So, for various reasons I have decided to delete my address from my blog but if you want it, just flick me a message and I’ll send it to you.
I encourage you to want it because I’d love to receive some lovely postcards, letters and care packages from you.
Anyway, the last three weeks have been an absolute blur of packing my room, finishing at work, selling my stuff and saying goodbye.
I had a few great send-offs—from morning teas to outrageous nights on the town—so thank you guys all so much.
Of course, due to all this last minute madness, my Japanese learning fell by the wayside a bit. I missed the last class by being in Auckland and instead of feverishly listening to podcasts as I had been doing, I was wildly karaokeing with my awesome friends.
I also practiced useful phrases on people around me:
Anata wa oiishi desu. (You are delicious)
Nani ka nominasen ka? (Won’t you drink something?)
Toiru desu ka? (Am I a toilet?)
Anyway, the big adventure started on Sunday 24 July when I waved goodbye to 86B Salamanca Road. My eight million bags and I caught the train super early on Monday morning.
The train ride is really beautiful and I absolutely recommend it if you have 12 hours to spare. I was really lucky with the snow because it made it just a little bit more magical. Admittedly I was asleep for a lot of it due to the last few weeks, but we stopped for lunch in Ohakune where it was still snowing heavily and I had a hot chocolate and played in the snow.
I spent a few days in Auckland catching up with friends and my parents and packing and all of a sudden it was Saturday and I was sitting on my suitcase to get it to close.
I met the Auckland JETs at the Crowne Plaza for our pre departure orientation and reception, then Mum and Dad took me out for Spanish food. Won’t be seeing that for a while…
I met Stella, Leigh, Sam and her sister in town for a couple of last drinks and was lucky that my roommate didn’t mind me creeping in at one am. It was a trade off as her alarm went off at four am—a full twenty minutes before we had to be up.
The bedraggled and bleary-eyed Auckland JETs caught a coach to the airport at 5.45 and somehow managed to check in and get on the plane with with other NZ JETs without any major incident.
It was a 12 hour flight and we were super stoked to arrive and find a breadcrumb trail of current JETs in pink teeshirts waving signs, greeting us, arranging our luggage to be shipped, putting us on buses and sorting out our travel insurance. I’ll say it again: this programme is amazing.
We got to our (super fancy) hotel, picked up our luggage and a TON of information stuff and went to our room. I’m rooming with Sienna and she’s a blast!
A few Nu jirando jin headed out for a much needed beer and had the most hilarious time trying to order off a touchscreen with limited English. We managed beer, but had serious problems with food—we ended up with blue eggplant, fish flake salad and raw fish mousse.
We were all swaying with exhaustion so we headed back to the hotel by 11ish—stopping briefly in a convenience store to check out the weird stuff on offer.
After that massive update I’ll conclude simply that I’m having an awesome time so far and I think I’m going to like it here.