September 18

I started off my morning with my first train ride in New Zealand. Well technically, I started off my morning by getting caught in a tour group of judges, who were coming to the capital. But a very pleasant station employee asked if I was lost (in a surprised tone) so I guess I don’t look very judicial. On the way to my platform I saw this little gem:

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It was a fun little quirky thing, there seem to be a lot of those in Wellington. I got on the train to ride out to my job interview which is about 20 minutes (by express train) away. The views at the start of the ride were a little disappointing considering the tracks run right next to the ocean, but they got better as we rode away from Wellington.

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I arrived at the place where I was meeting the owner of the hostel and was struck by how cold the town is. The wind was pretty constant and it felt 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than Wellington. Danny (the owner) picked me up (yes, I got into a car with a stranger) and we headed the five minute drive to the lodge. It was clear pretty much immediately that he had already made his mind up. He kept telling me how much I was going to love living there! It was definitely my easiest interview ever! The building is right on the beach, the only thing in between is a road. The kitchen and lounge are beautiful. The bedroom that I will be sharing with another girl is tiny (we are talking cupboard under the stairs), but there is free laundry and wifi. Big selling points in the NZ traveling universe. My hours are going to be 8-8 on Saturday and Sunday. In exchange, I will have use of all the facilities and a free room. It will also give me time during the week to find another job or travel! I decided to commit to four weeks! Although he assured me that if it doesn’t fit my needs then I can leave without hard feelings! What a relief to have a place to live! I move in on Monday!

After that successful morning, I headed back to Wellington (after treating myself to a celebratory flat white–which from what Helen says is sort of a less foamy latte). I spent at least three hours attempting to get my NZ number to work and my hard work was rewarded! I now have a very odd looking phone number that I have given to two people (I guess I need to start making some friends!)

Around 6 pm, I met Helen to wander through a food market that sets up off of Cuba St on Friday evenings. There was so much variety for food, lots of Asian options, a Dutch place and I got a delicious Moroccan chicken tagine wrap. Helen got amazing looking paella. We also each tried a few dumplings, which turned out to be amazing. There was live music playing, but it was quiet and instrumental and the softly lit atmosphere made it more subdued than I would have expected. Helen said it is usually much more lively. On the way back to her car, we watched a juggling street performer. He could dislocate his shoulder and juggle behind his head. Very strange, but neat!

Tomorrow, I’m moving into a local hostel and then on Monday, I move out to the beach!

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