All in all, it’s been a pretty big week and for just how crap it has felt at times, I’ve got a lot to be proud of this week.
Not least of which my ability to ‘adult’.
As it turns out, my natural instinct to survive out of my comfort zone remains as strong as ever and I’ve managed to keep anxiety at bay long enough to land on my feet and hit the ground running.
A mid-week slump hit on Wednesday, when having so successfully done all the life admin I needed to do I was left with a free day and so I decided to join the library.
Best decision, ever.
In the immortal words of Arthur: Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card.
I have to start with the awkward this week, it happened at the start of the week and works as a sort of prelude to the other seven days.
My flight was delayed.
The flight itself was horrific in the sense that I was sat next to a smelly, inconsiderate couple who just wanted to snuggle.
Literally smelly, figuratively inconsiderate in the sense their affection towards each other seemed to push me into a really uncomfortable position and I got exactly 0 hours of sleep.
I was hot, and sweaty by the time I got off the plane, my shoulder was aching from being squashed the wrong way and my stomach was loudly protesting about missing out on the breakfast wrap (out of choice, I just wasn’t feeling beef at 4am).
After an eternity, I made it through passport control and was starting to warm to New Zealand, although I did feel like everyone was a bit more reserved than Australia; I could have been projecting my own trepidation, and it was super early.
I got through customs, with the chap in front asking me if he needed to declare his protein bars and it got me thinking about the sachets of protein and pre-workout I had in my bag. He seemed to get waved through no problem, so I did the same.
Bags one and two came out fine and then the conveyor belt stopped.
I looked up.
That’s my suitcase.
I saw them wiggle it backwards and forwards before the stern, overweight lady controlling the belt shook her head aggressively and gestured towards me.
A slightly friendlier lady came over and asked me to undo my case.
I could feel tired, hungry tears welling up in my eyes and she asked me if there was anything I needed to tell them about.
“I’ve got some pre workout sachets from Australia, but I think they’re mostly synthetic and…” the words were catching behind the lump in my throat as she pointed to the area in my suitcase that was causing trouble.
My underwear packing cube. What the hell is in there that could pose a biological hazard, all jokes aside, everything in my case was clean.
Looking unimpressed with the pre workout sachets, she asked me again. I shook my head in dismay as she told me it could perhaps be that something was damp in my case.
Inspired, I told her I’d done a late dark wash and hung them out on the line to dry, packing them just before I left, I could tell her everything that was on the line, and then proceeded to try to.
She half smiled before shaking her head, “No, it’s not that. Are you sure there’s nothing in here, you need to tell me about? No food, no spices, wheat…”
Ignoring the oddly specific inclusion of wheat, it suddenly dawned on me that I might know what the problem is.
She was already opening my underwear cube.
“That’s a hot ted, it’s one of those bean things that you put in the microwave for cramps, I don’t know what in it, but, I just, I really need it for my shoulder and cramps and…”
She was only half listening, “Wheat and lavender, ok, where did you buy this?”
“Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia.” (why are you being so specific now, Bex?)
“Melbourne? And has it been used? How long have you had it?”
I felt relieved, “Oh God, like 3 years, I use it at least once a month. It’s probably losing it’s effectiveness by now but…”
She laughed, holding my ‘hot ted’ like it was a child and wandered over to the overweight lady in charge of the belt.
I watched their discussion before I finally saw heads nodding and she came back over smiling.
“I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t worry honey, it’s such an obscure thing to think of, I wouldn’t have expected you to remember, just mention it next time when you come through.”
And with that I was on my way.
Still rattled, I jumped in to the shuttle bus and braved the hair raising ride to my hotel (as it turns out, shuttle buses driven by Eastern European drivers in New Zealand have different road rules, speed bumps are a launch ramp for air time, red lights still mean green and lanes are more a suggestion that a rule), to be be locked out for an hour and a half.
Eventually I was let in by another guest, to be found with a look of surprise by a staff member who seemed alarmed I was bringing a suitcase in. Thankfully, my room was already prepared, so I got in and rang Zac, who within a few sentences told me to go to sleep for a few hours before getting my bearings.
It’s been less than ideal not having my best friend and partner in crime around to celebrate the little things with me, but only having a 2 hour time difference, and the wide availability of free wifi has made it much easier.
On Sunday I got an AT HOP card (like a Myki or Oyster card) and a kiwi phone number.
On Monday I got a new flat and a kiwi bank account.
On Tuesday I got a new job and a cracking Indian takeaway.
On Wednesday I joined the library and found a super coffee hole opposite ‘home’.
On Thursday I joined the gym.
On Friday I signed my contract.
On Saturday I explored the CBD.
And after all that I decided to do bugger all again today.
I’m slowly starting to think of Auckland as home.
Not in a permanent sense, in more of a Uni sense.
Actually, thinking about it like going to Uni has made the whole thing a lot easier to reconcile in my head, and already having a date when I’ll see Zac again (and our own bed to cuddle in when he gets here) has given me a strange kind of purpose.
He send me off in the morning with instructions to send snaps of my adventures, and when I protest it’s just a normal day he scolds me for being silly: I am an adventurer.
Besides, if I’m not out discovering all the best things to do, how am I going to properly show him around when he does get here?