Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Well in Wellington

It has been quite a week since I last posted on here. It didn't take too long to give up on Auckland once I found out that the woman who was supposed to be helping me find a job was in fact doing absolutely nothing. So when a new friend told me she was driving down to Taupo (about halfway to Wellington) last Friday, I was eager to catch a ride. Taupo looked pretty much the same as the last time I was here, but it was still great. Hopefully the next time I am there, I will get to see it from a whole new angle: jumping out of a plane. Taupo has the cheapest skydiving in New Zealand, if not the world, and I am not missing out on that.

Me in front of the Huka Falls where they flow into the Waikato River (later I will try to find what I'm sure is the exact same picture taken in 1997):

The Huka Falls from another angle:

A wierd geothermal area known as Craters of the Moon. That's all steam rising up from the ground. I didn't get any good pictures of the boiling mud, but just trust me that it's there.

On Saturday I was planning to take a bus from Taupo to Wellington, but got really lucky and happened to find a brother and sister who were driving down to Wellington and were happy to give me a ride if I split fuel costs. So my whole trip to the bottom of the North Island ended up costing about $15, plus I got to ride in real cars with interesting people instead of a cramped bus. Not too bad!

In Wellington I was greeted by some familiar faces. My cousin Peter and his wife Roni have just moved down to NZ as well. They're a little more hardcore than I am--they're getting residency status, finding real jobs and actually planning to live here. Even though they are also newcomers, they were able to give me a nice orientation to the city and point out all the important things (mainly where to eat, which really is the most important thing). Sunday was more family reuinon fun, with an awesome hike around eastern Wellington up to a lookout where we could see the South Island and the Southern Alps. It was the perfect day to go because it happened to be the one day since I've gotten here when it was not gray and chilly. Even though this picture is not the greatest in the world (gotta get my camera fixed--it doesn't seem to like taking pictures in focus), that white stuff on the horizon that looks like clouds is actually the Southern Alps.

On Monday it was time to get down to business and I spent the day handing out/emailing resumes to every temp agency I could find. I was a little frustrated at first when one of my roommates at my hostel--who doesn't even have a work permit--got some phone calls back and I didn't hear anything. But Tuesday brought better news and an interview with a temp agency who has already found an interesting position for me. They said they just need to finish talking to my references, and I should actually have a job to start ASAP.

Hopefully my good luck with this city will continue as I move on to the next piece to the puzzle: finding a place to live. I went to check out a place yesterday and was thoroughly disappointed. However, the girl showing me the room could have done a little better at selling it by not telling me things like "I would never go in the bathroom without shoes on" or "We just got a cat because we have a mice and rats." I'm willing to forego a little luxury for cheap rent and a good location, but only to a certain point.

So all in all, Wellington has been treating me well and I can only hope that it continues to do so since I plan to stay here until the end of October. The only area where I could stand some improvement is in the weather, but if this is "winter" then I really can't complain.

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