The trip started off with a week in Auckland looking for jobs, sending emails for job availability, trying to grasp a bit of the lifestyles of the kiwis and extremely curious about the maori culture. Other than that, we were just being typical tourists doing impulsive shopping, snapping pictures of every other leaves that are not green and feeling fortunate about the perfect (pre-winter) temperature in Auckland.
Due to the lack of input on this space and overwhelming output NZ has drowned me with, i find it a little confusing as to how i should even continue blogging. So, i'm thinking maybe i will just post as my emotions and memories in NZ flow. I hope to share with you the magnificent sceneries and extraordinary experiences i've had throughout the pass 2.5 months.
That was a day at Mount Eden, then to Alleluya cafe for the brunch menu in the evening and our journey around was as though we were on a walkathon-the horribly sad fate of my feet. The view there was alright, it felt similar to being up on Mount Faber in Singapore, but knowing that we're on a volcano and technically the highest non-manmade point in Auckland made the walk all worth it. That was the born of our fruit on a mountain top "tradition" which lasted for as long as we had fruits stocked up in our bags.
It was our second destination, one small town where you could walk through in an estimated ten minutes (and i mean at an average walking speed). We stayed there for as long as we could earn some money and gained insane experiences and strength during the kiwi season-picking at orchids, packing and grading in factories. In a week at the orchid with my hands up picking 2-3 kiwis in each hands and a bag weighing 30kg in front (like a mama kangaroo) for 6 hours on average each day, my body grew tough and big. That one, i promise, is an once in a life time experience. Never in my life am i ever going to try working in an orchid again.
The locals would puff away early in the morning, following with a smoke of weed to give them a boost of energy before the tough work begins and to keep them warm in winter. In a full car with windows that were slightly wind down, the mind instantly switched to the thought of my poor lungs. How it would slowly fade into a dark colour as a second hand smoker…
The cycle repeated itself until we received a call from the factory after a week. Anything out of the orchid and out of the car made us really excited and thankful. Being able to work at the factory was like a miracle for us since they told us that the possibility of getting a place during the peak season was almost zero. Other factory workers would look at me and wonder about my joy and excitement since all we really do is pack kiwis into boxes for 10 hours everyday. But all understood as soon as i told them what i was trying to do previously.
At the factory, we met a big group of chinese mostly from china and malaysia-fellow backpackers on working holiday visa. They were a great bunch of people that made us feel welcome and in less than two weeks, friendship has been built. Despite a few random and weird (people related) incidents during our stay in Opotiki, I could never be anymore thankful for the people who have helped us and made life less difficult in an environment that we city girls were so foreign to.
During days when there was rain or no work, the library was our crib. Where we claimed our sanity. As well as the coexist hub. Other off days, we went to the bay of plenty to blow sea breeze, warf to watch sunset and borrow G's car to Whakatane with our first friends, P&M. Thankful for their company if not we may blame life for being too cruel.
Despite of the tough times we've had in Opotiki, it has still accommodated us and we certainly missed the community there. The locals were friendly and kind towards us even though we've self invited ourselves into their territory, used their public library free wifi and took up positions in their factory.
The future will come as I return to recollect my memories and possibly create more. Seeya!
Basically, these are the brief events that happened in Auckland and Opotiki during our first month in New Zealand. There were certainly more details along the way but some are for me to forget and the rest to lock it in my heart. As for the rest of the journey, i'll continue in the next posts! Cheers! (It's the kiwi's favorite word)
(not forgetting my own favorite word)