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Attention wannabe New Zealander hipster dude, the faux hawk is IN

I am sitting at the “chill out lounge” of Base ACB – a backpackers hostel – on Queen Street even though I am not staying here tonight. Or tomorrow night, for that matter. If you were in town and not staying here either, it might be a good place to just go relax, pay for some internet and maybe meet a cute young guy with a gelled up fauxhawk. I booked myself for Saturday and Sunday night in the large dorm room. Maybe I will meet some people, maybe I will be annoyed by young drunk Australians. Can’t wait to find out. Friday is still up in the air. No worries, Mom, there are plenty of accomodations around town.

The customs officer coming at Auckland airport was an older gentleman who seemed very dubious about the details of my trip. Has he never encountered someone who plans to backpack, hike and camp around the country for a couple months? I mean, come on. I am NOT the first person to have this idea. No problems at customs, though. Long lines but I wasn’t in any particular hurry. That is the best part about this trip. Today I felt no incredible rush. Got to wander the strangely barren downtown, stop in the DOC office and strain to hear the gentleman there explain the ways of the Great Walks to me. His soft soft voice and my post airplane muffled hearing was not a very good combination.

The Air Bus ride from airport to downtown brought some pangs of loneliness. But walking and wandering around town always cures that. And now there are plenty of people around. In fact, Munir, a young business student from Moscow just started chatting with me on the worn and sagging couch. He asked me if I was also going to school. When I told him I already graduated he said, “Oh, last year?”. I stopped to add it up and responded “Um, no….9 years ago”. Good to know I can still blend unnoticed in the twenty-something hostelling crowd.

I am definitely starting to flag a bit. I guess I am not impervious to the crazy long trip and spotty sleeping schedule. So far I have found Auckland a bit depressing, but it might just be me that’s a bit depressed. It has been overcast, and a bit sprinkly. Really nice, though, after a couple months of cold cold New York winter weather. Absolutely no complaints here. It was 71 degrees, according to the pilot, when I disembarked. I was sweating up a storm by the time I made it to the YWCA. I have a tiny little single room on the fifth floor with a ton of greenery out the window. It’s lovely.

11 comments

  1. Loneliness

    Funny, about half way through the second paragraph I started hoping you don’t get too lonely. Just remember there’s an entire Metropolis waiting for you back here that will make you miss at least some of your time alone.

  2. As you can tell by all our comments – you are missed. Thanks so much for the journal because it brings you close to us and hopefully it will do the reverse for you. Forgot to tell you how great the photo of you taking off was. WOW! And I had no idea that was the path your flight would take. Must have been spectacular! Love ya, PLOB

  3. Well, it’s 31.7 degrees outside, here in Alexandria. I wouldn’t mind a little seventy-something right about now. Those customs/immigration folks don’t have much of a sense of adventure; I was sent right back on the plane to Athens when I landed in Israel in ’72. I’ve found the YMCA on Pitt in Street View in Google Maps, Space Needle in the background (is that you?). I was picturing dirt streets and a hotel and a saloon! How weird! Have a great time.

  4. This is the big city, uncle! I will get out of here very very soon. But it’s the best place to find a car to buy. Two big car fairs in the mornings over the weekend. Lots of backpackers and hostels and people trying to buy and sell stuff…..I will get out of here and find the dirt roads and saloons, I know they are out there….

  5. bethy jean

    sounds fabulous already. fantastic good stuff for you. nyc is really cold, you are in the right place!
    xo Clio

  6. Re: eh?

    i’m over 30 also! i’m gonna be 31. i just think lying is funny, because people don’t even start to question it. they are that wedded to their ideas of what 30-something looks like.

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