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Only 11 Days to go. Literary. I’m already so sad I have to leave soon. But I’m not going to be sentimental right now here. Its too early for that and not the last post from within New Zealand. But it will be very soon, and that is sad. Anyway, have a read about the open house, my project in Christchurch and a bit of stuff up to right now. I think since I started posting I haven’t been that up to date I am right now.

 

First week of work and a bit of fun on the weekend 12.6.2012 - 17.6.2012

DSCN4296Even though I didn’t had to do a lot of work within that week John made sure I have something to do which was nice. E.G. installing some webcams for checking on the dog when everybody is away (especially when John and Dianne are in America for a month). I tried to get use to the puppy to learn also how to deal with Teddy, cause soon Jordan and I have to take care of him alone. On top of that is Tessy the other dog, Whisky the cat and another new puppy Marshall. Which is Jordans cat he got for his birthday. It is a Maine Coon cat. The biggest cat race on the planet. This cat already looks as big as good old whisky and will be bigger than Tessy. Julia calls him Andrea because he is very pretty and suits him better to have a girls name. Mostly we dined out which was great after a lot of meals I cooked myself or fish and chips, burgers ….

DSCN4363I went with John on a just beautiful day to Long Bay to try out the chick magnet. Teddy btw. And it works very good. But it was the wrong time of the day or wrong day at all. So he caught us just a couple of women's 60 upwards. But it was worth it anyway to go there that day. We’ve spotted Orcas swimming around not too far out the shoreline. It was amazing to see them blasting out the water out of their blowholes. And beautiful Rangitoto Island, Waiheke and Coromandel in the background. Unfortunately I didn’t had my camera to have some evidence. But its up in my head. So good enough.

IMG_1785My car is now on trade me waiting for somebody to buy it. So far it does not work and I will have to go to those car fairs. I started very high with the price. But it is worth it actually after all what I invested in it. It is worth far more than I paid for it. But I guess I will have to forget about selling it for more than I bought it from. It seems that I can be happy to sell it for what I paid for it, may even a bit less. Frustrating but it seems to be non avoidable.

DSCN4355On the Friday evening I met with Julia and Phil one night to go to Francis farewell party (best friend of Julia). She is leaving to England a couple of days later so last chance for everybody to say bye. But Julia follows her soon end of July to leave NZ for a while too and catch up with her again. There I’ve met some guys I’ve met before already on other of her Party’s or on the ones from John. It was in a flat in one of the Arcades at K-Road and actually we were supposed to go next door into the wine cellar. Where they usually have good NZ local life music. But we didn’t went there. I tried there first time Absinth and it is disgusting. I cant imagine that somebody is actually enjoying drinking it. It hurts your throat so much that you you can still feel it 2h afterwards. This 90% alcohol must dehydrate the cells in the throat so much. Yeah, whatever, not too good.

DSCN4345On Saturday I gave Volkan a short visit. But he didn’t want to go out so we just chatted for a while and then I left to meet Sebi at the Verandahs and met the other guys in the hostel he befriended with. We drank quite a bit and chatted for a while until we left down to the harbor area. We met down there some other guys and went together to a club called Snap Dragon near the viaduct. It wasn’t too bad but also not too god. Weird flash people and everybody complains about my chucks when I try to get in. I get in but it annoys me. Whats wrong with them compared with 5$ shoes from the fucking Warehouse. I don’t have any proper shoes just for this purpose so fuck off. But what am I complaining they did leave me in anyway.

It was pretty late when we left but only because we went out pretty late. So we walked up to the Hostel. Instead of driving home drunk I spent the night in front of the Hostel in my car. Good that this works like charm. Nobody expects somebody sleeping in a backpacker car in front of a hostel.

reverse … back to Christchurch 18.6.2012 – 22.6.2012

I thought after I left the South Island that I won’t be on it again for a while. Around two years or so, but because of work I had to go down there again. But this time in a plane instead of with my campervan. It is always great to see the country from a real job working perspective and not only the tourist way. I left early enough that morning to top up fuel and have enough time to arrive early enough at the airport to drop off my car and catch the plane.

The first hurdle I had to tackle was that I apparently forgot my eftpos card. Damned, again the same situation I had after Dunedin. Even though I was 15 minutes from home I was afraid of driving back and getting the card. Last time it was so easy to get a new one so I though I just leave without it. For any emergencies I still had my german credit card. I dropped of my car and flew then to Christchurch.

Arriba Arriba Christchurch

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1:30h later the plane touched ground in Christchurch surrounded by these beautiful mountains. Until a week ago the weather was really bad for NZ manners. It started when I left the South Island with Sebastian. There where a lot of snowfalls and it was pretty cold. They even had minus degrees for a while, oh oh. Anyway I would have liked to be in this kind of weather down there. Dianne even convinced me to take one of Johns old winter ski jackets, which was in the end very necessary. So it was still a bit cold but the snow was gone already, what a pity. Wayne the owner of the Christchurch Armstrong branch picked me up from there and we drove directly to the shop. Located a bit out of the destroyed center of the town.

There I started to work at 11am and finished at 3am next morning. For the first time I had serious trouble installing the new server because auf some restrictions of SBS2011 and their devices. Anyway I did everything I can to not affect their daily work. But it affected definitely my normal work hours. But I’m used to it from my old job that you cant plan sometimes incidents like this. If nobody waits for you at home and/or if you have no commitments it doesn’t really matter anyway. I had a rest that night in the shop on their couch. I didn’t even had a blanket, so I slept fully clothed for just 3 1/2h to be awake before the shop opened and continue to work.

Day two – no earth quake

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IMG_1484The next day wasn’t way better, additional to my project in Christchurch another shop in Auckland had serious problems at one branch and I had to assist via telephone too. And this after 3-4 h bad sleep. Great. Later that day one of the guys drove me to get a new card. But seemingly only one replacement within a short time is free. I would have had to pay for another one. At least I was able to withdraw a bit money keeping me liquid for the next days, even without a card. It looked almost like I had to sleep again on the couch but the will to leave was stronger. I locked up the shop at 7:30pm and went to the hostel not too far away. Actually I could have used the bus, but I thought it cant be too bad to walk there. It was by foot just an hour away. I didn’t calculate my stupidity. Instead of turning right out of the shop I went left and walked and walked. I took a huge detour. A massive one. It took me in the end 2 1/2 h to get there. Ridiculous. I was so fucking angry the whole time. It is terrible everything is so spread. Every company has just around two floors in their own building. So they are not stacked. In addition to that car parks. So imagine a street at home with the same amount of companys/factorys/homes or whatever is here at least twice as long. It is so not a good idea to walk here. And then sometimes you have pavements that suddenly end or even worse at a big crossing as a pedestrian I had to walk at least a detour of 20 minutes just to get on the other side. Walk through a park in the dark …. You are seemingly here not supposed to walk. It is so bad and that’s one of the few things I hate here. Maybe the one thing I hate. Despite this long walk I ended up in my chosen hostel. Because it was already so late I expected it to be impossible to get a bad or even talk to somebody from the reception. On my way I looked out for alternatives like motels already. Fortunately I didn’t had to got there. A group of guys where celebrating a birthday and one of them was working here as well.

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IMG_2102So I got my bed in the cell. Yes right in a cell. This hostel is called Jailhouse Hostel and takes place in a real hostel.After the entry, lounge… you enter the part everybody knows out of movies. Hopefully out of movies. The rooms originally have been the prison cells and except bunk beds inside and some other furniture's it was kept in the original way. Tiny windows, huge metal doors and the original concrete floor as well. Its not very cozy to be honest. And it wasn’t very cheap either. I had to take a bed in a double room. Either to punish me to show up that late or because they really didn’t have any bed left in other rooms. I went to Burger King nearby for dinner, watched the end of Butterfly Effect in the hostel with some random guys and listened to this really weird but funny conversations of those birthday celebrating guys behind me. Strictly speaking the conversation about animal love and how one of the guys broke up with his girlfriend because he was disgust by her allowed her dog to lick her face all the time. And other funny things I forgot already. But I have to admit our topics how to wipe you’re a$$ or how everybody pee’s isn’t much better, though.

Day three – no earth quake two

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No experiments this early morning. I didn’t want to show up late at work. So I took the bus. It took me 15 minutes to arrive there. Fifteen minutes, god damned. It could have been so relaxed last night. At least it was a good day. I had good progress at work and James, one of the employees invited me to stay at his place. Wicked. The Hostel wasn’t to bad yesterday, but definitely not the ones I’m desperate to stay at. More of a one time experience. I left a bit later though I had to get there on my own. James printed me a google maps plan of how to get there. And this night I got one of the brand new Armstrong Vans. Right handed driving on the left side of the road with left sided manual shifting. But hey after a couple of minutes I was able to own this car and safely reach James place. The only problem was google maps was incorrect and the last street name took me ages to find. Cause this street doesn’t exist he stated to go through. James has a really flash row house he and his wife lives in. She, original from Ireland, is working as a school teacher and he, original from England, is in charge of the security related stuff for Armstrong Christchurch. And in his spare time a semi pro golfer Smiley. I did a bit of work there and then they’ve invited me for a Hells Pizza. Yummy. We’ve watched my big fat gypsy weddings. Its so ridiculous, you should watch it. I had to catch up some sleep so I went not too late too bed in this nice spacious guest room. Way better then the cell from yesterday.

Day four and five – still no earth quake

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The next two days where quite similar. I finished the last bits and pieces to complete the project and make everybody happy. On Friday then one of the guys drove me back to the airport. On the flight I had a great view on Tongariro. Not too much later I arrived back in Auckland to pick up my car and find out that my eftpos card was the whole time in my wallet. It was hidden behind another card. Man I’m so stupid, but good I didn’t pay already for another card. I drove home then and chilled out for a while.

In the evening I met Dianne and John and we had a seafood chowder. With all those sea food I actually don’t like. Cooked prawns, scallops, salmon, green mussels and calamari aren’t my favorites to be honest. But the soup was nice. I guess when you like sea food in general it would have been perfect for you.

Summary of 23.6.2012 – 22.7.2012

John left already for work to Italy a bit earlier and is going to meet Dianne one week later in LA. They are spent their time there for holidays for three weeks together to visit Vegas, Disney Land, LA …. So we had one last dine out dinner together and a week later another one with Jordan and Dianne. We went to a Japanese restaurant in Rosedale. We had a mix of different small dishes. Miso Soup and spicy duck … and seafood again. In my opinion it is better when it hides in a crusty deep fried coat of bread crumbs Smiley. But it wont ever become my favorite.

Last night for Sebi – 27.06.2012

I’ve meet a couple of times with Sebastian to go out, or stay in the hostel and drink with a couple of new friends. I also picked him up before he had to leave back to Germany for his last night in NZ. We went to the mall in Albany to admire the old days, the past. We still had enough drinks for the evening though we had just to take care of dinner. Sebi invited me for the last time to this really delicious restaurant down the road from Johns place where I had a delicious pizza. And afterwards we shot the funniest video ever.IMG_2123

 

Piha experience – 2.7.2012

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IMG_0986I always wanted to go to Piha before I leave and finally find these fucking waterfalls I was always and every time I’ve been there looking for. Finally there was another chance. I’ve met with Carina, Jenny und Anja (also friends of Sebi) and took two in the bed and Anja in the front to Piha. We had a lot of fun on the way and a bit of a weather mix. But I expected it like that. Every time I go there it is unpredictable. We went to the wide black sanded lava beach for a walk and climbed up to the lion head where you are not allowed to go further, and a bit further. But just a tiny bit. It is really a bit dangerous there when you go further. The view from there stunning. We had a rest for a while and then went back down to the IMG_1064shoreline and back to the car to finally go to the waterfalls. Carina knew where they are and leaded us straight there. Finally I’ve been there. I guess they would have impressed me more if they would have been one of the first ones I have seen, but still, they where nice. we climbed a bit around there and went back. It was already late and Jenny had to be back at the hostel soon to later take off to the airport. She had to leave on the same day after one year back to Germany. So we tried to find a Dominos Pizza on the way on Ponsonby until we ran out of time and gave up. In the end we dropped Jenny off without dinner and said goodbye to her. Anja and Carina came with me to Albany. I knew there at least is a Dominos. So we bought some food and took it home. Here then the girls adored the puppy dog and the rest of the zoo and we watched a movie. After I picked up a lot of dookies.

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What a nice evening - 9.7.2012

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DSCN4378Julia came by in the evening after Phil and she came back from Lake Tarawera. And they directly wanted to continue to go to Miruwai Beach and take the dogs with em. And they asked if I wanna come to. I love Miruwai Beach so, sweat. I had to share with them the back seat. Tess is not such a problem, he is small and except breathing like he is running the whole time, he does nothing. We where curious if he is doing cause we are moving really fast and he thinks cause he is so fast he needs to breath a lot. But it is very likely more because of his age and medical condition. Yeah and Teddy, he is fine. But he is so big he actually needs one seat. But he doesn’t care about the virtual border in the middle he is not allowed to cross. Like it was with my sister when we where younger and driving long hours in a car. Anyway, for teddy it doesn’t exist.

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We arrived there maybe an hour before the sunset. Which was great. We walked a while along the beach on a beautiful sunny day. I already almost have been sunburnt, but just slightly. At daytime I am usually sitting when it is sunny, at the table between the pool and the kitchen/living room. I turn on the outside speaker and listen pretty loud to my favorite radio station  www.kiwifm.co.nz. It is amazing. And that in winter. I want to have something like this at home too.

We walked for a while and ran and played with the dogs. Threw a wood stick around until Tess had it completely destroyed by fetching and chewing on it. Sometimes he was going nuts digging and trying to reach underneath a small rock. Hillarious. Teddy was usually more busy with social activities and befriending with other dogs.

The sunset was adorable. Probably the last one I’ve seen like that at a beach for now here in NZ. Just amazing and a very nice one like you can see on the pictures.DSCN4302

 

the days inbetween

DSCN4331Within the week I went out with some friends to cassette 9, a backpacker bar with good music and which is even pretty crowded on a weekday. I’ve met Carina at Verandahs and some of her friends from there. We drank something ahead and continued drinking there. For NZ and Auckland in general drinks in there where pretty cheap. But just before midnight so we had to hurry up. After a while I even started to get comfortable with dancing. Or maybe I just didn’t care anymore how ridiculous I look pretending to know what I’m doing there. It was good fun and the group was nice. In the end I left with Carina and two other girls who have been nice and brought us back up to the hostel. We both had to work the next morning and I had to drive back half an hour. So a good way of saving some time and energy. Was a good evening.

IMG_2112Two weeks ago Jordan and I did already picked Johns car up from the panel beater. It was empty that time and I topped it up. One fill where 200$. It is a fucking Tank with a 100 liter tank. Anyway in the beginning of the week Jordan and I drove to Newmarket to drop it there for servicing purposes. It was funny cause I drove the Audi, like, and Jordan followed with his yellow old a bit rubbish Armstrong Toyota Corolla caravan. We both looked like idiots dropping this kind of car of where the most expensive German cars are being sold like Porsch, Audi, VW, BMW, Mercedes … Everything was so  flash, except we. Funny.

And on Friday same week we had to pick it up again. That time I drove with mine. Same situation, with our ridiculous bum cloth in this kind of an environment. Jordan drove the Audi back and I took care of my Schrotty.

On the way to pick up the Q7 I went for a short stop to canon on the way to pick up my Canon G12. They replaced the lens for me cause there was a huge scratch on it. Originally I had to pay 370$ for this crap. But I complained about it a lot. The camera itself was just 700$ and still within warranty and just 4 month old … After a while I had to pay 200$ in the end. It seems that Canon and I guess all others too officially have the opinion you are not supposed to use these kind of cameras on hikes, at the beach, or wherever except in closed sand grain, dust free rooms. Suckers. At least the scratch is gone, and hopefully it will stay like that for a while. At least until I can afford the G1x somewhere far in the future. These cameras are amazing. Except the lens problem I had so far.

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big cleanup – 16.2.2012

DSCN3741Julia came by, I guess a bit to make sure everything will be fine when John and Dianne are coming back. And it was seriously necessary. Even though she didn’t live there at the moment or made anything dirty she initiated to start cleaning. And I also helped to at least clean up the ground floor. It is amazing how much work it is to keep such a big house clean and cozy. I tried in the beginning to keep at least the kitchen clean but it was almost impossible. Jordan and his friends messed it up within minutes the same day so I stopped to worry about it Smiley. I should have taken some pictures of the man cave, haha. It was a mess. The end result of these three weeks in a summary:

- this was a dead bird in the bedroom (probably Whisky the cat)

- some destroyed plates

- a lot of poo and some wee all around the house, behind couches and in some corners (Teddy definitely)

- the house full of beef bones, also for Teddy

- a broken toilet lid (no idea how one of Jordans friends did that, haha)

- cat toilets spilled all over the carpets

- cat puke in the entry hall and poo stains on the way

- Teddy is like a granny now, always on drugs. Needs to take anti fungus pills and antibiotics against a bladder infection

- a stolen fluff filter after the washing machine stopped working, Teddy must have hidden it somewhere, so we weren’t able to wash and I started to wash manually

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Every morning Jordan and I had to open the crate for Teddy to leave him out after the night. Usually at 7am. So afterwards we went back to bed. After I woke up the second time I was always afraid of opening the door and find even more poo.

Anyway in the end Jordan did a great job cleaning up the whole lot left. And in the end it was good fun.

John and Dianne are back - 17.2.2012

IMG_2118On the day John and Dianne came back I was in charge for cooking dinner. I thought it is a good Idea to do a typical German dish again. And started cooking already one day earlier. They arrived that day pretty early around 8am from LA. And of course they have been pretty tired but try to stay awake. But it didn’t took long until Dianne had to give up and just had to take a nap. But before that they unpacked all their baggage. They must carried twice as much back then they left with. There was a huge England pillow for Teddy from Grace, numerous gods from all the places they have been to. T-Shirts, weird drinks looking like blood infusions, a small miniature boat for getting the hook out at Tarawera to fish from within the house Smiley, and so much other stuff. The biggest souvenir will be shipped a bit later. John bought via trademe a Ford truck from the 60s in a very good condition. Not too expensive actually but with shipping costs almost 8 times as much as my car is worth. It will tow the tipi they soon gonna get for Opotere in Coromandel. Sounds all a bit crazy, and it is. But I love it Smiley.

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Also we had to confess what happened with the washing machine and other stuff. Nothing really bad or serious but they need to know. In the evening everybody was invited for dinner. And additional to goulash cooked with red wine, home red cabbage, in lack of original dumpling powder homemade dumplings I made a veggie Lasagna for the vegetarians Julia and her boyfriend Phil. The Lasagna was maybe really good and they liked them but the goulash didn’t had a good response. John and Dianne seemed to pretend to really like it but I guess they just have been to polite. It tasted for German gustation like it supposed to do. I just think the food and tastes you grew up with is just too different. The children left a lot, especially cabbage on their plate. And too much veggies in the goulash have been too much too. Anyway, the Chocolate Soufflé with a melting core and vanilla ice cream was met more the taste of everybody. They have been just delicious.

 

City tour with Stefani - 19.07.2012

After John and Dianne just arrived on Tuesday Dianne went again to the airport to pick up a friend of Graces from England. Stefani from Ireland originally. She is also a X-Ray Radiologist and worked in the same department Grace did over there. She got a Job soon in Christchurch and is doing something like I did here but for two years probably. It is common that NZ guys go over there for an exchange like Grace and soon Julia as well. And vice versa. Anyway, Dianne brought her home. And cause she just arrived and wanted to see a bit of the city I showed here around. I didn’t had much to do anyway and it was a beautiful sunny day for going out to town. We drove over there and went for a pretty loooooong walk. Did some stuff she had to sort out like sim card, bank account and IRD and did all that on the way of a small city tour. It was very nice and we had a good talk as well. Unfortunately she already had to leave the next day.

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In the evening John and Dianne invited us down into the restaurant for Dinner. Yummy pizza.

CRC Speed and Pot Luck - 21.07.2012

IMG_0022No speed hasn’t anything to do with pills and pot luck nothing with weed. In the morning Dianne, John, Tim and I went to the ASB Show Grounds to look at some serious cars. Pretty fast cars, pretty old cars, pretty amazing cars, pretty cars and some, yeah, just cars. And a bit of tuning stuff. We strolled through all of the halls. But in fact there where just three and it wasn’t to big. Not comparable with the IAA or other European conventions. Anyway they had some nice Lamborghinis and other fancy cars. Afterwards we drove a while around through Hobson and Silverdale and the other side of Albany to have a look how much a house would be there for Tim. He is looking atm for a new home. Here it is pretty common to by and not rent. Everybody just gets a huge loan and pays it off like rent. That’s what he is going to do very soon. The new homes we had a look at where neat. Very nice. Small garden, but that is what he wanted and nice interior. And of course the location is important. Price wise it seems to be similar to houses at home. Only the way of constructing them is way different.

IMG_0020In the evening I was invited to a pot luck with Brenda some of her friends. Pot luck is where you bring a bowl or a plate or whatever of food, that is what is important to share it. We have been 5 people in the beginning at met at Courtneys moms house. Courtney is the girlfriend of Hamish who is the nephew of John, and Andrew a friend he went to school with and who is now a police officer in the traffic department. Brenda brought some serious delicious potato leak soup, Courtney baked some awesome veggie pizza and Andrew prepared some deep fried falafel and nice salad. Hamish always made fun of Andrew cause he smelled like he deep fried himself. And actually he did burnt his arm by doing that. Anyway, I baked some apple crumble cake. I baked two and left one at home for John Dianne and Jordan. Later more about that. We ate and shared all our delicious food and drank a bit. I forgot to bring something to drink, they all have been so nice to invite me to some of theirs. Later Chloe, another friend of them joined us and we watched 10 things I hate about you. It is a real chick flick, but a good one I have to admit. All the girls where like, awe he is so cute, sweat, hot … whatever. I left at 2am. Brenda and the others stayed there overnight. But I had to wake up early on Sunday to sell my car.

Selling poor Schrotty – 22.07.2012

DSCN4237The weather at the moment is bloody bad. It sucks. It rained the whole night and didn’t stopped so far. I didn’t expect to sell my car in this kind of weather, but I was wrong. Finally and fortunately. I need the money for the next two month on the way home. A german, of course a german, came by and was interested. After a short test drive he wanted to have it. Not exactly for the price I wanted (I started with 4.200$) and now got just 3100$. If I calculate everything I put into it it is pretty bad. But hey that’s how it is. I drove it a lot too, though I’m happy.

When I came back at home downstairs it looked weird. Nobody seemed to be here. But Teddy was running around crazy like always. IMG_0016My cake I left for John and Dianne on the kitchen bench was gone. But not like expected. The baking pan was on the ground and slobber all over. Teddy this dick ate it all alone. He must have snatched it from up there. Bloody bastard Smiley. No food on the high kitchen bench is any safe anymore. He is snatching everything off it, cake, big meat pieces, plates ….. In the evening John made dinner. A beautiful Beef Wellington with baked potato filled with a mix of cheese, celery, onions …. And afterwards we had a deep frozen apple pie as an exchange for mine Smiley with ice cream and custard. Yummy.