We got to see a small Maori performance at the museum, and this kind chap didn’t mind posing for a picture with me. At first he wanted to do the can-can. .. And isn’t it odd that we have a similar type of hairstyle???
This was the view from the living room of the place where I stayed at the Coral Coast. It was a great little place, but I found out that I got 11 of my DVD’s stolen from my locked room there, so I can’t say that I would recommend it to anyone. What in heaven’s name anyone else would want with “Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter” is beyond me.
My flights from Vancouver went pretty well, pretty uneventful which was nice. Alaskan Air was the carrier to LAX, then I boarded the flight to Fiji. Ten hours overnight to get to Nadi was a bit much – there are only so many times you can watch “Without a Paddle” or “The Cinderella Story”. I got off the plane at 5am and it was already more humid and warm than I had ever experienced in Vancouver. And I was still wearing Canada clothes.
My rickety trip to the place where I was staying was accented by an Auzzie family – they kid was jacked up on kid energy, and the parents were jacked up on redbull. They had just flown from Brazil and had just been to Carnivale and described Carnivale in almost its entirity to me and another girl from Boston who was on the same bus. A few times on the hour long bus ride, it sounded like the bus was going to explode, but I arrived fine.
The next two days in Fiji was my attempt at aclimatizing myself to the beautiful, yet humid, weather. On the Monday, I did a bit of a tour of a Tongan cannibal camp, and then went shopping in Sigatoka. I bought five papayas and five mangoes for $2Fijian (about $1.50 CDN). The next day, I went on my tour around the islands and then the next day I had to head out early to get my flight to Auckland.
When I got to the airport, the person checking my bags said that I needed to show the ticket that I bought for my outward flight from NZ. Problem was that I didn’t ever buy that ticket – I had shown the itinerary when getting my Visa, so I assumed that was all that I needed. So, my flight to NZ left in 1.5 hours, and I needed to go and buy a ticket from Auckland to Sydney to show I was leaving the country. Then the dude behind the counter said something about my bags being overweight – this was the first that I had heard of that at all in my trip. In the end though I guess he felt sorry for me, because he didn’t charge me anything extra, although it should have been an extra $300Fijian.
I arrived in Auckland and immediately I got sick. My transport from the airport to the residence was wonderful – this great kiwi older man who ran the shuttle company. I got to my room in one piece, only to find out that the girl that was renting my room before me a) didn’t clean it and b) skipped out 1 week early, so I was going to be responsible for paying for her rent for that week. I curled up on my bed and didn’t really move, save for getting some ice cubes to eat, for the next two days.
On Friday, I pulled myself together and went to the University to see if I had medical insurance so I could go to the Doctor. And I did. And it was good. And then I went and got groceries – which was a big ordeal because there wasn’t anywhere around my residence to buy groceries.
Saturday, me and a flat mate went to the symphony in the park just down in Auckland Domain, about three minutes walk away from my flat. It was a celebration almost like the symphony of fire, except there was more music, some canons, and everyone was drinking champagne.
This week has been a lot of orientation, figuring out where my classes are in the University. I’ve gotten a bit of free stuff, which is always nice, and it seems that I know where most of my classes are going to be held. Things are picking up from when I first got here.
I was fortunate enough to go on a one day island tour from Nadi in Fiji. I chose the sailboat tour that took us on a high-speed catamaran from Nadi to Mana Island, then we boarded a large schooner and travelled around some of the smaller islands.
I was lucky that day, supposedly it was raining at the hotel all day, but we only had a few patches of cloud just after lunch.
We also got to do a bit of snorkeling off of this island, and there were coral reefs about three feet from the shore. The water was a bit rough and the tide was strong, so it took a bit of effort just to stay in one spot. But the coral and the fish were gorgeous. And I almost found Nemo.
Well, I’m ready to ship off on Thursday. Or almost ready.
I’ve been having strange dreams – of course having a crazy cat staring at me while I sleep doesn’t help much- but people from my past whom I haven’t seen in more than five years have been wishing me luck.
I keep saying that once I get in Auckland I’ll wake up one morning and go “where the hell am I?”.