The South Island gets closer

IMG_0067So now it is a bit more clear when i am leaving. I already now know its gonna be hard and i will miss all this here. Especially the family. For sure not as much as i miss my own, but not far from that. Around the 19th I drive to Geoff, hopefully make it finally to hike the Tongariro Crossing Track, visit Napier in Hawkes Bay for a week or so. Stop in Palmerstone North on my way to Wellington to replace their Server. Then to Wellington where i may stay at a cool place at a friend of Geoff until i've finished the last Server Job in Johnsonville. And then. Then I'm going to visit with my Schrotty by the Ferry from Wellington to Picton. And finally will step on the the south island. It then had took me eight Month to get there!!!. But this is still in the future. So back to the past. Have fun reading.

Cheers J

 

Job in Wellington - 21.2 - 26.2.2012

Day One to Three

DSCN3957One of many many good things about my Job is: sometimes I have to travel. John has some Locksmith Shops outside of Auckland. For Example three in and close to Wellington, in Palmerstone North, Rotorua, Tasman Bay, Christchurch …. This time I went to Wellington to do replace one Server of one of the Shops. So I packed my suitcase. Actually Dianne’s, because I don’t have one, and the prepared Server and flew to Wellington. Steve K picked me up from the Airport and gave me a short City Tour of Wellington and explained where I should go to and where I can find what. Then he brought me to the Shop in Petone to meet the other Guys. E.G. Steve M, a good friend of John where I stayed for the next Six days. But first I started to sort things out for the Job until Friday Morning. Where I finished everything off. In awareness of that John and Dianne booked my flight back on Sunday for allowing me to have enough time to discover the City. WellingtonPanoBig

DSCN3949Like I said I lived at Steve Ms Place a lovely old Building on top of a Cliff nearby Petone and the City. Kind of exposed to the sometimes severe weather conditions. It had a small Garden behind the House. I was stunned by the amazing view over the Bay every time I had a look out of the window and went as often as possible out in the garden to see the nice sun dawns. The interior there was simple and years old and a bit crappy. Really English. With not more than the basic things you need to live. But somehow with a nice charm. And Steve M was a nice company. We had every day good Dinners and nice Wine and Beers...

DSCN3971Wellington is known for really bad weather. It is normal there to have winds up to 160 km/h, bear in mind, in the summer. That’s normal there. I was lucky enough to not experience it in such an extent. Only two days have been typical Wellington weather with a lot of wind, grey sky’s with rain all all day and night long and cold cold nights with 10 degrees. Bear in Mind, we have Summer here. Fortunately those Days have been the one I had to work anyway. So I didn’t care.

In Awareness that I finished the Job on the next Day and they where really happy with my work I’ve got invited for Dinner that evening. We went together with Steve K, his Wife and Steve M for Dinner to a nice Thai Restaurant in Petone in the only one hip Street. The Jackson Street. We had very nice Appetizer and Meals. And last but not least I learnt what BYO means.

BYO

IMG_0011BYO would be something which never exists in Germany. I’ve seen it all around in NZ, especially in Coromandel I noticed it and already speculated about the meaning of this abbreviation. I made fun about it could mean Bring Your Own food. Actually I haven’t been far away from the reality. But before I’ve being thought the process I’m sure made a weird expression when Steve K unpacked his Wine and Beer from the New World Grocery Store out of his bags and offered me to drink some of it. He must have noticed it and right on started to explained it. It means bring your own liquor. In NZ as it is in Germany as well you need a License to serve alcoholic drinks. But in NZ Restaurants can decide to go for it or live with BYO or BYOW (Wine). So in these kinds of Restaurant you have to bring your own Alcoholics, pay one Dollar per Beer and 2-3 Dollar per Wine Bottle in advance to the Restaurant for everything you carry into the Restaurant. Do we have that in Germany too?

We had a lovely Dinner together and a good chat. Its always nice to have contact to locals and not only travelers.

Day Four to Six

DSCN3974I finished my work on this Friday early morning. And I began my crash tour through Wellington. I like this way of experiencing a city. I’m running around like a berserker through the whole city to see and do as much as possible in the given timeframe. I’ve done it like that in London and it was great, in Auckland and also in Wellington. Steve K had to drive to the Wellington Center Shop anyway so he took me there. But instead of going there the direct way he showed me around the city nice places (maybe he forgot), but I enjoyed it and didn’t said anything. Then he drove me up to one of the Vantage Points on top of Mountain Victoria for a superb view over the City and the whole Bays in all Directions. It would have been hard to get up there without a car. I appreciated this a lot and again was amazed by the NZ kindliness. Like always. TheDSCN4000n he drove me down and dropped me off nearby TePapa. I wanted to go there badly because a friend told me there is something like a MS Surface Table, a Table with a huge screen built in and with touch sensibility. At this one I could have been creating my own squid like animal (like in Spore, EA). This one would live from there on in his habitat until it got eaten or died depending on the property's it got by my design. That was what I understood by the explanations I got. I was disappointed not to find this there. I asked but and the Lady listened interested my explanations but nodded and said, this is a great idea and would be awesome to have here. But they only have a small normal Program running on a normal screen to play with where you can design a squid. But anyway the other parts of the Museum have been worth seeing. They are about the development of NZ Landscape, Volcanoes, Animals, Maori culture …. It’s a huge exhibition and nice to see once. And the best is, its for free. Unthinkable for a Museum of this quality and quantity in Germany.

DSCN4024I left this Museum to stumble out of the Door right into the next one. But this time into the Museum of Modern Art. There is one word which fits most of the exhibitions in there. CRAZY. In one huge room they inflated a huge Bouncing Castel like Pathway with three “entry's”. But the entry wasn’t a door. it was like tooth's from left and right Pointing into the middle. So the Entry was completely closed and the interior not visible. The Girl Museum overseer said I have to took of my shoes and socks to go in. I though, I give it a try. I wanna know what’s inside. I took of my shoes but was allowed to leave on my socks. Nobody else except the girl was in this huge room. I walked with bouncing steps to the entry and squeezed my body with outstretched arms through the  Teeth's. Skeptical I looked back to the girl that I may not make it in. She convinced me to try harder. I pressed harder until I disappeared in this bouncing castle thingy. Ending up in … attention … nothing. a 1x1 m² black space. You can imagine what I though. So to make it not too weird I “enjoyed” the endlessness and thrilling and exciting experience being captured in a bouncing castle for one more minute until I tried to get back out of this *beep*. I squeezed again hard to be born out of this. Exhausted I’ve seen bright lights again until my Eyes adapt to the bright environment. The Girl was gone and a big group of Asian Students replaced here watching me of getting out of this. How embarrassing. Maybe this is what this thing was about. But how much drugs somebody has to take to come up with something like this. Or how much you have to take of actually enjoying this. The rest of the exhibition was similar but not as weird as this. But hey, it was for free and another experience.

DSCN4005From there I took a walk at the Waterfront, the Harbor and the Cuban Street. I was running around a while until I found the right direction to get there. It’s the hip part of Wellington with a lot of nice Shops, Cafes, Bars, live Music played by Street Musician and other Street Arts. Very pulsating and vibrant place in Wellington and NZ. Of course for New Zealand Manors. I had Launch in one of the bakery's and went with the old Red Cable Car up one of the Mountains to the old Planetarium, Botanic Gardens, Bush Walks and Rosé Gardens. Up there it was windy as hell. But the view compensated the mediocre weather and also the way back down through the Gardens, Bushes, Rose Garden and Greenhouses. I DSCN4015don’t know what I thought of buying a ticket with return. Good that I only dumped 3$.

I went on through shopping Streets to the so called Beehive. The Center of the Government in NZ. I knew you can get a tour there. It was already 3:40 pm and I didn’t expect it to happen. But worth a try anyway. And luckily I catched the last tour at 4pm. A German couple a bit younger than I am, a Korean looking US Navy Seal and a couple of other people from Canada, NZ and …. We weren't allowed to take pictures of all these buildings and the way of how thDSCN4034is country is being guided. The Tour Guide was a funny Guy with a lot of interesting Story's about the Earthquake safe buildings and how funny government work can be here. Everybody can sent his opinion on a letter here to new laws to the government. Doesn’t matter how crazy it is. So far so good. It then can happen that you get invited to talk to all the elected person. It can be the most dumbass stuff you can imagine. The dumbest idea or opinion ever. They will listen and it will never leave the room. He said it is sometimes a whole lot of fun of having strange minded persons siting there but makes the political work more fun and open minded.

DSCN4036At one of these Meetings a group of a pro weed smoking Organization was invited. In the end they began to come up with a huge bag of dope and dropped it on the table. They started to show the audience of well aged ministers what they do with it an so on. Most of them probably never in touch with this stuff. How could they have missed the 60th and 70th???. But anyway. The group left the Building without the Bag still on the Table. Would have been illegal if they would have taken it out onto the streets. The Bag somehow disappeared. Mysterious.

DSCN4009Another thing he showed us is they have a place where every other nation that is somehow connected to NZ can get a place for their banner flag. Every Nation get told to sent their Flag banner in a specific Size. This gets interpreted vastly different. Some African country's or Jamaica sent oversized Scarfs reaching from the top of the statue where they are tied to to the ground at least 2m long to short and small Flag sized lenght /with ratios. Except Germany. We are of course the only country on the whole freakn planet who sent their flag in the precise right measurements. Why am I not surprised?!?!.

DSCN4007He told us shitloads (haah, nice word) of anecdotes while continuing through the three nice completely different Buildings. I’ve been to of the center of NZs bureaucracy the Green Room (where the parliament gathers to decide about Laws and to the Red Room wich is almost empty. The Queen or people of the British Government aren’t allowed to enter only with one footstep the Greenroom. They are only allowed in the Red Room where the Queen is getting her Throne delivered back in place out of the museum.

All three Buildings are built 50 Years apart from each other. The first two very British and the last one the Beehive more American or independent. At all a worth tour. And also for free.

Afterwards I went with the german couple to the cuban street for a beer before catching my bus back to Jackson Street in Petone to have a great Burger with Steve M at Wisconsin Burger. A good compensation for my hurting feet’s.

Saturday in Welly

IMG_0001I went again to a contemporary art Museum. I can’t get enough of this crazy stuff. But this time in Upper Hutt and with Steve M. Afterwards I finally bought a new camera. I thought long about this but decided if I wont do it I regret it afterwards having not the best possible pictures. So I bought a nice Canon G12 and now have to learn how to make good pictures with all those Settings. I again went to town. By Bus and alone to see the rest of the missing bits and pieces of the Town and to test my camera. This time I went not as crazy and fast as yesterday through the town. I IMG_0021throttled down a bit to take care of my feets. I went eg. to the places where Peter Jackson is having his World Premiers and to a old old Shopping Mall beautiful restored. There was a Dragonboat race going on at the Harbor with huge audience and amazing sunny weather. From there I walked down to a underground Market in parking area. They sold there every kind of nice Lamps, Food, Pictures and Cloth. I went again to Cuban Street which is even more crowded on the weekend to see some more crazy Street Art and the even more interesting side streets with tiny LP, Art Shops and other cool small shops. In the evening I went back home on time for the Dinner Steve M made. a delicious lasagna. IMG_0037

On Sunday say goodbye to Wellington

IMG_0027Sunday Steve drove me to a small street festival. Small already for NZ manors. And also not very interesting. I walked around there as long as possible and from there I hiked a huge detour sometimes intended, sometimes not heading home. I Spent some time in their parks at the waterfronts and at the shorelines in front of Steve M’s House. In the end a nice Week. Wellington is much more what I understand of a nice City with a good public transport system and divers Architecture and interesting People compared to Auckland. But like Steve M always said they should have build it 300 km northern. Or like I said instead of Auckland City. But jeah, also Auckland City isn’t as bad as it sounds. It also has nice corners. Really small corners.

So, that’s it in Wellington, I packed my stuff a bit heavier than before and took my flight back home to Auckland. It was a very cool trip down there and the spare time I had there a great addition to the whole trip. Thanks again for that John.

Goodbye Lucio - 29.2.2012

IMG_0103I went with Brenda to the Belgium Café an had a delicious salads for dinner. I have to behave with all the good food I recently get. And Belgium Beer. Way to expensive but good. At least the Evening was nice after leaving completely wasted from the day at Barneys Locksmith Shop. He’s driving me crazy in a negative way. After Dinner I met Lucio an Italian friend from the leftover Verandahs Gang at Verandahs. It was nice to be back there, but also weird cause nobody else familiar anymore is. But at least Lucio and unexpected but appreciated Dorina.Carlos Girlfriend shared a room with Lucia. We went to Volkans longterm “Hostel” Unistay. A nice place nearby Ponsonby Rd. We had a good chat and farewelled Lucio. Volkan invited me for Dinner on Friday. Everybody is cooking at Unistay together and going out afterwards.

At Unistay - 2.3.2012

IMG_0137Volcan and I met at New World to buy grocery's for the Dinner. Volcan bought stuff for Desert the other Guys bought stuff for making Burgers. I only had to ship in. Back at Unistay we cooked/prepared together the food. And ended up with 20 people dining together from all around the world. Columbia, Norway, India, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, Germany, USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia (most crazy guy ever) and a lot more. It was a really nice group of people, most of them studying something in Auckland. Afterwards we went stuffed together down to the Center of Auckland to the Mexican Café. Despite the fact I don’t feel sure enough to dance, especially Salsa, despite the fact I couldn’t drink enough to loose my shyness because I somehow had to drive back home and despite the fact I don’t like Salsa; it was a good evening. We got back to Unistay by sharing a Taxi with a badass grumpy Taxidriver. From there I drove back home through numerous new and unexpected detours throughout the city while it was raining hardly.

Meet Teddy - 3.3.2012

IMG_0110Ted or Teddy is gonna be his name. The name of the Dog John soon is gonna have. Numerous evenings the whole family was discussing his name. And everybody is looking forward to have him here. We drove up, close to Whangarei passed by beautiful shallow Beaches and Bays to a nice self dependent House up a hill where the massive Mama Dog welcomed us. The Breeder invited us in to see the puppy dogs. Just two weeks old. They where so cute and small. It is almost not imaginable that they once will be as huge as their mother is. Its gonna be Johns Dog so he selects him. IMG_0125Years ago they already had one of this race and now its time for them to have another one. Tess (Julias Dog) wont be amused. And Whiskey, Tims cat with high probability not too. On the way home we stopped in a small Restaurant at a Harbor and had good launch. We went afterwards not directly home, but picked up Johns Mom and Silvia a Dutch Lady who is the mother in law of Johns Sister. We drove together to the Airport. I had to sit on the front seat. Dianne in the middle on the rear seat represented Switzerland to make sure Granny and Sylvia being handled equally and not starting a fight. She couldn’t stop them from small debates but at least from bigger fights. All this for meeting Johns Sister, her Husband and their Children's at the Airport. It was her Husbands 50th Birthday and he knew that they are going to fly to Christchurch with the Family. But at the Airport he got surprised ending up at the international Gate flying to Canada for skiing. And what he there still didn’t know that it is just a week. Its gonna be a month. After a week of Canada follows LA, Las Vegas, Disneyland …. What a surprise.IMG_0130

luxory live of a backpacker - 10.3.2012

IMG_0153I will miss all this so damn hard when I am going to the South Island and even more when I am back home. I know, I bet I will cry after being back home leaving all this here behind. Its so splendid here. I can’t even explain how great it is. Today I woke up by hard knocks on my apartment door. I knew we could go for a flight. I had a look at the weather at 6am but it didn’t look promising. I continued sleeping. until 9. I heard the knocks and shouting. “we are going”. John is good at shouting. Eg. IAAAKOOOP Foooooood ….. I was ready 10 min. afterwards, washed hair and grabbed my camera and a sandwich. And ate it on the way to the airfield. Nobody else was home so just Dianne, John and I went for a flight. IMG_0155We picked up some Fuel and started off heading to Coromandel Dianne forced me to sit on the front seat to be able to make pictures. Afterwards they called me Mr. Woo. I made heaps of photos and used my chance taking pictures of every thing. between Waiheke and home we thought we shouldn’t go to Coromandel but gladly the weather became okay and not too windy or rainy over the Ocean. Only a bit bumpy. So in the end we went over there and it was a good decision. We headed in the direction of Coromandel Town but didn’t went all the way up to Coromandel so far. We flew straight over from the Westside of Coromandel over the huge impressive Mountains and Forrest to the Eastcoast to Whiting turning IMG_0165southwards down to J and Ds old property where we landed. There they bought 20 Years ago with a group of 10 People a huge property. And spent a lot of summers down there with there children's. Started a hippy Festival with friends which still is on every Eastern. Id love to go there but I will be on the South Island.  But because of problems with the council they had to gave the Property up for a couple of years. We went for a walk at the 5k yellow sanded in a positive way abandoned beach. Nothing there but Sand, Vegetation and the Water. I had flip flops on and shorts on. so I easily went into the Ocean up to the knees. Amazing being able to do that. IMG_0178And it took us just 40 min. from home. On the way back we passed this nice hippy colony where the festival happens. It was surrounded by Rocks and they already had some stages there and cool statues. And Hippies. A lot of them. Then we flew to XXXX Kaituai XXXX to land there to have Launch. Under the supervision of dozens of people we safely landed on a grass patch nearby a very delicious fish and chips shop at the beach. And John and Dianne where alright. It was delicious. The best one ever. And the Aioli with Chips. Mhhhmmm. lecker. Before the Chopper got stolen by some very curious teenagers on bikes who tried to open the Doors (Good that John locked it this time Smiley) we started off to head back to IMG_0267Auckland flying the whole time over the Shoreline up beside Auckland to the Airfield nearby Albany. We topped up Fuel and dropped of Dianne at home. Then John went for a short kamikaze flight through a forest. We flew a lot of curves where it felt like I am sitting instead beneath him on a seat over him. We’ve got some nice G-forces there. It was a lot of fun. Then we headed to the raw and harsh looking East Coast to pass Miruwai, Piha, Kerekere... I was stunned and didn’t talk a lot. I was amazed by the whole Landscape and the luck I had having all this at the moment. But I continued taking pictures. Then we reached Auckland. John new Tania (Employed since she is 16) get married. And that day was her Hen Night. So He called her to find out where she is in Auckland at the moment. We determined her position and greeted her from the sky. And then the Trip was already over and we headed back to leave the chopper behind in the Garage of the Airfield.

IMG_0247After coming back home an hour later we already left towards city to drop off Julia and Dianne for the Hen Night. John and I went to a flesh restaurant at the Viaduct called Euro. A very much upper class thing with very good food on small plated. But to be honest I somehow prefer grounded Food instead of Chinese Pancakes with roasted Duck and Corn soufflé with Salad, Truffles Butter and Ciabatta …. But don’t misunderstand me there. It was amazing delicious and I appreciate every bit of it but I sill prefer a ordinary good burger or a german meal with sun glassed uptight people sitting in fancy white Chairs around you. But another good good experience. I could have never afford something like this here. So I was glad to have been invited like always. I cannot ever enough thank J and D for all this. I wish in the future I will somehow.

IMG_0276And then, we went to Calendar Girls for a while. Actually we wanted to go to the whisky lounge with recently got opened. But they didn’t let me in there because no Chucks and no shirts without collars. Bastards. So we went to the normal location. I would have got paid a lap dance, but stupid as I am I said no. But I didn’t say do to drive us back in his Audi Q7. What nice cars we produce in Germany and what an amazing day. No Words.

IMG_0264Its raining man 11.03.2012

IMG_0014Not that we had a good summer but anyway it seems to be over. Today we wanted to fly to Cape Reinga. But the weather is too bad. So it didn’t happened. Bugger. But at least I slept long until 9:30. Which, believe it or not , I didn’t for a long long time. Instead of going to Cape Reinga. I went to the Albany Mall to buy a rain jacket in advance and anticipation of the coming hikes I’m gonna do. And Yes, of course the main reason, in expectation of bad weather in the future. I also bought grocery's in preparation for Tuesday, my weekly turn for Dinner Night (see below). And I visited a new Zealand Pet Shop called Animates (Animal Mates). Something like Fressnapf in Germany. But here its weird that they sell Dog Puppies. They are separated behind Glass sitting in boxes waiting for getting a home. Reminds me a bit of slavery or the Reeperbahn.Its so sad and really weird. Don’t know why but for me its different to selling and buying Guinea Pigs like that. BTW there also have been NZ Guinea Pigs. They have been so sweet and cute little ones. One was screaming all the time with wide open mouth. This feeping sound reminds me so much of my old home. I miss it.

Cooking Rules at Home

IMG_0134Everyday over the workdays somebody has to cook. Tim and his Girlfriends day is Monday, mine is Tuesday, its Jordan’s turn on Wednesday, Diannes Thursday and Johns Friday. Until now I made Schnitzel a Hefekuchen, last Tuesday I made filled Capsicums with minced Beef and a Apple strudel with selfmade Vanilla Sauce. It was delicious. As awesome as all the other Dinners we so far had. EG. Ceasar Salads, different Cakes, Stake rolled in Bacon with mashed Kumaras, Pies with beans and carrots and small muffin like cakes with caramel sauce. It always is freakn delicious. Next time I make Spaghetti Carbonara with Salad and Florentine as Desert.

 

I'm trying not starting to look to optimistic forward to tomorrow. Cause John is meeting a Helicopter Flight Instructor for a fun curved flight in the Riverhead forests and said if i want to join them I can fly it as his copilot. Maybe. Hopefully the weather is good and it happens really.IMG_0041

About going home

I decided not to buy my Flight-Ticket back so far in advance. I am hoping for cheap short term flights home. I have no Idea how much money i will have in the end in August and so I don't know which way to go on my way back. Maybe it is a big mistake not to buy one yet. And usually it is when i decide things like that. But in the end the worst case scenario is to come right back from NZ without nice long stopovers somewhere and overpriced. Then i will bite me in my own ass. But thats how it is.

Ahh but what I’m really looking forward is to next Week Friday and Saturday. I’ll go with a Friend, Brenda and her Friends Camping and Snorkeling to the Goat Islands. It will be fantastic when we get one more good weekend weather. Please.IMG_0010