Wednesday, 5 November 2008

One week in WUALLINGTON

Please forgive all the capital letters, I hope you can appreciate I'm pretty excited about being here. Anyway it's a bit over a week since I flew into Auckland - I guess I should give you the lowdown...

- 29-hour flight from London to Auckland via Hong Kong. Not too bad as I've done a 28-hour flight before (in 3 flights), but still hits you. Was waking up at 3am for several nights after.

- Spent some time with my uncle's family outside Auckland, then a day with my aunt inside Auckland. Very nice to see them.

- Bus from Auckland -> Wellington: 11 hours overnight, $72.
- Flight from Auckland -> Wellington: 1 hour, $70.
With a laptop, guitar, suitcase and bag, what would you choose?

- Stayed at a hostel for a couple of nights - first night I got in, went out with some Germans/Irish/English, saw a rock band, and got a French girl's number. Mmm French people.

- Currently holed up at a couchsurfer's, a student flat of 5 girls who've finished their exams. Most couchsurfs are around 2/3 nights. There's an American guy who's been here about 6 weeks! All really nice so I'm grateful for the chance to relax while I look for a flat.

- Flats in the centre of Welly vary from $110-150ish (£40-60ish) a week, and vary from "awesome pad" to "shithole" with hardly any relation to price. Seen some places, hoping to be actually moved in somewhere next week.

- The weather. 2 days now the wind has been so strong you could see my ribs through my coat. On Saturday, walking around looking at flats, the wind and rain were worse than anything I've seen, and I've lived in England for 25 years. The hills and the rain remind me of Bristol, but seriously.
The next day I went hiking, it was sunny and warm. Insane.

- Wellington central is laid out quite well so I already have some good bearings here, unlike my first year at Bristol which took weeks to get used to. It's also walkable, and combined with the straight streets makes even 30-min walks seem less far.

- CAFES BARS CAFES BARS PUBS THEATRES CINEMAS CAFES BARS CAFES BARS BARS.

- Comspolitan and busy atmosphere without the tourist/hollow feeling of Auckland.

- Been meeting lots of people in various places, including the Wellington Couchsurfing group.

- Some good beers in this country thankfully, I recommend Speight's Dark and Mac's Red amongst others. Then again they do call 500ml beers a "pint" which is really not on.

...And of course, the accent has been a topic of conversation here. I recommend this video as something both instructive for those not familiar with the kiwi accent and rather funny for those who are.

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