Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet the Flossers

Today’s blog post title refers to my parents, who are both standing directly behind me as I type, flossing their teeth. They’re doing it now just to annoy me.

Last night was the best sleep I have had in over a week... I had no one else in my own private bedroom (simply glorious). We also didn’t have to get up early today, as my parents’ Lord of the Rings tour didn’t start until 10:10am, and as such we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of bacon and eggs. (Somehow we have to get rid of that dozen eggs... I’m thinking omelettes for breakfast tomorrow!).

When my parents left the motel at 9:45am, I was officially by myself for another free day in Windy Welly. Oh, how glorious it was to have the day to myself! I’m sorry to say I didn’t go out and do anything wild and crazy, but it was wonderful to only have to worry about coordinating myself and my own likes and dislikes. It is nice to have company whilst traveling, but it’s quite another to be stuck with that company 24/7; this gave me a chance to breathe.

I headed downtown to the post office, where I bought some postcard stamps for the postcards I know my mum is going to want to send, and then wandered down Willis Street into a Borders bookstore outlet. Books are normally highly expensive here in New Zealand ($25 for a trade paperback), so I felt like it was a steal to buy Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons for $5 (about $3.50 CDN). I also went into Unity Books farther down the street, but the front of the building was covered in scaffolding, and after a few minutes inside I found myself unable to relax; I had to leave. My experience in the Christchurch earthquake has left me fearful of buildings showing any signs of weakness or fragility, even though my rational mind knew this building was in all likelihood simply getting a cosmetic upgrade, not a structural one.

After leaving the bookstore I went to the BNZ Centre, where I at last found somewhere I have not been in a long time: the record section of JB Hi-Fi. The name of the store is irrelevant; what I had been missing was being surrounded by CDs, and actually being able to purchase a few! I bought Brooke Fraser’s album Flags, as well as Vertical Horizon’s latest album (which isn’t exactly new; it came out in 2009). I also bought a package of blank CD-Rs so I can burn some CDs for the rental car’s stereo; I figure we could use some road music to help ease tensions as we navigate the North Island.

I bought some sushi at the food court in the mall and brought it back to the motel to eat (surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad). Walking down the street, my shoulder bag slung over my arm and carrying my sushi, it suddenly struck me how much I probably looked like a resident of Wellington rather than a tourist. It’s a nice feeling to blend in, as I’ve been here in New Zealand for so long now that I no longer feel like a tourist (even though I don’t claim to know Wellington very well). Then again, not dressing in head-to-toe nylon and fleece, and not carrying around a map with a camera hung over my neck probably also helps.

After lunch I tried out the spa tub here in the bathroom; very relaxing, if not for the smell of chlorine. It was nice to have a bath again! The afternoon I spent out on the town again; I went out to the Wellington iSite to purchase some postcards (looking very much like a tourist, ha) and then went to the Wellington Public Library, where I sat and read and listened to music to my heart’s content. Sometimes it’s nice to just have a slow day, and not try to cram in any more touristy sight-seeing.

I walked back to the motel around 6pm right in the middle of rush hour, and got to experience for myself some Wellington gridlock. Apparently it affected my parents, too, as they didn’t get back to the motel until after 7:15pm, albeit carrying grocery bags full of dinner (steak and potatoes and corn on the cob). I’m not sure about my dad, buy my mum definitely enjoyed the tour, nattering on and on about the tour guide, Ted, all the places they visited, and the different film clips and poses they struck (I wrote all about my own experiences on the same tour here).

After dinner, we watched two episodes of the Big Bang Theory on my computer (while my dad nursed his fourth beer, much to my mother’s delight; the man keeps buying big cases of the stuff, and then having to drink all of it himself, a burden he seems to eagerly shoulder). Tomorrow morning my mum wants to go to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand, so I imagine we’ll be spending four or so hours in there before heading up to Napier later tomorrow afternoon. I better get burning one of those CD-Rs for the 4.5 hour car ride... night!


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