Sunday Afternoons in New Zealand

16 Oct



I have found myself quite lazy the last few days with my writing. Sunday was my day off. I hadn’t yet explored anything outside of the farm because I had been working and recovering from gnarly jet-lag, so I needed to wander. I put on my rain coat and set off down the road. What I had quickly discovered was that there is no real way to go for a stroll anywhere here. Don’t get me wrong-it’s not a bad thing by any means, just an adjustment is all. Because NZ isn’t really populated, there are just highways, and vehicles drive quite quickly on them. Also, there isn’t really a shoulder, so there isn’t really anywhere to walk. Sometimes there can be a small one, but it isn’t very safe or comforting when semis are whizzing past! I would find it even more frightening on a bicycle. So that was: Instant Discovery #1. After walking for an eternity down the only road in Cambridge, I realized that I wasn’t going to get anywhere, and I was also walking in the opposite direction of town (for like 5 kilometers). I hadn’t really had a destination, and the scenery was incredible…green mountains, sheep (my favorite animal ever), beautiful trees, creeks, birds singing….it’s amazing here! However, I decided I wanted to go have myself a cocktail in town, so I turned around and started in the other direction toward town. I had no concept of where or how far I was actually going, but the best way to get acclimated is to simply go about and explore. (It is easy to do when there is only one road!) Shortly after my turn-around, I had decided that I was bored of walking, and exhausted of dodging semis that drive over the shoulder, so I decided I would simply hitch-hike into town. I figured somebody ought to know how to get there, because I certainly didn’t!  

It didn’t take long before a car stopped and backed up to see where I was off to. He was a nice man named Rick, who was on his way home after a long, tiring day of work in the service industry. He was about 45 years old, and hadn’t had all of his marbles, but I could tell that he was harmless. I hopped in the car and we headed to town. He said that I was crazy to walk, aside from the dangers of walking along a NZ hwy; it would have taken me a good 45 minutes to town. 

When we arrived into town, he drove me around a bit giving me a mini (and I mean mini!) tour. I could tell he was a lonely man, and was just buying himself more time with good company….very well the only company he may have had that evening. When he parked to drop me off, he asked if he could join me for a cocktail. Although he was a bit odd, and hadn’t had every fry in his Happy Meal, I could see a genuine soul in there somewhere and told him that was fine. He did give me a ride after-all.  

When we went into the pub he asked if one had to have food in order to get a drink because of Sunday laws. The servers looked at him as if he were crazy, but replied with a kind “No”. He clearly hadn’t been out in years, but it wasn’t my place to question or judge. I did keep my wits about me though, and only have one beer and some “Kiwi fries”. If this man hadn’t been out or seen a woman in some time, I didn’t want to be around for more than one drink. I politely thanked him and excused myself. He had to be off as well. He left before me, so I walked over to the bar and ordered myself one more beer. All of the ladies asked if it were some weird internet date. I laughed out loud and explained. They agreed that he was short some marbles, but harmless.

A while went by and an older gentleman (perhaps late 50’s) with the kindest eyes overheard my conversation with the bartender, while he was waiting to bring his mate another beer. He had asked if I were Canadian because of my accent. I began talking to him, and eventually the conversation lead to why I was here, and I explained that I was learning sustainable living here, so that I could take my skills to other developing countries to help people. Eventually with experience and volunteer work I plan to save the world, but for now I’m simply learning how I might go about that. He was taken aback by my honesty, and invited me over to the table. After learning a bit about my background, he smiled and said that I was a humble and genuine soul, but “A bit of a worry”. All that means in Kiwi English is “A handful”! I had to laugh out loud. I would say spot on!

One of the members at the table was the manager of the pub. He was a Scottish man who had been here for about two years, and when I mentioned my love for the service industry and my experience, he offered me a job! I have to sort the details and have a conversation without beer involved, but I am quite interested, as minimum wage here is nearly $14 an hour.

I have decided that the only way I will not be isolated here on the farm is to purchase a car here. The lovely part about purchasing a car in NZ is that they are very cheap for a great car with low mileage, no taxes, no real fees, no more than paperwork for my license, and I can sell it when I leave for my plane ticket home. I’ve also made the executive decision to sell my car at home. For those who know me well know that I love my Del sol dearly, but it’s time. The road less traveled is full of sacrifice, and the key to true success is trusting the universe and always putting all of your eggs in one basket in my eyes (I wouldn’t be here, nor would I have been elsewhere that I have traveled had I not done so in the past as well), so I am deciding to go all in and sell my car. I’m posting it on craigslist, and my awesome mother is dealing with the state-side stuff for me since I am obviously not there.  I will use the money for a car and a cushion as well. So, relevant to the above story, I went out, I was me, and I was offered a job. This job will pay for the petrol for the car, and the many adventures which I will take.  The smart thing would be to save the money that will be left over for another car when I arrive in the states next year…but I have a travel route home I am conducting in the moment…I know that it may change a million times, and it is also quite possible that none of it could happen…but here is my post NZ route home:

*Cambodia. I will visit my dear friend Sally who is serving there in the Peace Corps, hopefully be able to volunteer with her at work, and see another side of life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We need these lessons as humans so that we can understand better how to help. From there, Sally and I plan to visit Thailand just because, and catch up on some much needed travels together.

*Post Cambo I need to go to Germany. Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg bestimmt verloren! I miss Germany every day, and every international trip makes me miss it more. I need to go back. Plus I need to see my Thomas! 😉  My soul is telling me something, it needs to be there for some reason (aside from obvious ones-like, it’s awesome there), so I am putting my eggs in that basket, once I get them out of this one (=. I’m trusting the universe and staying open.  If I could spend at least two weeks there I’d be happy.

*Post Germany I intend to fly to Dublin and visit another dear friend, Sinead. I would like to spend a week there and travel about Ireland and have a blast with her. Then from there, I can get a one way ticket to Chicago for less than $400, so I think that’s what makes the most sense. We will see what actually happens nearly a year from now…but for now that is the plan.

But for now, Peace, Love & Light




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