a very long time.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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