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Graduate trying out life on the other side of the world.. stay tuned.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Bustin' that stereotype

So since the last post, I have started to explore a *little* more of this country I find myself in and it has done nothing but make me fall a little more in love with it.

It has been a real mix of extremes, from wine tasting in Martinborough, to a slightly more crazier night out in Wellington (naming no names) to the ballet, to working.

Let me go back to the wine tasting, if anything to make you all a little jealous. We (a friend and I) took a roadtrip, with, you'll be pleased to hear, my friend doing the driving, after I told her of all my driving escapades with less than a year's experience. Took a little detour stopping off at Lake Wairarapa (still can't spell it and I spent half an hour looking at the place on a map trying to navigate towards it..) here it is:

It was a beautifully sunny day and there could not have been a better time to hire a bike - yep- I rode a bike, for the first time in years. Yes,literally years. I have to admit it was a pretty (actually,I lie- a REALLY) wobbly start, but as the day went on, and the consumption of alcohol went up, I was a pro by the end of it. I'll be taking on the Tour de France in next to no time at all. Bring it! The wine was fabulous, and had a different take on the wine vocabulary used by typical wine-o's, and found that saying "the bouquet of this pinot noir is particularly YUMMY" had the same impact. I'd even argue that it is better than saying the "bouquet is particularly floral, with a hint of bergamot" because I find the word YUM conveys exactly what it is with none of the smarmy stereotype.

The next day, with a rather fuzzy head, the weather was absolutely foul. In the typical New Zealand way that we all love to hate it could just be described as "grey".

In a continuation of the incredibly civilised-ness of my past few weeks, we headed to the ballet on Friday. I haven't been to the ballet for years, and I had forgotten how great it is. You can totally lose yourself in the world of pirouettes and tutu's for a few hours and come out of it feeling rather refreshed. In our case, the men in tights were also a bonus..

In short I am feeling terribly cultured at the moment and felt the need to share this once in a blue-moon occurance with you. Make the most of it. Then again I might surprise myself.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Windy Wellington lives up to it's name..

Apparently there was an earthquake last night. I say apparently because I, for the second time in my life have slept right through an earthquake. I am well known in my circle of friends for my ability to fall asleep mid conversation, and it seems I am increasingly competent at doing just that.

Okay so the earthquake was nearby and not exactly on my doorstep (or under my doorstep as the case may be..) but this combined with a conversation I had at work (yes, I have started to work, I am incapable of being a lazy travelling bum it seems) with some colleagues have truly made me realise that I am living in New Zealand, where experiencing an earthquake seems to be as normal as your cup of tea in the morning.

Yes, I know I travelled for 30 hours to get here, I know that New Zealand is an awfully long way away on a globe, and I know that the 13 hour time difference, and the fact Kiwi's are the first to see the sunrise in the morning, and to see the new year in would inevitably mean that I am a long, long way from home- but it was the realisation that earthquakes, and crazy-ass storms happen rather frequently here made it really hit home with me.

I'm in mother-chuffin' New Zealand. Oh my.

On the weekend, we had made some wonderful plans to go to the zoo and explore a bit more of the area- including a place called Zealandia, which makes me think of Jurassic Park for some reason. Actually, thinking about it- I would not be surprised to see a dinosaur going about his daily business here. However when we heard the storm warnings (and experienced a pretty hefty downpour outside Peter Jackson's cinema [and- yes I did just massively name drop- how could I not?! Best.cinema.ever.] on Friday night) that going to the zoo might not be such a good idea that weekend. We might have actually seen a flying pig.

Good job we didn't. Our house physically shook from all the wind- and we stayed resolutely inside except to venture out to buy emergency cider and ingredients for cake. It was this that made me realise that New Zealand is really quite a small island (or two islands for those know-it-alls out there) in the middle of nowhere. And it is this fact that makes me love it a little more. I find it amazing that a place like this, is literally (cue the "jah, I'M LITERALLY IN BURM-AH, ON MY GAP YAH  jokes.. ) in the middle of nowhere. I quite easily forget that on my day to day doings of working, drinking great cider and improving my baking skills. (Turns out I need to work on my decorating of carrot cakes. My iced carrots on the cake looked more like [delicious] genetically modified wonders).

I don't think I will ever get used to the fact that I'm in New Zealand. The novelty is yet to wear off and I doubt it ever will. Just like my icing skills will never improve..