Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hanging Around Auckland... Again.

Not really a very exciting day today; I have a feeling everything is going to pale in comparison for a few days to the excitement of Mainline Steam. Oh, I have been here a month and I am already spoiled to the beauty of New Zealand... although to be fair, the beauty of Queen Street here in Auckland is akin to the beauty of Granville St. in Vancouver: beautiful for some, but not for me.

This morning I nursed my sore throat by staying in bed until 9am. However, due to the loud snoring of a roommate, I was unable to sleep until after 2am the night before, so in reality, I wasn't very rested. I hate communal rooms shared with snorers!

I sat and read for pleasure (imagine that!) for the first time in over three weeks, which felt quite relaxing after all my reading of schedules and itineraries and brochures, and then I went out onto Queen Street, going to the bank and then off grocery shopping to the Countdown. Grocery shopping is always fun; a mix of familiar and unfamiliar brands, and trying to figure out which of the unfamiliar brands would be my best bet for tasting like that I'm used to. Today I was trying to buy things that I can take with me when I start my Stray Travel bus pass on Saturday, so it was all about minimizing bulk and weight: I bought soup packets, juice crystals, and stir fry sauces in pouches. I also bought some rice and fresh veggies, and cooked myself an early yet delicious dinner in the hostel kitchen. It's no easy feat, finding clean dishes and cooking utensils in that place! Base Auckland is kind of like the McDonald's of hostels: you can stay there for a few days, but after that you find yourself longing for something a bit more comfortable and fulfilling. (And unlike McDonald's, it's not cheap! But that's because it's in Auckland.)

In the late afternoon I went up the IEP Work New Zealand office and picked up my luggage I had in storage; tomorrow I get to go through it and effectively repack for my upcoming trip, as my suitcase is suffering from "packing rot": everything is all jumbled up and needs to be neatly refolded.

I just had one of the more unbearable showers of my life. The showers here at Base are miserable anyway: they are on a timer, so one has to keep repeatedly pressing a button to get water to come out in eight-second spurts. However, there is no temperature control, so one is at the mercy of the system, and tonight it was scalding hot: I think I may actually have burned the top of my head. Oh, I will be glad to leave this place Saturday morning...

Tomorrow I will do some more housekeeping things, and maybe visit the Mainline Steam Depot for one last goodbye to the train before I leave on my next travel adventure sans steam.


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