Posts Tagged With: Auckland

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.

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

Just Me, Myself, And I

Chris Booth sculpture on the island's southern headland

For some strange reason, I am slightly obsessed with exploring as many of the Hauraki Gulf Islands as I possibly can before I leave the country.  Rotoroa Island has been high on the hit list ever since it opened itself up to visitors late last year but for one reason or another it was never the right time (okay, truth be told it’s because of the weather – hello, what happened to summer!).

So what‘s a girl to do?  I can’t get a soul to commit to an all day island excursion with me and the weather (once again…surprise, surprise!) isn’t playing ball either.  As this is my second last weekend left in the country, it’s a now or never decision.  Sadly, it’s also one that I made while half asleep and set off for Rotoroa Island on my own despite how glum it looked outside with the hope that the clouds will burn off by the afternoon and I’ll have a beautiful day on the island (sometimes I deserve a punch to the face for my optimism).

By two o’clock, the delusions have faded and I’ve quickly come to terms with the fact that it’s a total shit day and I have nothing left to

View from the top of the North Trail

do.  All the trails have been done with a stop at every look out  – even the steep ones that I was trying to avoid at first.  I was cold and grumpy and if I could have rocked up to a bar until the ferry came to get me then solo drinking would have been my activity of choice to pass the time.  A little ironic as this island was originally off-limits to everyone except for a few people who were isolated there for alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

Sadly, there was no bar, no booze (let’s not delve too deeply at things I left back on the mainland), and boredom had set in.  That said, I have no regrets on going to the island as it was something that I wanted to do.  I would, however, not recommend anyone else go there on anything other than a beautiful summer’s day or on their own as there just isn’t enough to do to keep yourself entertained for an entire day.

 

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Just Your Average Shoeless Joe

Something that Britney and the kiwis have in common

It’s down to the wire to get rid of everything that won’t nicely fit into my suitcases and so I did what anyone in New Zealand would do when faced with the challenge of de-cluttering their life: list shit on Trademe.  One by one, my auctions ended and the bidders came and picked up my junk (oops, I mean the gentle used items they won in the auction).  Out of everyone that I met, there is one in particular that sticks in my mind.  The thing was, this bidder was the one who came to pick up a dresser but for some reason felt it was unnecessary to wear shoes.

If I was living anywhere else in the world this would have been rather disturbing (truth be told, it still is to me!) but here its just a way of life.  It seems that in New Zealand leaving your house without shoes on is common so why would it be a big deal to show up at a stranger’s house to pick up a dresser sans any form of footwear.  For some strange reason, there is a large number of people here who  think that its okay to stroll around without shoes.  Since arriving, I’ve seen people driving cars, buying groceries, strolling downtown streets, walking around in malls, and even pumping petrol without shoes on. WTF.  I don’t get it.  Forget about dirt and hygiene for a second and think pain as the streets have rocks, glass, and other sharp and painful object that can become embedded at any given second.  Don’t even get me started about syringes and contracting unwanted diseases because you stepped on something you shouldn’t have!

Anyway, that’s the end of my rant as this is one of those things that I’ll never understand and kiwis will never understand why I find it as disturbing as I do.  Word to the wise, don’t bother asking a kiwi about the shoeless thing as they either agree with me or think its weird that I would frown upon it.  Last time I brought it up, I was lectured on the freedom of being shoeless and I was just jealous because the climate of my home country won’t allow me to do such as thing.  That said, all I hope is that my disapproving thoughts about those that roam around without shoes wasn’t expressed all over my face when I opened the door to the man who came to pick up the dresser.  Despite what I think, the last thing I wanted to do was offend the man who was taking my dresser off my hands and giving me a little more spending money in the Cook Islands.

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Battered and Bruised!

The dry/damp forest under our feet

I woke up feeling like I was beaten while I slept but then it all came rushing back to me.  The truth is that there’s no domestic abuse fairy that lives in my room as all this pain was self-inflicted.  The thing is, the day before I completed (barely, I might add) the Goldies Bush – Mokoroa Stream Circuit which is graded as easy/medium.  What they forget to mention is that it’s easy/medium if you’re Spiderman or some other amazing super hero!  Sadly, I am not.

The nine of us out on this particular day decided to do the walk leading up to the falls which means we would tap the stream track first.  What they forgot to post at the entrance of this track is that there are numerous stream crossing and slippery rocks so it’s for experienced trekkers only.  Without having this vital piece of information, we set of on our walk.  In the water, out of the water just to get back into the water again and that quickly turned into face-plant into the water or face-plant into the mud only to slip back into the water.  We all bailed at one point or another as we left chunks of skin all throughout the circuit. It would have been awful if it wasn’t so damn funny and so we laughed at each other and our own misfortunes as we made our way to the waterfall.

Ah the memories.  There was the time that I ate it at the steam’s edge only to get hit by the current and roll around some more

The Waterfall

(sometimes, you just can’t be wet enough) or when another fellow hiker face-planted in the mud and the majority voted that she just slide into the water instead of attempting to stand up.  One after another, there was the mud or the water or some combination of the two that was the root of an epic spill for someone.  There was no going back as the thought of what we had experienced was so horrifying that it was best to just continue onto the unknown.  All we could do was help each other out as we moved forwards.  The moment that makes me laugh the most was when the experienced woodsman of the group asked if it was okay to touch my bum to give me a boost onto a rock.  I might have said sure but I was secretly thinking of saying why yes, touch whatever you like as long as you hurl my body onto this rock.  Please and thank you!  Its moments like this that will make me look back fondly on the day.  The circuit wasn’t anything to write home about but it was the people who I was with that made it amazing!

 

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

Feels Like Deja Vu?

The Airline That I'll Be Flying With

I’m sitting in my room making piles of keepers, maybes, donations, and trash where the only thing that I’m certain of is that I suck at packing  (sadly, this blog entry may be my way to avoid the task at hand but anyone in my shoes would do the same exact thing!).  The thing is, earlier this year, I made the discussion to quit my life in NZ and in two short weeks, I’ll be setting off to anywhere but here.  It was a decision that I wasn’t planning on making at this time but certain circumstances forced my hand and so here I am attempting to jam my life into two suitcases once again.

Yes, I said two suitcases as I’m now taking an extra bag despite the fact that the airline I’m flying with only allows 1 checked bag with my international ticket that cost $1749.63.  At the time I booked, my rational was that a  12 day stopover in the Cook Islands on my way back to Vancouver was well worth the hassle of only 1 checked bag but I’m now starting to reconsider that.  Turns out shipping anything into Canada costs a pretty penny and so I’m left with a lot of packing, weighing, unpacking before repacking it all once again.  Eventually, I’ll get it right but right now its the one thing that stressing me beyond belief as there are certain sentimental items (and shoes) that I refuse to leave behind.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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