I’ve finally made it to my final NZ resting spot for awhile. As I type I am staring out over one of National Geographic’s Top 5 Most Scenic Lakes in the World. Oh and I’m on my patio.
No big deal.
Before I get into much more detail about where I am NOW I want to look back on my first week in NZ and everything that has been floating around in my head.
My initial thought looking across the countryside…no joke my very, VERY first thought was I don’t ever want to leave. My second thought was that they could have me shoveling horse poo and I would be content. I also contemplated applying for a bus driver position once I finish my work. I can’t think of any job more spectacular than driving around the Kiwi countryside and staring at this all day long…
I want to go into every single roadside cafe. Their quaint signs and the locals lounging around on rocking chairs. Especially the one with the pumpkin feta quiche.
The people here are kinder and jollier than any I’ve ever met. They want to know all about your plans and their accents are so thick their english sounds like a different language altogether. Their sense of humor is hilarious. They laugh a lot. It’s infectious.
The green here is on another color spectrum completely. Technicolor green. Neon 80s sweatband green. Golf course green.
I went a week with no tv, no internet, and no cell phone and now that I have it all again I realized that I missed nothing at all. Foreign kiwi birds chirping and rooster calls have been my soundtrack and I love it. I have nowhere to be and no email dings haunting me at night.
Lakes Ranch (my first New Zealand home) is the closest I have ever been to living on a real farm. Pigs, goats, chickens, roosters, horses, and splattered road kill of one of the above animals by the mailbox. I saw glowworms and learned to love being muddy. I also have a growing affection towards my sleeping bag. My sleeping bag is a little piece of heaven on earth…Fluffy, cozy, warm, cuddly. Everything I have ever wanted when I climb into bed at night.
I saw Hobbiton….Well I take that back. I saw the town I need to travel to in order to get to Hobbiton. Matimati I believe. I also saw 2,000,000,000 other places I need to travel to/photograph while I was watching the countryside fly by me.
My first week of NZ food has been a fried, fatty, cakey, creamy feast. Lasagna, thick cut french fries, potatoes, cheesy pretzel bread and more bread with butter. And that laundry list of food items was only the “light lunch” menu. We have cake four times a day everyday. No, really, we do. And warm custard and brownies. Oh geez, and don’t even get me started on all the new candy/sweets I have to obsess over.
I have met Kiwis, Germans, Koreans, Japanese, two lovely ladies from Denmark and Finland and a handful of the people I’m working with are from South Africa. And I love them all. Hearing multiple languages swirling in the air around me is no longer strange. I didn’t even think twice when my roommate started sleep talking in Finnish.
It rains…A LOT.
The crazy thing is I think it is why people here are so darn happy. In Colorado it’s sunny ALL. THE. TIME. You feel like a big glob of guilt if you don’t get outside every freakin day! With sunshine caressing your face every morning it makes you feel as if you have to be on the move, enjoying it, running around in it. In New Zealand, the rain is a permission slip to RELAX. To kick back, read a book with a mug of tea, and chat with friends. It also makes you appreciate the sun all the much more when you do see it.