Happy New Years everyone! I beat you chumps into 2009. Wow, you are so stuck in 2008
guys, get with it. Sorry I suck so much at getting new blogs up, but at least I am still trying!
So, what have I been up to? Well, last time I wrote, I had just landed a sweet new job working for the Excitor boat. I was still doing the bar job when I started with Excitor, so I was working almost 60 hours a week at one point! I was absolutely shattered everyday, so I had to quit the Pipi and move out. I moved into a house right in town and it’s so nice. I love having my own place to come home to and being out of a hostel. That was the final step to make me feel really at home here. I live with two girls who work for Fullers as well (Excitor is part of Fullers). Grace does crew on some of the other boats, and Tessa works in the Fullers office. Both are kiwis, but Grace lives here permanently and Tessa is just in Paihia for the summer but actually lives about 4 hours south of here. (Paihia is the town I live in, though my mom’s Christmas letter would lead you to believe it’s Paipia. If she can’t see me I don’t think she cares what city I’m in.) We have huge windows that lookout onto the water and gorgeous flowers in our backyard. It’s also only 3 minutes from work and 2 from the bars in town. As I’m writing this I’m currently sitting in my backyard, which slopes upward making it a great viewpoint, watching my laundry sway in the wind and the boats fly through the water. I wish I were a better writer to really paint the picture for you, as it’s a beautiful one. There is also a white goat that keeps creeping up behind me to munch on flowers. Or grass. Or whatever it is that goats eat. Diapers? Nah I don’t think we have any diapers here.
My job hasn’t been quite as glamorous as I initially thought. At first it was amazing as I was getting paid to go out on all the trips we offer as part of my training, but then reality kicked in once I started training in the office. While I am the “Excitor girl”, when the Excitor isn’t busy I am expected to help out the ladies in the office, which is hell for me. It’s a totally corporate atmosphere where people walk around saying things like “didn’t you get the memo?” I didn’t know people actually said that in real life, but I was mistaken. The ladies who work there are super high strung too and my happy-go-lucky demeanor seems generally offensive to them. Before Christmas Excitor was not too busy so I spent way more time than I cared to working in that office, but now things are picking up a ton. Its an adventure boat so people will come back soaked a lot of times, so I get people all geared up to go, do safety briefings, and then get people on and off the boats. Sometimes I have to hop on the boat to go over to the nearby island of Russel to help the crew gear up the people they are picking up there. I love when I have to do that because I get to be on the water. Even though I am not out on the boat all the time as I would love to be, I work right on the wharf, so we keep the doors open and get the ocean breeze and I am only two feet from falling in the water. Things could definitely be worse.
Life here in NZ has started to settle into just that, life. Things can only be so incredibly unbelievably amazing for so long before the dust finally settles and you realize that even a million miles away from home on the adventure of a lifetime you will still face some of the same stupid issues you always have. But no one wants to read about that stuff, so I will just focus on the “ups” not the “downs’.
Christmas here was weird, it did not feel like Christmas at all. To people in NZ the holiday means barbeques and beers on the beach and maybe a few presents with family at some point. I worked Christmas day. I thought if I had to be there I would bring some American tradition to the day, so I made eggnog and spiked it. I thought I was being a little rebel but I got into work and got a glass of champagne handed to me. I guess everyone had the same idea. Christmas night I went to the “orphans” dinner at Pipi. Technically bars were not allowed to be open unless they were having a function, so they had a big Christmas dinner. Only people with tickets for the dinner could be at the bar, and you couldn’t get in anywhere else, so it was basically like a bar lockdown. That was a Christmas first.
Now Christmas is a very sentimental traditional holiday that was hard to be away from home for, especially somewhere that celebrates it so differently, but New Years was a different story. I had my best New Years to date this year. (Sorry Kathy and Christine, it was a close race but it did actually beat getting drunk off of amaretto sours and eating caramel corn on my back porch). I went to the Pipi to start off and drank with all my friends there, then we all headed to the beach for fireworks. The whole beach was packed with people and the fireworks were set off from a barge on the water. Then a bunch of us had bought tickets to this drum and bass DJ playing at a small out of the way bar. If you aren’t familiar with drum and bass, you should check it out. Its huge down here, and so much fun to dance to. Everyone was just out of their minds (sorry mom and dad) and having the most amazing time. New Years day I payed for it hard though, and I had to work as well! I thought I was going to die all day, but after work I turned my first day of 2009 around. I went to the beach in the evening to meet up with some friends for beach cricket, and then as it got dark our friend Puggsie, a Maori chic, busted out her fire poi. The poi is a traditional Maori dance of the females involving a tennis ball sized ball at the end of a string. You may remember me talking about it from the blog where I stayed in a Maori meeting house and learned the dance. Her version was much more impressive, as she had two massive pois that she lit on fire. It was the coolest thing to watch as the fire blurred circles around her with the moon and the glistening dark water as the backdrop. Then these two random guys joined us and one started playing Katchafire songs on his guitar. Katchafire is the band I went to see about a month ago. That was one of those “how cool is my life” moments. I think I have started to get into a bit of a rut lately, just settling into life and getting back to the problems of everyday existence, but moments like that make me sit back and appreciate how good I have it.
Kelly and Reagan had some dramas recently and both left town, which is sad because I got along really well with them. I am missing my friends like crazy lately, as now I’m noticing more and more how rare it is to find people who really get me. I am lucky that I can make friends and meet new people pretty easily, but to find those people who I really connect with and can be myself with is a bit more of a challenge. So, to all my friends and family reading this, I may be having a great time here, but I love and miss you all tons and think about you often.