Posts Tagged With: canadians working in new zealand

When Life Gives You Lemons…

It was images like the above that sold me on this excursion in the first place!

It was images like the above that sold me on this excursion in the first place!

Due to lack of wi-fi, time, and a never-ending battle with illness after injury (more on that later), I’ve essentially stopped entries altogether during my travels this summer.  Fortunately, after several grueling weeks, I’m back and decided to pick up exactly where I left off – in Croatia.  A little over a month ago, I started Croatia on my own but was quickly joined by my Aussie Mate so we could speedboat ourselves over to the blue caves near the Island of Vis.  As this was going to be the highlight to our pit-stop in Split and possibly even Croatia, the trip was booked well before my parting with Dublin became common knowledge.  Unfortunately, we made the dire mistake of booking online with Split Excursions (aka Portal Agency).

The story begins the day before we were supposed to sail out to the blue caves.  Just to make sure all our T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted, we rocked up to Portal to find out exactly where to meet the boat and settle the final payment before grabbing dinner.  Instead of the easy errand we expected, we were hit with the headline that our excursion had been cancelled.  Supposedly they had sent out an email earlier but turns out that neither one of us had received it just yet – SURPRISE!  The reason we were being given was bad weather even though the day in question was being forecast as the best of the week with clear blue skies and sunshine.  Despite presenting them with the weather facts our hostel laid upon us, they said the tour was cancelled and attempted to sell us the Plitvice Lake excursion instead.  REALLY?  Because bad weather in a national park would be better?  Disappointment  isn’t a strong enough word to describe our reaction.  The two of us sat in silence as we tried to figure out how the hell to get ourselves out the blue caves.  Another tour?  Ferry?  Ferry to an island and then some other way to the caves?  We planned and plotted every single possibility before finally admitting defeat as the sun began to set.  Depressed at the events that had transpired, we sulked and strolled through Split’s old town in hopes that something magical would happen in order to get us on a boat to the blue caves.

And just like that we found ourselves directly in front of an open tour office as we were weaving our way through the streets of the old town.  Yes, there was a queue and we were pretty damn sure that the agent probably wanted to go home already but hell, what difference would 2 more girls make right?  So as quickly and quietly as possible, we joined the queue in hopes that no one else would notice the addition of two extra bodies in the room.  As luck would have it, we were queued right behind a Korean trio inquiring about the blue caves.  The agent told them that unfortunately the tour wasn’t going ahead as there wasn’t enough people for the boat.  And by some eavesdropping miracle, my Aussie Mate jumped into the conversation saying we were looking at the same tour too before spinning all the Korean she had hidden under her sleeve in order to befriend the other blue cave tour seekers.

The agent quickly informed us that they needed 7 people to set sail but that just translated to haggling in my Aussie Mate’s mind.  First thing first – there was only 3 of us looking to get over to the blue caves but a few carefully placed YOLO statements was all it took for us to force another member onto team blue cave.  After that, it was trying to convince the agent to quote us on a boat rental instead of selling us a tour package that required a minimum of 7 people.  After some skillful negotiation and a hellish amount of nagging, a phone call was placed to the skipper and he agreed to a lower rate for the overall boat for the day.  After all was said and done, my Aussie Mate and I decided to make up the difference if we couldn’t find anyone at our hostel to dragged along with us at the last-minute and charged the Korean girls the going rate for the tour.  And that was all it took to fix our little problem.  We rented a boat with a crew and forced a few Korean girls to join us for what we were saying was going to be the time of our lives!  All that was left to do was withdrawn a healthy sum of money to make our blue caves tour dreams come true – hopefully the bad weather thing was just a cover for not selling enough seats like most of the locals kept telling us.  At the end of the day, there was nothing we could do other than get a good night’s sleep and keep our fingers crossed that everyone else was right and we weren’t just about to flush a decent amount of cash down the drain to get the fright of our lives due to rough seas.

Categories: CROATIA, croatia: split | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

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

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.


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

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.

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

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