Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vodafone, Theology, and Nothing's Open in Napier! :-)

Today is the first day of summer here in New Zealand. Napier's weather wasn't cooperating, however; when I awoke at 8am it was raining, and the weather stayed cloudy and cool for the rest of the day. At least it wasn't foggy, which meant I didn't worry too much about Stefan and Harrison's flight out of the airport being cancelled. I imagine they're on their way back to Vancouver via Auckland as I type these words. Have a safe flight, you two.

I purchased a mobile internet key from the Vodafone store on Emerson St. this morning; I figure this way I can stop spending money on expensive internet connections at hostels when all I really need is 5mb or so every day to check my e-mail, update my blog, and chat online. The fun part came when I went to install the software; turns out the mobile keys designated for prepay (as opposed to monthly plans) are still shipping with older versions of the software, and not only was the Mac OS application poorly written, it was incompatible with Snow Lepoard (it wasn't a native intel app, requiring Rosetta to be installed to run). I got it to work, and then realized I had no way to access the account for the SIM card to add credit (this is was only possible through the software designed for Windows; Mac users are supposed to stick the SIM card into a Vodafone mobile and send a text message to update the balance). I took the key and my computer back to the Vodafone shop, and the salesclerk there removed the old software and installed the newest release of the application in its place, which mercifully has full OS X Snow Leopard support, and allows me to manage and top up my account. A bit of a hassle, but everything seems to be working as it's supposed to now.

Today was actually a day of things not quite going as I had planned; after lunch I wandered over to the Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery, only to find it is "Closed for Redevelopment", according to the sign on the door. Undaunted, I headed back into the downtown core, where earlier in my wanders I had seen a sign proclaiming "Trainworld", which boasts a large OO scale railway layout at 6 metres by 20, and a ride on "Brookie, our 7 and 1/4 inch train!". Well, I got there, and what greeted me but a little placard out front, saying, "Trainworld is closed today". Strike two! I comforted myself by turning around and heading into the Napier Public Library; a good hour and a half in there surrounded by books did just the trick. I read Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation, which if you haven't read I highly recommend that you do (it's more of a manifesto than a book; I read the whole thing in just over an hour). I suppose the ironic part of that is earlier in the afternoon, when I was walking from the museum to Trainworld I stopped at St. John's Anglican Cathedral to revel in its architectural beauty and history (the original cathedral, completed in 1888, was levelled in the 1931 earthquake, and the current cathedral, rebuilt on the same site, wasn't completed until the 1960s due to the depression and WWII). I have an affinity for churches because I have sung, played, and rehearsed in so many of them over the years; they remind me of making music, something I miss being able to do on a daily basis.

Leaving the library, I walked to the Countdown to get some vegetables for dinner, and then walked back into town to the Starbucks, where I got a small gingerbread latté (clearly the international conglomerate doesn't care that their stores in the southern hemisphere have opposite seasons to their northern counterparts; the café is decorated up in snowflakes and the cup my latté came in was covered in wintery scenes) and went for a walk along Napier's pebbly beach. No one swims at the beach here; the ocean currents make it too dangerous. As I walked, my cell phone rang; it was my mom, dad, and Grandma Wright calling, killing time while they sat in the Farquhar Auditorium at UVic waiting for Arthur's Symphonic Winds Concert to begin! Hopefully he nailed his fanfare (he's been playing 1st Trombone).

After dinner tonight I packed up all my belongings, which now fit into my hiking backpack and school backpack, and I hoped that I am ready for my WWOOFing adventure in Waipawa, which begins tomorrow morning. I have to be up at 7am to catch a bus at 8am, so I had best be getting to bed. Wish me luck for tomorrow!


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