Sunday, June 29, 2008

NZ was very green

One thing I thought was cool about the New Zealand herald was that there was an entire foldout of "green pages" which basically had an assortment of articles about conservation and preservation.

Ho ho ho

Looks like I've landed in Sydney and what's the first thing I saw? Sunlight and pretty beach sand

2nd thing? Smog

3rd thing? Good old EDGE network on Telstra mobile. That's a good little blackberry. *pets phone* my preciousssss

Oh Bill

Picked up a copy of the New Zealand herald this morning to read in the lounge and look what I see on the first page of the World section. Looks like Bill's doing a great job looking like an ass in foreign countries. :)


It wasn't literally a pole that strippers dance on, it was a pole that was just in the middle of the dance floor that looks like a stripper pole. There were no strippers in this bar. I want to say "ever" but I guess I can't assume that.

I really wish I had a laptop right now. Free wireless internet in this lounge. Also, I really want to upgrade my bb os to 4.5 so that I can watch youtube videos and get html emails.

Mmmmmm free food

Here's my breakfast in the Qantas lounge at the airport.

Some kind of fruit yogurt that looks like gravy. A pink yogurt that tastes like watered down creamsicle. Coffee. Tomato juice that isn't salty so it's good! And buttered toast.

The pink yogurt is below the other yogurt, woops!

Things I've learned in New Zealand

It's my last night in NZ so I thought I'd write some reflective posts.

I really wanted to title this post as "lessons learned" but I felt the word "lesson" is a little too harsh of a connotation to be appropriate. It makes it sound like I committed crimes and was punished and then had to repent. So I decided to stick to "things I've learned."

1. You *can* feel safer in a foreign country than at home
2. Some hostels are much better than others
3. I prefer hostels that are like converted houses or mansions because they promote more interaction among all the tenants and you don't have to go outside to go to the bathroom or kitchen.
4. A hostel kitchen with a sharp chef's knife makes a huge difference in my decision of whether to cook or not that night
5. People from other developed countries travel a lot more often internationally than americans do
6. Most people's rooms really *are* messier than my room and I wasn't lying whenever I told my mom that
7. People will travel with a lot less money than I'm comfortable with and a lot of people outside the usa prefer to travel and find a job at the same time. They're called "working holidays." Unlike americans, they don't find it shameful to work while vacationing.
8. NZ and Australia both pay taxes to the UK still
9. Some irish people *do* have accents like leprechauns
10. Marmite isn't very tasty or is an acquired taste.
11. I really love vegetables, even more than fruit. At home I'm just too lazy to buy and cook them.
12. The more and louder you talk, the higher the chance you have of being popular, even if everything you say is a joke or gibberish.
13. Napkins are a valuable household item.
14. Bunk beds are annoying in every way
15. Beans and toast is a very popular dish among irish backpackers
16. I can climb a stripper pole in a bar with no problem for a free drink
17. In laos there is a river that you float down all day long on an innertube and drink.
18. In cambodia you can pay money to shoot a rocket launcher at a car or shoot chickens with automatic rifles.
19. Bungy jumping is less scary than I thought but more expensive.
20. "Kiwi" is not a derogatory name for the locals
21. There were no mammals in NZ until humans came and brought others here.

Some things I see changing

I've grown more confident about striking up conversations with people I don't know at all.

I'm better at memorizing people's names.

I'm better at determining when it's my problem and I should fix it or deciding it's the other person's problem and I should move on.

I'm become more ok with not everyone always liking me.

I'm better at saying what I believe vs agreeing with the consensus.

I'm better at determining by body language of when someone is really interested in talking to me and when someone is not.

Overall my self confidence is improving.

More storytelling

While I was in Rotorua, I went white water rafting in the Kaitiaki river. It was really fun, the only bad part was that I wish it was longer. Total water time was about 1 hour on class 5 rapids. Class 5 is the toughest rating of rapids that you can find. Considering I've never done this before, it was pretty exciting.

The best part was when we dropped down a 10-15 foot waterfall. We almost made it but at the end we flipped over and had to get everyone back in the raft. It was intense swimming in the river underneath the boat trying to get a breath in and stay alive. I loved it. I actually think I enjoyed it more because we did tip over.

To see more pictures from white water rafting, click here.

This next picture is a good one of us on the Magic bus on the way to Taupo from Rotorua. On the left is Kate (Canada), then Phil (Ireland), myself, and Lee (Ireland).

We stopped at a geyser on the way to Taupo to watch it fire off. The park staff actually made the geyser go off manually by dropping some soap down the blowhole to break the tension. I thought that was pretty funny. It's basically a spot where all the tour buses stop at the same time and watch a manual geyser explosion and then get back on the road. It seemed a bit cheesy to me. We snuck in this picture below while we were waiting for the show. From the left it's Marlene (Holland) and Zosia (Poland). Zosia is actually a model but you wouldn't be able to tell that from this dorky pose of hers.

For more pictures from the geyser, click here.

This is a clean shot of Chris and Jacko (left to right). They're friends traveling together from England.

These were the friends I went on the Tongariro Crossing with. From left to right it's Rachel (UK), Sarah (UK), and Kate (Canada).

That day the weather was rainy, cold, windy, and foggy, which made it pretty discouraging because the view was terrible, but near the top of the highest point of the hike, we found a beautiful sulfuric natural spring pool and for your viewing pleasure, today we have Kate posing in front of it.

For more pictures from Tongariro, click here.

When we got to Taupo, there was a day when we were waiting for the sky to clear up so that we could skydive, so in an effort to use time efficiently, we walked to town to take a look around the Lake Taupo edge and check out the views. Well Rachel had the bright idea of setting up my camera and doing a shot where we are all running in inside 2 seconds before the timer goes off. This is what we got:

From left to right is Rachel (UK), Kashmira (UK), and Sarah (UK).

For some reason, when I stare at this picture, it reminds me of a time back in high school where I slammed into a friend of ours on the sidewalk while trying to toilet paper somebody's house as quickly as possible and I basically body checked her about 5 feet backwards because she weighed about half what I did.

For more pictures from the lake area, click here.

At the Taupo skydiving center, Rachel asked me to mark her palms before she jumped so that she could show them in her pictures while falling from the sky. Not only is Rachel from the UK, but that day was also the rugby match between the All Blacks (NZ) and England so she was rooting them on.

That night we went out bar hopping for the rugby game. Here I am with free facepaint from one of the bars. The fern on the left side of my face is the symbol for the All Blacks. The flag is for England. If you didn't know that I don't blame you, England is pretty unimportant anyway.

For more pictures from that evening, click here.

Arrived in Auckland

I did not require a single form of id all day long. Anyone in Queenstown today that knew my name and what time I was flying could have checked in and flown to Auckland instead of me. I think that's pretty crazy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

NZ airport security

Wow. The security for domestic flights at the Queenstown airport has shown me how anal Americans have to be at our airports.

They lady at the ticket counter didn't ask for my id, she just took my name verbally.

Nobody asked for my boarding pass or id as I went through security.

They didn't care that I had a bunch of fluids in my bag.

They told me to keep my shoes on as I walked through the metal detector.

I got from the door of the airport to my gate in about 5 minutes.

I actually feel more worried about this flight because of this. Welcome to american paranoia.

Fireworks = Disappointment

I did get a glimpse of fireworks on Friday night at the kickoff of the Winter Festival here, but it was pretty lame, heh. The fireworks that we have for 4th of July are much much better. Even the Disneyland fireworks that happen every night are better.

Even the finale was weak. There was no special boomfest or anything at the end. It just kind of stopped all of a sudden as if there was some kind of problem.

Best part of the fireworks was that I got to watch it while bouncing up and down on the trampoline at my hostel. That part was cool.

Bye bye Queenstown

I'm waiting around in the lobby area of my hostel for my shuttle bus to arrive and take me to the Queenstown airport.

I said bye to all my NZ friends last night. Kyle, Eline, Chris, Jacko, and Phil. I've known them for almost 3 weeks, which feels like a much longer time. I guess that's what happens when you see eachother everyday all day long.

I even saw Kate in front of Fergburger at around 2 in the morning while I was trying to cure my munchies. She screamed out my name as I was taking my 3rd or 4th bite which shocked me and then she took a gigantic bite out of my burger. It was super funny. I was pleasantly surprised to see her because it gave me a chance to say bye to her too.

We have to keep in touch with eachother now with Facebook it seems. It would be very tough to keep emailing everyone regularly, especially because I will be traveling for 11 more months.

I do hope that some of them come visit me in LA sometime or we go on another trip together in the future. That would be rad.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's storytime kids!

This is a statue of a famous drink in NZ. The short name is L&P. It tastes like a watered down bitter cola, which obviously doesn't sound all that good. It isn't all that good but the bus driver told me this drink was an icon in NZ so I *had* to take a tasteful picture in front of it, of course.
We stopped at a rabbit shearing shop on the way to the Waitomo Caves. Apparently these rabbits that look like sheep when they have full grown hair die if they are not sheared properly 4 times a year. Which brings us to the question: How did they survive before people shaved them to make clothing? To make sure the rabbit doesn't move and get hurt from the razor, they basically stretch them out on all fours as if to perform some kind of midevil torture ritual and then they are shaved from head to toe.
This was on the way to the glowworm cave and the innertubes. This is my friend Kate from Canada who went with me. I just had to point out this picture because she's in her bikini inside a wetsuit with a spelunking hat in the middle of a cowfield. The cave entrance was in the middle of cowfields, believe it or not.
This is what my view looked like as we were floating together down the pitch black cave with just our helmet lights. Those are my legs under her arms so that we don't break apart.
To see more photos of caving, click here.
After Waitomo, we headed to Rotorua where we spent a couple of nights. Rotorua has a bunch of natural hot springs and so this pool was warm enough to swim in during the evening. It felt very nice on the skin as well.

Correction on Nevis

Oh, I was incorrect about the Nevis bungy here being the 2nd highest. After doing a search on google I found that it's really just the 7th, but the one in Hong Kong really is the highest at 233m, so I will be looking forward to jumping that one when I get there.

By the way, the jump yesterday cost me $220 NZD. Another jump would have been another $100 NZD but I declined. I didn't think it was worth that much.

Winter Festival today!

I had to move to a new hostel this morning because the one I had booked already was full when I tried to make a new reservation a couple of days ago.

So today I packed my bags and walked about 300 yards to another nearby hostel named Pinewood. I was at a place called Southern Laughter until today.

This new one is a little further out of town but closer to the supermarket, so it's a fair tradeoff.

I'm waiting to check in right now because the bookings are so full. They are cleaning beds I think.

Today marks the start of the Queenstown Winter Festival and so tonight there will be fireworks at the park. That's why the area is so packed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A small leap for Jimkind

This is what you do when you don't go to work.


This is what the kiwis call a Fergburger. This one is named the cockadoodle oink, chicken patty with bacon on top.

Survived that one too

Hell yeah. I'm definitely going to do the one in Hong Kong.


I've been in queenstown for a couple days now. This is what the kiwis call the adventure capital of the world. Pretty much anything you can do outside can be done here. I've already completed a canyon swing and tomorrow morning I will be doing the Nevis. Nevis is a 137m bungy jump. That's about 44 stories of drop from a cable car suspended on 4 wires in the middle of a canyon. The cable car has a see through floor as well so that you can see where you're going before you jump. This jump is 5 seconds of freefall.

It's the 2nd highest bungy in the world. The biggest is near Hong Kong at 230m by the same company, which opened up 3 weeks ago.

I have about 5 days left in New Zealand so I won't be able to see everything I've wanted to see. Instead of following the magic bus for a couple more days, I'm going to hang out in Queenstown for a couple more days and fly to Auckland on Sunday. Then on Monday I'm going to fly from Auckland to Sydney and begin my Australian adventure.

Queenstown looks and feels like a small ski town. I haven't been to Aspen before but it's what I'd imagine it to be like. It's a small town with alpine buildings and a mediocre size downtown surrounded by mountain ranges all around. Most of the friends that I've met on my trip so far are here in Queenstown with me so we've been having fun hanging out in the evenings.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More picture narration

This is a good example of the wacky but very fertile landscape that I've found in NZ.

This is a rad picture of what happens where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet at Cape Reinga (most northern point in NZ). You can see waves in perpendicular directions from eachother crashing together. I was told that sometimes the difference in water levels can be up to 7 feet.

The cowboys in NZ herd cattle through the roads. Check out this picture from the bus:

This picture doesn't do this tree justice. It's one of the massive Kauri trees found in NZ. This one is supposed to be about 2000 years old. It makes the redwoods and sequoias in California look like candy canes. This tree is big enough to have a house on the top of it. I took a video that gives you a better perspective on it's size so when I upload it later I will let you guys know.

There's a beach here where there is hot water that comes up from the volcanic spots inside the ground like natural hot springs, and so when the tide is low you can run out there and dig big holes that will fill up with hot sulfuric water like hot tubs. Unfortunately when we got there it was high tide and so we couldn't go in and do that.

I was trying to hold up this little rock for a little while. It was pretty heavy. Good thing I had some water with me.

This was the night I was cooking spaghetti for a couple people in the hostel with me. I was itching to cook something and didn't feel like trying to make some for just myself.

Some noteworthy pictures

Since I've been finally able to upload most of my pictures from the trip, I can give you guys some brief descriptions of pictures that I've taken. So we'll start the beginning:

This is the seat control in business class on my Qantas flight. It took me a good 3 minutes to figure what the hell each button did.

This is the typical hostel room. This is the first hostel I checked into when I got into NZ.

This is a good picture of the crater that was created on top of Mt. Eden when the volcano collapsed on itself.
You can see more Mt. Eden pictures here.

Is this not the biggest sticky rice wrap dim sum you've ever seen in your life? It cost about $5.50 NZD.

These are the cool people that I hung out with on the 3rd day of Auckland.

From left to right: Simon (UK), Jill (Canada), Maxi (Germany), Kristina (Canada)
For more pictures from that night, click here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Woohoo! I survived

It wasn't even scary. I never felt the rush of freefall. I felt like I was sticking my head out of the car on the freeway.

Got a good video to show you guys later.

Oh yeah

The sky is ultraclear today in Franz Joseph. That means I get to jump out of a plane in about 2 hours.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm on my way to Greymouth today. The hostel I was staying at in Nelson was called Paradiso but it had the most inconvenient computer facilities I've seen so far.

The computers were in the upper loft area of a cramped tv room. The ceiling was too low to walk and 5 of 7 computers were out of order. The ones that did work seemed very old and their internet connection was slow.

I will narrate some of the pictures I've recently uploaded later when I get to a computer.

Though they did have a hot tub that I got to use so that partly made up for it. The volleyball net excited me but we never had a chance to play (too busy and not enough sunlight).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No wonder it takes 3 hours

I'm on the ferry to Picton and this may quite possibly be the slowest ferry in the world. I mean seriously. 2 thumbs down on this one.

But hey at least it has 2 movie theaters!
Oh, but the tickets are 12 bucks, which is why I'm in the reclining chair area of the cabin and not watching Iron Man.

A dirty thought

I haven't had the opportunity yet to check whether or not the water in the toilets in the southern hemisphere really turn counterclockwise when you flush because all the toilets here flush like a waterfall from the back and go down as fast as it came in. There's really no swirling at all. It's just in n out, just like the burger joint.

I'll find out when I get to Australia maybe?

The toilets here also all have 2 buttons each for flushing. One produces less water in the flush than the other. I think that's for #1 vs #2.


I just got my AT&T bill for the last month and it came out to only $50. That was pretty sweet. But when I called customer service to ask why I didn't get voicemail they told me it's because I canceled my voice plan. Bummer. I guess I can't get voice messages anymore. If you call my phone it just rings forever.

In Wellington tonight

The nightlife is supposed to be good here but because I want to move through the South Island as quickly as possible, I'm only just staying here tonight and getting on the Ferry tomorrow to cross the Cook Strait and land in Picton. Tomorrow night I will be spending the night in Nelson and then the next day will be an adventure through Abel Tasman National Park.

The day after that I will be getting to the Franz Joseph Glacier to do some hiking.

I am excited.

My calves are more sore from the hike 2 days ago through Tongariro. My butt is sore too.


I had a chance to skydive yesterday but I didn't take it because the weather wasn't clear enough for me. I was told that falling through clouds was sometimes better because you felt like you were falling faster but I still decided to wait. There are plenty more opportunities for me to drop from a plane later on in New Zealand so I wanted to wait until I felt it was the right time.

It was clear enough in the sky that they allowed people to jump, but it just wasn't clear enough for me.

I did head to the Lake Taupo airport with my new friends to watch them do it though. I took a lot of pictures for them. Here's an example:

I kid I kid. That was actually their victory dance afterwards (no it's not them all falling and dying in one spot in case you were worried). Here's an actual skydive pic:

You can see the rest of the pictures here. And I will let you guys know when I finish my dive inside the next 2 weeks. More than likely I will be doing my dive in Queenstown.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Does this look familiar?

Yes. It's Mt. Doom. We were supposed to see this on our hike 2 days ago but all we got was a bunch of rain, wind, and clouds.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Picture related stuff

I've decided to lower the resolution of my pictures on my camera down to 1600 x 1200 so that I upload them faster for everyone. It takes forever from the internet connection in these hostels to upload anything larger. I'm not uploading any movies until I get to a real computer though because they are HUGE. I might be able to do that while I'm in Sydney at my cousin's house though.


I didn't know this until I got to New Zealand but Facebook is the online tool that travelers all use to keep in contact with eachother. I felt left out when everyone was talking about it so I created my account and have been adding people that I've met in the last 12 days that I felt like I made a connection with.

But the conundrum now is that I have to upload pictures on my website and on Facebook if I want to use Facebook properly. I'll see what I can do.

It's cool to cuss

I've noticed since I've been traveling that in most other countries in the world it is acceptable for people (especially women) to cuss multiple times throughout the day, which I have to say has caught me by surprise.

As an example, I'll meet a girl that looks incredibly sweet and ask her "How are you doing?" and she'll come back with something like "Well the weather is feckin' miserable but I guess I'm alright" Everytime I see/hear that it makes me chuckle.

I wonder why it's so socially unacceptable in our country but it's totally normal in other places, especially the UK.

Not economically viable

Apparently the Rick Steve's Civita Day Pack is not designed for moderate hikes through rain, snow, and clouds? One of my bag strapped ripped out while I was hiking through the Tongariro Pass today for about 7 hours. We had to wake up at 6am to catch the bus that took us to the beginning of the path and then picked us up after we completed it around 3pm.

I had to wear my backpack all day long with one strap diagonally across my chest. It made for some tough balancing while I was trying to get up a hill with some ice on it. Also my collarbones are in a bit of pain because all the weight from the pack was on one of them at a time.

You're supposed to be able to see Mt. Doom from The Lord of the Rings movies on this hike but the day was pretty crappy with a ton of clouds so I hardly got to see anything at all. We did spot some geothermic pools though that smelled like loveliness (rotten eggs) though.

Pictures will come later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Waitomo Caves

On our way to Rotorua yesterday, we stopped in Waitomo and I decided to innertube down through the Waitomo Caves. The water was going to be really cold, so only 2 out of 7 of us decided we were going to do it. The others decided to just take a guided tour into the cave entrance.

For some part of the ride, we basically hook eachother's legs under another person's arms and then float together through the cave.

These caves are famous for their glowworms, which I found out on the float down that the glowing comes from a chemical reaction in their gastric system and makes their excrement glow when it's dark. I couldn't take any pictures of the glowworms but here's one for you to see:

You can find the rest of them here.

Had some technical problems

The 150 country power adaptor that I brought on travel with me broke down for some reason. Not even really sure why, but when I woke up one morning it wasn't turning on anymore.

I haven't been able to charge my blackberry for the last couple of days because I haven't had the time nor the car to drive into an area where I could buy one yet, but I got something today that will fill in for a little while.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bbq kiwi style

The hostel next to the boring and dead one that I was staying at holds a bbq every night for its guests. For $12 it was a sausage, a piece of steak, potatos au'gratin, and a couple slices of white bread that I guess you were supposed to butter and eat on the side.


No, I'm not talking about colonies where they grow men like in the matrix.

Mangroves are trees that grow in an area that goes up and down daily due to tide changes. So yeah, they live on salt water.

The interesting part is that their roots spread out everywhere and also grow upwards to get pockets of oxygen when the water is in, and so as you can see in this picture, when the tide is out you can see all the roots pointing out of the dirt. when I first saw them up close, they gave me the chills as it reminded me of an Indiana Jones movie.

Nerdy stuff ahead

So OS 4.5 came out for my blackberry yesterday which would allow me to take and post videos with my phone (among other enhancements), but I don't have a way of upgrading my software yet (no computer). I might have to wait until I'm in Sydney at my cousin's house to be able to do that.

Vandalism is an art too

Yesterday at Cape Reinga we took a short walk to the lighthouse at the tip expecting greatness from this sign, but apparently the LA street gangs got there before we did so most of the signs had been broken off and I wasn't able to find out how far I was from home.

p.s. There's also no signal in the entire northern tip and so I couldn't use google maps to calculate the figure either. *sigh*

The most profound thing I've seen in NZ so far

Um...... Interesting sign huh?. And let's also say that the bus driver did not dispel any questions when I asked him about the sign either.

Whitney Houston and all that jazz

The kiwis and Aussies love older American music. I'd say the 80s and early 90s are extremely popular. A lot of public places that are trying to be stylish like clothing stores and bars play Madonna, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. Since I like 80s music, it's been good.

The other night the bar opened up karaoke and I ended up singing a couple of songs to the other hostel inmates. They got a kick out of that. I wanted "piano man" like usual but they didn't have it so I started off with "no woman no cry". "Old time of rock and roll" got the crowd going crazy. I just laughed hysterically at how simple it was to amuse a bunch of europeans.

This is the only place where I can sing Celine Dion and Journey and NOT annoy everyone in the room.

Being lazy is fun

In the last couple days of the Magicbus, we've left Auckland and gone north along the east coast to Paihia and then took another connection bus up to Cape Reinga. That's the most northern point in New Zealand. It's at around the same parallel as Santiago, Chile and Cape Town, Africa.

On the west coast we took the 90 mile beach down back to Paihia and spent the night again. The beach is actually only 64 miles long, so the driver told us that they named it 90 mile beach because it would attract more tourists.

Then we saw this place called the Ancient Kauri Kingdom, which was a store filled with overpriced wooden goods carved from the ancient trees on NZ. Rice bowls for 55 bucks. Hmmmm yeah right!

Paihia was a pretty dead town this time of year, unfortunately, though it was a nice quaint seatown. I did watch the All Blacks (NZ national rugby team) play Ireland last night at one of the bars nearby. That was fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I wish I was a baller so I could eat chinese food

By talking to many people in my hostel, I've found out that most of the people here are students and other people who are traveling in this cost efficient manner to save money. Not really by choice but they're all pretty young in their careers and so they haven't saved a ton of money. They'd much rather use it on an activity or plane fare to a new country.

There's another group of people who live here semi permanently working at the hostel (cleaning or managing) and living here for free. They literally only pay for food and personal supplies and daytime activities.

It's been fun for me for the last couple days doing the same thing. Only eating food I put together in the kitchen and splurging on wendy's (yeah I said it) once a week. It's also healthier seemingly.

Shhhhhhhh Nobody knows I bought a business class plane ticket. It'll be our little secret.

But tonight I decided to splurge and I just finished a bowl of pho for 9 nzd. It was good, even though it did not taste like it would in the states.

Why did I not eat Chinese instead? Because the Chinese restauranr next door sells orange chicken for 18 nzd. Apparently you have to be a brain surgeon to eat chinese here on a regular basis. I'm not too surprised though, it was like that in London too. I couldn't convince myself that it was ok to pay 18 for orange chicken. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fitting in

It's been nice being in a foreign country that allows me to speak english. It's made the transition a little easier for me.

By the time I get to Thailand I will be ready for the change.

I can't wait to get to Japan where people will get mad at me because I look like I should know Japanese but don't.

Magicbus time

Most of the people that I hung out with for the last 2 days have left today. 1 back home to Germany, 2 moved on to Australia, and another moved to a different part of New Zealand. So things are much quieter for me tonight.

I expected this but I still feel a bit bored tonight. I've been reading "1000 places to see before you die" a book gifted to me by Ben to pass the time, secretly hoping someone new will walk in the door to occupy me socially for the next couple of hours.

I have to go to bed early tonight because I booked a seat on the magicbus, which is a bus company that takes you around the country and helps you book activities and places to sleep.

I chose their largest itinerary option. It's supposed to take about 21 days or something close to that. The nice thing about this company is that you can stay longer in any location and then catch the next bus, which basically means you will meet a whole new set of people. It's the best way to meet lots of different people in the shortest amount of time until you find a group that you like hanging out with and finishing your trip off with them. Sounds ideal to me.

That will help me finish off NZ just in time to move on to Australia.

You have to suck with conviction

Last night we played a bunch of different games including pick up sticks, twister, charades, and scrabble. Scrabble requires way too much thinking to be a drinking game.

One guy wanted to play twister on the trampoline. What a genius idea! Not really.

This morning someone tried to teach me the "tim tam tea time" which involved trying to suck hot tea through a reasonably dense chocolate biscuit and then eating the biscuit. We caught a funny video of myself trying to do this but failing miserably. Unfortunately I won't be able to upload it for a while though because of its size.

That's where I got first piece of wisdom for the day, as you can see in the subject of this post.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A common position for me

Yeah, this is me in my comfy hostel bed at 9am. It's a twin, might be extra long, maybe not. I'm not too sure but my toes do reach the bottom of the mattress so you can figure it out yourself.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wtf mate

Check out the price of the games at ebgames!!

I went in because of the 30% off signs. Now we know why stuff is 30% off. :)

This is where the master chef cooks his instant oatmeal

The kitchen in this hostel has got everything I pretty much need. It's basically a home that's been converted so the kitchen looks pretty normal.

About your comments

If you post a comment expecting an answer you can assume that I will respond, but blogspot does not allow replies to comments, so if you want to make sure you don't miss the responses you have to tell blogspot when you make the comment that you'd like to subscribe to other responses to that post.

Just fyi.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mt. Eden

I walked up Mt. Eden today for a short easy hike. It's a small dead volcanic hill that is nearby my hostel in the Auckland city limit. It took something like 20 minutes to get all the way up. The picture is Auckland downtown from the top of Mt. Eden.

I also played some UNO and Yahtzee with a couple girls who are here from Canada.

My superstar diet

So far here's what I've eaten today, mainly because I didn't know what to get at the store and what not to get.

2 hard boiled eggs
1 bowl of cereal with milk
2 bowls of dry cereal
2 bananas
1 apple

I need to pick up some peanut butter, wheat bread, and jelly to make pb&js.

I really feel like eating spaghetti too, for some reason.

Odd fatigue

It's only 1:25pm but it feels like 2am. :) it's actually a pretty weird feeling even though I knew it was going to happen.

Charging my phone before it dies and I have bb withdrawal

Made it to my hostel. Office opens at 830am so I'm just sitting around chilling in the dining room for a little while.

A guy named Chris that has been staying here for a couple of weeks already gave me a teabag and so I'm sipping on a mug right now.

People are super friendly here.

Took me a while but I found something

I decided to read the little email that I got from the hostel that I reserved a couple days ago. (Bamber house)

With their recommendation I'm taking the Airbus Express toward the city.

The info lady at the airport was nice enough to direct me to an ATM so now I have some NZ bucks too. Of course their bill is a different shape though so now my wallet looks funny.

I walked over to the Vodafone counter also. Their sim cards cost 35 bucks and with that you only get 5 dollars prepaid time. That sucks considering it's 89 cents per minute domestic or international. Good for out of country but bad for in country.

I'm probably going to buy one eventually anyway though, since it costs something like 2.99 a minute for me to call the usa using at&t.