You’re listening to the girl from the big bad city

7 Apr

Despite having every confidence that I definitely knew where Daniel’s house was (as he had kindly agreed to give us a lift to the airport at 5.30am), this was sadly not the case and we spent many happy and calming minutes driving up and down the wrong street before being directed by him “you’re literally just around the corner!” (d’oh) to the right address.

Daniel dropped us off and then the fun began – a very tense and worrying discussion with the lady at the Virgin check-in desk who decided that if we didn’t have onward tickets from NZ we weren’t allowed in and had never heard of an e-visa and couldn’t understand why there was nothing in my passport. After about 20 minutes of talking to various people on the phone, she finally let us check in, only to find my bag was 1kg over the limit and I would have to pay $60 extra. Luckily my backpack has various unzippable bits so I chucked a smaller bag that was attached to it in my hand luggage. This was fairly nerve-wracking and more importantly, cut into our time for a leisurely breakfast.

Nearly got through security but at the last minute extra staff were called to examine my bag as a ‘suspicious object’ had been found. So I had to get everything in my bag out for the woman and she went through every pocket of the little bag I’d unzipped from my backpack…which included all my dirty underwear for the last couple of days that I didn’t have time to wash before we went. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she also pulled something out and asked loudly what it was. “Um…that’s my shewee…”To say I wanted the ground to swallow me up is a severe understatement. All I can say is I will probably never have the courage to go back to Australia just in case I see her. The offending object was eventually found – a pair of kitchen scissors that I’d forgotten were in that particular bit. In the bin they went. They were bloody good scissors as well. Never mind, we were through and could finally board the plane.

The flight was ok except for the landing – a very steep descent into Wellington which felt like your stomach had been compacted into the size of a tennis ball but it was fine in the end and all of a sudden we were in New Zealand and official Immigrants. The NZ customs were very quick and efficient and just waved us through after showing them our spices, fishing gear and my crocodile hat. So, new money, new weather (17 degrees! coats! scarves!) and the weird excited/what on earth are we doing feeling that you get in any new country.

We got a taxi to the nearest backpackers, had a small heart attack to find out that a private room was $105, dumped our bags and went to find lunch. Wellington seems a nice city having walked around for a bit – loads of shops, billions of restaurants selling every cuisine you can think of, great transport (cable cars!) and loads of things to do. We found a little pub on the corner and settled down for an early lunch as NZ are 3 hours ahead, and immediately got embroiled in to the relationship problems of the English guy next to us, who clearly had been waiting for someone to listen to him so we discussed how to get his girlfriend to talk to him again and had a spot of lunch. The competition seems to be higher here as there were loads of deals on food and beer – a jug of beer was £5.50 – it was £5.30 a pint in Broome! An inevitable downside of city living is homeless people, and we saw many whilst walking a little way into the city. After we finished lunch, we were sitting outside and a man came up to me and said “you finished with those chips?”, and I said as long as he didn’t take the bowl with him, he could have them. Our new best friend on the next table took offence about the way he had asked and decided to square up to this man and then called him all names under the sun, and his girlfriend “a scabby cow”. She immediately grabbed a stool from our table (luckily tethered down) and chucked it at the man’s head. A member of staff caught it, so she grabbed Craig’s beer off our table and threw it a his face. Welcome to New Zealand! To be fair, the guy at the next table had completely aggrivated the situation but not something I expected to deal with at 5.30 in the afternoon. The member of staff apologised (bless him, not his fault) and bought us a new jug of beer which was very nice of them. Sometimes talking to strangers pays off, sometimes it doesn’t…

With all the flying around, a long day and full tummies we couldn’t keep our eyes open so napped for a bit -which meant we were fully awake pretty much all of the night. To make things more confusing, the clocks changed in the middle of the night so at 3am it became 2am. We thought that maybe food would help so I ventured out amongst the drunken hoardes to the fast food shop around the corner…so we ended up eating kebabs at 3.30am in bed in our pants.


Stay classy.


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