05.30.2009 47 °F
Hello all!!! Yes I know it’s been forever. Again. But that’s what happens when you work two jobs. My life right now is literally sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep, work. When I’m not sleeping I’m working and when I’m not working I’m sleeping. The fact that I am sitting down to type this up now is nothing short of a miracle. And you should all love me for it.
So what’s been going on??? Well, since I last left you, I took on a night job here at the Base hostel. It’s pretty much the same tasks as working for accommodation except now it’s two hours longer and I’m getting paid for it. I figure a little extra cash never hurt no one. But I also pretty much had no choice but to take the job. Why, you ask??? I’ll tell you...
At the beginning of April, my boss decided that she was only gonna have paid staff in the evening which, for me, was not good as I couldn’t do work for accommodation during the day as I already had a day job that I couldn’t switch to nights. So I asked her if I could take the paid job in the evening. She said that was fine but the only thing about that is that paid staff are not allowed to stay in the hostel. I was totally bummed as I had made a home here for myself and I didn’t want to find another place to live as I couldn’t afford rent anyway. I had no idea what I was going to do. Later on I was talking to my friend about it in reception trying to get some advice and the reception manager overheard what I was saying and told me that pretty soon, one of the paid staff was leaving who was also one of the fire wardens for the hostel. She told me that I could take his spot and become fire warden AND take the paying job. And being fire warden means I have to stay in the hostel anyway. I was so happy with the way it turned out and that I didn’t have to leave the hostel. So that’s what I’ve been doing since April. Being fire warden pretty much means that whenever there is a fire alarm I have to go from door to door and make sure everyone is out of their rooms. There hasn’t been a fire alarm since I’ve taken the job *knocks on wood*, so I haven’t had to use my fire warden responsibilities. And my rent is only 75 per week so it’s not bad at all. That was my rent when I was staying in the Bay of Islands. So it’s all good. The only bad thing is I’ve had to switch rooms twice in the past month and it’s a bit annoying as I have to move all of stuff around which is a pain. But I’d rather have that then move it somewhere else in town.
Since my last blog, I have met some pretty cool people. There’s a girl named Courtney who’s from Michigan and she’s traveling with her boyfriend who’s from England. His name is Michael but we call him Bing as his last name is Bingham. They are awesome people. There’s a girl from England named Claire who works with me in the evening and another girl, Lisa who is from Scotland. We’ve all had some good times together. Courtney and Bing have since gotten an apartment together but while they were here, we had DVD nights and we watched DVD’s outside our rooms in the hallway. Those are always fun. We all went to go see “Wolverine” together. It was so good, go see it. And then after watching that we had an “X-Menathon” and watched the first two X-men films. We would’ve watched the 3rd but I didn’t bring that one with me as it’s the worst of the 3. But now I wish I would’ve brought it as it’s more Wolverine for me to watch. I think Wolverine is the sexiest character in geekdom. And the character itself is just extremely interesting. I now want to get into the comics. Speaking of films, I’ve also seen “The Reader”, “Watchmen” and “Star Trek”. GO SEE STAR TREK. It is fantastic. It’s made for people who don’t know anything about Star Trek and you truly don’t have to know anything about it to see it. I mean, everyone knows the characters of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. So the names you will know. But you don’t have to know anything about their history or any details of the Star Trek universe. It was incredibly entertaining and it actually brought tears to my eyes a few times. Very well made and I highly recommend it. It actually makes me want to see the other Star Trek films. I can then see for myself if the myth is true. That every odd numbered Star Trek film is crap. Or is it every even numbered one??? Either way, I can judge for myself when I watch them. (By the by, “The Reader” and “Watchmen” were also really good films. Kate Winslet is brilliant in “The Reader” and the opening sequence in “Watchmen” with the Bob Dylan song is worth the price of admission alone.)
Another exciting thing that I got to do was to go meet John Howe at the Weta Cave!!! For those not in the know, John Howe was one of two main conceptual artists for the Lord of the Rings films but before they were hired on for that job he had been doing Tolkien illustrations since before I was born!!! I wasn’t even a glimmer in my parent’s eye. He did what’s probably the best known painting of Gandalf the Grey which you can see below:
He just had two new books come out on his own techniques on painting and they are a phenomenal read. One is called “Fantasy Art Workshop” which is on fantasy art in general and the other is called “Forging Dragons” which is about all the dragon pieces he has done over the years. He is such a good artist. And quite nice. He’s a very quiet man but not shy. He signed both of the books for me and I also got a really cool Weta Cave tote bag that I carried the books in. It’s awesome. I just found out that Alan Lee (the other main conceptual artist on Lord of the Rings and famous Tolkien illustrator) will also be doing a signing on the 20th of June!!! I don’t know if I’ll be around in Wellington during that time but if I can work it out I’d love to go and meet him as well. Another cool thing is that it’s been confirmed that Viggo Mortensen is currently in Wellington on “movie business”. I wonder what “movie business” that may be??? Hmmm... Could it be “The Hobbit”??? I bet it is!!! Why else would John Howe AND Alan Lee be in town around the same time as well??? That is so cool.
It has now been eleven months since I first arrived in New Zealand. Can you believe it’s been almost a year already??? That trips me out, man!!! I also have one more week of work at both jobs and then I’m going on a little mini trip to the south island with my good friend, Hayley. We’re gonna spend around ten days in the top half of the south island. First, we will catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton and then we will take the train from Picton down to Christchurch. How exciting!!! I’ve been wanting to go on one of the train rides since I got here. So it should be quite fun. We will spend four days in Christchurch and I’ll get to catch up with my Charlie B’s friends and introduce them to Hayley. I’m really stoked for that. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to go and see them one more time before I leave. Then from there we’re gonna take the bus to a the small town of Hanmer Springs. They have these really cool thermal pools there that are supposed to be really awesome so we want to go and spend a day there. From there we’ll take another bus and go up to the town of Nelson which is supposed to be quite neat. Everyone raves about Nelson and I haven’t been able to go yet so I’m really excited about that. About an hour and a half from there is the Abel Tasman National Park which is one of New Zealand’s most popular parks. We’re gonna try and go there for a day and do some kayaking if it’s warm enough. Oh, joy!!!
So what am I doing after that, you ask??? Well, I have decided to spend a year in Australia. HOORAH!!! I just got approved yesterday for my Australian visa so that was really exciting. I will fly into Sydney from Christchurch and spend some time working and traveling over there. Good times!!! And since I’ve met loads of travelers over here in New Zealand, a lot of them are either on round the world trips or are planning on going over to Australia anyway as it’s so close so I will be able to meet up with a lot of good friends over there. And the other good thing is that if I ever miss New Zealand, I can always fly back over there for a week or so as flights are generally quite cheap. Speaking of which, I will be doing that around November or so as Curtis has had to postpone his trip AGAIN. So around November I will be back in Middle-Earth to explore with Curtis and show him around the places that I know. How lovely. I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my travels. Which means, a new blog for Australia!!! I know you’re on the edge of your seat!!!
Here’s a few random photos from our nights out and about in Wellington:
Hayley and Sinead
Courtney and Me
Dinner at Hayley's work with me, Sinead, Courtney and Bing.
Gui, me and Guto. They are from Brazil.
They like to give kisses.
Ezster works in reception.
This is Balazs (pronounced Boe-losh). He is from Hungary and so is Ezster.
This is Waieze. He works in reception as well and does not like to have his photo taken.
This is Ana from northern Ireland. She was the housekeeping supervisor and this was the night of her going away party.
Ana dancing with Hayley in the background.
Me, Bing and Courtney.
CK says hi.
Ana and me again.
Lisa from Scotland and Hayley.
Another photo of Hayley and I.
This is at a place called Tokyo Tea House. They serve you drinks in tea pots!!!
Tea for three!!!
This is the cool lights that they have hanging in the bar.
Hayley, Courtney, me, Claire and Lisa all ready to go out. YAY!!!
Well, that is all for now, I will be back very shortly as since I will not be working soon I will have plenty of time to post a blog on my adventures with Hayley in the south. Take care and miss you all!!!