Yup, it’s really me. I’m dusting off the keyboard, trying desperately to remember my login password because it’s no longer saved on my computer (true story), and writing a fucking blog post. I’m truly sorry for the five week hiatus. I spent three weeks with no internet and two weeks stressing out about how to make my next post not sound like a travel blog. Then crazy shit kept happening that I needed to write about (see below) and it snowballed which made me even more stressed because I simply do not know where to begin. So I’ve been putting it off. But today I skyped with KPeace and she made me feel guilty for leaving you all hanging, so I need to buckle down and just start somewhere.
But… since this isn’t a travel blog, I’m not going to talk about how beautiful New Zealand is.
I’m not going to talk about how I’ve traveled all over the south island, through parts of the north island, and also conquered Sydney, Australia.
I definitely won’t be talking about all the amazing people I’ve met from all over the world.
What I am going to talk about, is, regardless of the fact that I’m on the other side of the fucking world, my life continues to be a joke. Please note that the following accounts are a mere percentage of the bullshit I’ve been doing, day in and day out while abroad.
Exhibit A: The Big Gay Out (and other festivals)
It all began with Splore. Splore was a music festival in which we thought it would be appropriate to get our faces painted, get photographed for a music magazine, and insist on being front row for every band, none of which we’d even really heard of. CDog’s dad got us the tickets to Splore. The tickets somehow blossomed into VIP passes to the afterparty and the VIP passes somehow blossomed into a few “courtesy makeouts.” So that was fun.
At some point during the evening we decided we were definitely renting a car and driving eight hours to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, in the morning. Pretty much all night we screamed “WELLINGTOOOON.” Part of the plan was to stay up all night, take adderall in the morning, and just go. Oh, and to not wash off our facepaint for the entire Wellington excursion. Right. So when that obviously didn’t happen the next morning, we decided instead to go to the Big Gay Out festival. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Just a festival celebrating homosexuality. Since none of us are homosexual (except for maybe a few casual experiences, whatever) it was obviously somewhere we wanted to be. So we did the only normal thing there was to do and purchased tight American flag skirts and crop tops. In our deliriously hungover (or possibly still intoxicated) state we did not see this move as embarrassing at all.
As far as we knew, all the gays loved us. We were dancing, taking pictures (yes, we posed for yet another magazine), swimming in the ocean… It was only just yesterday that I had this gem of a conversation:
Friend (who lives in Auckland and I haven’t visited yet): oh my god you went to the big gay out right?
Friend: i was dragged there actually, first time ever, i sat under a tree most of the day
Sinds: i’m so happy i didn’t run into you because i was so embarrassing
Friend: i saw you girls walk past but i dind’t know it was you
Sinds: hahaha omg
Friend: i said to my friends look at those americans dressed like that
Typical. We also went to the Devonport Food Wine and Music Festival. We wore long skirts and had lots of fun. That is, until we decided to walk to a nearby beach. We were stopped on the way by some promoters from a company called A Plus. I’m not really sure what kind of company A Plus is, but they gave us free t shirts and caffeine pills. We ditched the tees and popped the pills stat. Then we died. Literally. The ingredients all looked natural and seemed fine. But this is exactly how the caffeine pills made me feel: the polar opposite of energetic, like my scalp was tingling, tired, lethargic, like I had taken prozac instead of a caffeine pill, like I was going to die, like my entire body was numb, heavy, nauseous, dehydrated, not good. We didn’t even make it out that night – we all went home and passed out instead.
Another festival we went to was the Chinese Lantern Festival. There’s not much to say about that (it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like) except that we got drunk, ate Thai food, and stole animal hats. Which we wore on our trip to the south island.
Exhibit B: Rocky
After about a week of eating every meal out because we were
too hungover having too much fun to go grocery shopping, we checked our bank accounts and had a few heart palpitations. City girl living was catching up to us. So we got our shit together and rolled our suitcases (because that’s how many groceries we were planning on buying) 15 minutes to the grocery store only to be stopped by Mac’s Brewbar. We literally stopped dead in our tracks, looked at each other, looked back at the bar, and silently wheeled our suitcases inside. It was just so typical. We coudn’t even make it to the damn grocery store without stopping for good food and drinks. “Just one more meal out” we said to justify it.
Anyway, we finally food shopped. Although it didn’t quite make us feel like we were doing something that normal people do. No, in fact, we didn’t feel as if this would be saving us money at all. We rolled out (literally) with about two grand worth of groceries. Only slightly over budget. As we began our journey back uphill to our apartment we realized that it just wasn’t going to happen. We had way too much shit.
While trying to hail a taxi we just randomly walked over to a random guy in a random van. He told us he could drive us back to our flat. A normal person would stop there and say no thank you. But, if you recall, we are not normal people. So we accepted. And there we were, four American idiots and about 67 bags of groceries, huddled together in a nine person van.
For about a week Rocky was our own personal tour guide who we both depended on and feared. We actually went so far as to writing down his license plate number and leaving it with our guy friends, just in case. He showed us
topless nice beaches, hooked us up with some, ahem, flowers, and told us about some Auckland of the fantastic Auckland nightlife. Don’t worry – we didn’t go to any of the bars he suggested.
Exhibit C: The Roadtrip
This exhibit in itself deserves sub exhibits and categories and lists and hours of my time to create. It was just an unbelievable few days that I cannot sum up into a few paragraphs. Maybe one day I’ll write a more detailed post specifically about said exhibit (but probably not so if you want to hear more, send a carrier pigeon with a note asking for details).
After all the festival festivities had died down we still had a week before classes started. So we planned a trip to the south island of New Zealand. Our plan was to fly into Queenstown, rent a car at the airport, drive to Dunedin (the waaaaaaay way way south is NZ) and spend the night, drive back to Queenstown for two nights, drive to Christchurch and stay for two nights, then return the car at the Christchurch airport and fly back to Auckland.
My oh my how that plan changed. But I’ll get to that later.
Dunedin was a blast. It was our first experience with driving on the left side of the road and it was our first experience with lying to the hostel staff and telling them we were only a party of two instead of a party of four (don’t do it). Queenstown in istelf was a joke. If you don’t know anything about Queenstown do yourself a favor and read about it now. It is often described as an “adult playground” and a “natural amusement park.” Plus it’s New Zealand so it’s fucking drop dead gorgeous and amazing and everyone just wants to
have fun drink. We met a drunk Irish waitress at a gourmet pizzeria/bar who charged us $20 for two large pies, five shots, and four beers. Just to give you an idea of how insane that is, each pizza is $17. We ended up going back to that place at least four times. We befriended bartenders at a different place who let us work behind the bar, showed us this cool dubstep club, and be absolute and complete shitshows. We went to a bar with a skate ramp and a bar that serves its mixed drinks in teapots and a bar that had “tattoo tuesday” where we tatted up our necks and arms. Basically we went on a drinking tour of Queenstown.
We also ditched the idea of hostels altogether and crashed in one of our friends’ parents’ suite overlooking the lake. Just nine drunk idiots on the loose in Queenstown.
Then plans changed. You see, while on the way to Christchurch there might have been a bit of an earthquake situation. Yeah. In keeping with the lighthearted vibes of this blog I’m not going to say much more about that, but basically we were stranded in the south island with nowhere to go. Every airport was closed. But we had a car! So we decided to drive the entire country, tip to tip. It included taking a three hour ferry from one island to the next. All in all it took us 3 full days to do it, but we drove all the way from Queenstown to Auckland using nothing but a map.
I can’t just sit here and explain to you what those three days were like. It was euphoria. A natural high. Being completely free in the most beautiful country in the world. We stopped pretty much every few hours to get out and enjoy the scenery, and trust me we saw it all: beaches, lakes, forest, trees and greenery, mountains, thousands of sheep, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, etc. You name it, we were there. It was literally the most amazing three days of my life. Despite spending hours on end driving, at no point did I ever get sick of it or wish I was anywhere else or even have any desire to reach my destination. Don’t take my word for it, go to fucking New Zealand and see for yourself. It was like being in Avatar AND Lord of the Rings at the same time. Pure beauty.
After surviving those three days on adderall, coffee, and gas station food, we were feeling a little crazy. We had all braided our hair and when we got back to Auckland we decided to go out on the town in our Medusa braids. Let me tell you something about Auckland. You can’t even get into most bars in flats or t shirts, let alone cornrowed braids. Try and stop us.
Exhibit D: My Schedule
When we did finally start classes I realized that my life was becoming more and more of a joke as time progressed. I have four classes, each are three hours a week. One class on Mondays. Two classes on Tuesdays (one of which is Professional Wine Studies). One class on Wednesdays. Plus a little student teaching here and there. So like……. yeah.
Exhibit E: This Picture