Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Scuzzy American

So I finally got a somewhat reliable internet connection. I've been jotting down some random things in a notebook during my journey, so let's back up a few days...

24 July 09

I'm eating at a restaurant at the San Fransico airport. You can tell I'm at the international terminal because everyone is dressed so well. You can tell I'm an American by the way I'm dressed- track pants, a free t-shirt, and running shoes. I can see some Kiwis near me by their accents, and they're dressed well too- darn! So I'm looking out the window and I can't tell if it's hazy or if that's smog. From my view, I'm not impressed with SF. Oh wait- is that Danny Tanner and Uncle Jesse up on that hill driving a red convertible? Hahaha...

So I'm waiting at the gate... I guess this mother I'm looking at never got the message that rat tails are out. Or maybe they're all the rage in New Zealand. Nevertheless, her kid is still cute, saying "papa" instead of "paper." Note to self to fit in: wear a scarf. I'm beginning to understand why my friend from high school, Paula always wore scarves. She spent some of her childhood in NZ, so some of the fashion must have rubbed off.

On the plane... Well, it's good to know that Kiwis love their dairy products. In flight meal included cheese and crackers, spicy chicken in a cream sauce topped with Parmesan cheese, bread and butter, and cheese cake. Nevermind the not so good potato salad (with lettuce?).

After five to six hours of sleep, watching three movies and two episodes of "Army Wives," I landed safely in Auckland at about 5:00am. First thing I did was find a computer kiosk and check my e-mail and facebook, of course! So the exchange rate is pretty much NZ is double the US. Currently, it's not, but it's a good rule of thumb when seeing how much things cost. I paid NZ$30 for a shuttle to take me from the airport to the Aspen House, which turned out to be a hostel/hotel/bed and breakfast.

Oh a quick note on the shuttle. Prior to leaving, I had this thought that I would be hearing this new, cool British music, ya know, way before the US hears it. When I got in the shuttle, the radio was going. I was excited to hear what was planning, but what song did I hear? "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen. Welcome to New Zealand, haha. I laughed a little to myself at how funny that was.

At the Aspen House, my room was just a bed with linens and a desk. Bathroom facilities were shared on each floor, and there was a central kitchen that everyone could use, and they also had continental breakfast. I didn't mind the simple accommodations, I just wasn't prepared. So after a much needed shower, I took a two hour nap.

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