CIMG2491Dear family, friends and stranger,

I try to catch up to a closer past date. Still 2 weeks to catch up. So here is already my next post. And the one after is coming sooner than usually. I didn’t wrote it yet but I try my best to catch up. Finally I passed Christmas In this one. Enjoy how we here celebrated the cozy and contemplative days.

cheers Jakob

 

Christmas the NZ way - 24.12

WaihekeIsland2

CIMG2494

Nobody celebrates Christmas here like we do in Europe. Okay, maybe all those other Germans, French and Dutch Backpackers here. But in NZ it Is like it is in America. Christmas Eve does not exist. But the day after, where you get your presents and have a big Christmas lunch in the sun. We at Verandahs celebrated it our own way. I wanted always celebrate Christmas at the beach. Couple of month ago I dreamt of being on Fiji or Samoa. But because of limited financial potency it has to be postponed. But Sebastian had a idea quite close to the initial idea. An beautiful Island, amazing beaches, Caribbean atmosphere, beer at the beach and a nice feeling … Waiheke Island is our destination. Not with a people mover this time, no, with DSCN3285a scooter. Again first time in my life. We rented it two days before via phone. We tried to book online. But we weren’t able to use the  Credit Card. So we had to call the rental company. A bit annoyingly crazy guy answered on the other end. It felt like it took me 30 minutes to complete the deal and finish the phone call. In reality it may only have been 29 minutes Smiley. Don’t get me wrong, he was really nice. Just a little too much, over the top. He explained everything up into the finest detail. And repetitively debated our experience and that he is really sorry the booking via Credit Card didn’t work out. Nice, but a jot too much, And I shouldn’t have mentioned that I never had driven a scooter before. Now I was forced to take 30 min. driving lessons before starting the real trip.

DSCN3267Whatever, we booked and we took the ferry over to Waiheke Island. Packed with two Becks each (I got them from my Boss at XSYS, really nice), a blanket for the beach and Digicams. But we donkeys forgot sunscreen. A big mistake in NZ. Whatever. We felt the sun hours ago after it went down on our skin. We took the 9 o’clock ferry. We’ve got picked up by a dutch looking guy in a bus. He took us to the rental company. There we met Greg. The guy from two days before. In real life he is even more outcoming. It was hard for me to laugh hidden. Sebastian had to show him his skills. And after he proofed that he is not falling of l it was my turn and the lesson started. I had to train some maneuvers. Greg was running next to me and screaming something like peeerfeeeeeect, verrrrrrryyyy gooooood Jakooooooob, yoooouuuuveee gooot it, so far and so on. After a while IDSCN3274’ve got the feeling how to drive and Greg was satisfied of my newly accomplished skills. Unfortunately I still got a slightly slower Scooter than experienced Sebastian. This was not that much of a problem on even tracks. But on steep parts it have been a pain in the a**. Our first stop was 20 minutes away at an amazing beach close to the harbor. We took a brake there after I managed to turn of my turning indicator. I started to indicate to turn right after we left the rental company Smiley. We took some Beers and went to a Cliff above the beach we have been to three month before. Under the beautiful sky we enjoyed the sun the bear and Christmas NZ style.

WaihekeIsland1

DSCN3318

Originally we wanted to met two girls. Sebastian met them while woofing at Lake Tarawera. But because of bad cellphone connections it didn’t work out. Even without them we appreciate the time on the island. It have been splendid driving down the hills with 70 km/h on the scooter with sunglasses on and fluttering shirts and short pants. If I would have known that you don’t need your feet's on a scooter I would have worn thongs. Never thought that scooter driving could be so much fun. We traveled almost everywhere on the island. Even the forbidden parts Greg didn’t wanted us to go to because they where to steep. And he was right. My Scooter sucked. Up steep Mountains it would have been faster to walk and push it. DSCN3373Nevermind, down the Mountains it was much faster. So we make it further than we made it last time. We passed unbelievable nice beaches, We ate at the Beachfront Restaurant, Sebastian like always fish and chips and I of course had a Burger. We had another beer, Another beach, great mountains, impressive shorelines, a drive with the scooter …. It was Awesome. I almost forgot about Christmas. It is was a good thing to keeping us busy like this. So nobody was thinking much about our family and other personage at home. It made it easier for me. We had swimwear with us but we missed it to go swimming. After 6pm we topped up our petrol (5$ each for the whole day) and dropped of our Scooters and attend to our Taxi back to the Harbor to catch the ferry back to Auckland. It have been at all a very enjoyable Christmas Trip and enough distraction form not being home.

Christmas Eve Dinner

IMG_2480We couldn’t have passed this special day without doing any Christmas activity. We already planned to have a Christmas Dinner. But not Potato Salad and Sausage, Turkey or other fancy food. We had Pizza. The lowest common multiple on food. Some of us still had complains about what we gonna put onto the pizza. Some had religious reasons, some personal dislikes and some had vegetarian or vegan reasons. We even had Italian reasons why different things not belong on a pizza. In the beginning it have been IMG_2459complicated and I am glad not to experienced the shopping trip to by the grocery's. In the end everyone left behind the inconsistency's and we had a pretty good Christmas dinner together outside in the garden. All the long termers and some newer friends attended. Amy and Luisa prepared the table with nice nametags written on pebble rocks and candles.

 

IMG_2469DSCN3385

After 7 trays of pizza, finally everyone was stuffed and had a piece of thuna, vegetarian, pizza without bacon, pizza without beef, pizza with salami, without onions … everybody was satisfied so we started with wichteln . I know there is a English word (maybe secret Santa). Everybody bought something for 10$ and packed it into unapparent Christmas wrapping paper, placed it under the tree and waited for the lottery. A really complicated system (which I thought could have only been developed by Germans, but wasn’t) we chose which number each present got and afterwards which present you get. We waited one hour until everyone had his present, most important not his own, until we unboxed everything together. Some presents have been useful, some crazy and others just were just a bottle of wine. We shared everything and had a lot of fun together.  We distracted us all together from thinking about too much about home. A nice start for the Christmas Marathon. Except my sunburn I’ve brought from Waiheke Island.IMG_2475

stuffing food, like Christmas should be – 25.12.2012

IMG_2531That day Sebastian and I had two times Christmas lunch. Once at Verandahs and the second time at Johns.

Because of last night I slept really long. I enjoyed not having to work over Christmas. So I slept as long as I could in a Hostel Room and spent the morning in bed. Maybe because I already felt not soo good.

It knocked at my window and Luisa asked for attending the lunch. Everybody had to buy something the days before to donate it to everybody. DSCN3387Most of us prepared everything (lazy me didn’t prepare anything this day) for the BBQ Lunch. I felt ashamed that I didn’t do anything that day to help but I also didn’t wanna miss the other party. We had nice Salads, mediocre Lamb meat (because I still don’t like it) backed Kumara’s, Potatoes and so on. Everyone was there. Even the Holly’s (reception twins and Campbell the manager with his family). After Sebi and I swallowed down the food we left early the party because John invited us also to his Christmas Party.

DSCN3390

DSCN3405

 

We left our friends at Verandahs over the Harbor Bridge to Albany and Johns beautiful property. It’s the first time we’ve seen his helicopter. A ridiculous picture. John parked it in-between parking cars on his green field. Or other way around. We already missed the lunch (was around 4pm), but not the leftovers. We amassed as much as we could of the delicious tasty leftovers. Turkey, roast Beef, roast pork, Kumaras again, Potatoes, Sauce, Cake …. Like last time at the Pirate Party exorbitant good. Stuffed we joined his family and friends playing games, swimming in the pool while we played with the dogs and keeping up to their liquor level. The liquor level of the family, not the dogs. Drinking seems to be the DSCN3418typical occupation over the holidays. And if you are in a different country you should accept and adept to the foreign behavior Smiley So we did, but not too much to hinder us from driving back later. We drank in a acceptable manner, mom and dad Smiley. Besides we had cotton candy and some fun on the huge bouncing castle. It have been a fantastic Day with nice weather. John flew a few times with his helicopter around. Unfortunately not us.

Even better, he invited us to be their next day early in the morning to get a Heli - Tour over Auckland. For free. Wicked.

Heli -Tour almost in the morning - 26.11.20122

CIMG2562I don’t know how Sebastian is doing this every morning. He knocked at my room door, whispered through the window and called me on my mobile until I finally woke up. It was around 6 am and the night before was long at Verandahs, like it is every night. I thought I dreamt but I didn’t. I decided to wake up take a shower and prepare to leave. The weather was good enough so we left 6 am something to Johns Place. We arrived 7:15 am to find out that nobody is awake. We strolled around to look for an entry point into the house, called him … until we gave up to enjoy the beautiful sunrise at his pool and have CIMG2616some sweet mince pies for breakfast. 8 am he showed up with Grace (one of his two Daughters). The weather was almost turning over but still good enough for a flight. After the checkup and a couple of nervous minutes we raise up. For me the first time in a Helicopter. Its more intense than an Airplane but also very pleasant cause you can have a much closer and more predicted view on everything than you ever could have in an Airplane. But first we flew to a small Airport to top up the Petrol. Then we took of again. over to the main part, the Center of Auckland with its Skytower, the Domain, Mt Eden Stadium and the Harbor. Beyond every description. DSCN3429The City was unusually empty because of the Holidays and the time. We continued to fly over the Peninsulas and Rangitoto the Volcanic Island (I have been to 3 month ago). Than we passed the numerous Beaches and Mountains until we aimed going back to the airfield. John parked his Heli in the Aircraft after a slow, controlled and unspectacular landing like it should be. Then Dianne picked us up.CIMG2600 Yesterday we met Johns Mother. On the way back John called her for discussing to go to the Mall on boxing day. After leaving his place we decided on the way back to stop at the huge Albany Mall. We’ve got warned that on boxing day it is like an inferno over there.

DSCN3472 It was funny to listen to this conversation with his family and his mother. Its like it is in every typical family all around the globe. She wanted to go to Warehouse (huge franchise in NZ like Walmart selling shitloads of crap) on boxing day and Dianne sacrificed herself to jump into the crowed with her to get the cheapest useless item Smiley. After getting the tip not to go there to we even felt a stronger sake to go there. In the end it was overfilled with cars and people but not worse than it is in Germany every Weekend. Here they are not used to “stress” like this. I’ve got some running shoes on sale and sport pants. No excuses for not doing sports anymore. Except the weather. It is always good for an excuse here.

 

next to Mission Bay and first time in Cinema here - 27.12.2011

MissionBay01Finally Mathias, Lucio, Volkan, Luisa, Amy, Melanie, Simon and I went to the beach. We planned it for so long and the weather that day was okay. And we have been in the mood finally to do something. We packed our stuff and left 1pm towards the beach. This time I also took my newly obtained sunscreen with me. Gooood choice. Volkan took his beloved fishing rod from the Verandahs storage room. Somebody left it there and never picked it up again. Vokan hoped he get it as a present from Campbell but he didn’t. So he borrowed it. On the way to Mission Bay, which is 30 minutes Northwest of Verandahs we stopped at the countdown and bought food and drinks for a pick nick. The we drove further up to Mission Beach. It is one of the most famous ones in Auckland. So it was crowded and we didn’t got a spot to park. We passed by and took the next Beach. We thought it made no difference. But it did. After the first ones went swimming, okay tried to go swimming they figured out that it is impossible to swim. After a hundred meters the water only reached the knees. Fortunately I wasn’t interested that day in swimming anyway. I wasn’t in the mood. Instead I was grumpy and preferred to roast in the sun. We made some crazy pictures. Okay, the others did some. I was just being forced to attend Smiley. We left after it was getting too cold and windy. We did one stop at a Pier so Volkan had another chance to catch anything. Before he didn’t got anything because of the same reasons we couldn’t swim. Even the fish didn’t like such shallow water. But even on the peer nothing to catch. Simon preferred to eat the raw prawns instead of using them for Volkan’s Rod. So we went back to the hostel to eat. Amy and I decided to go to the cinema. It was cinema day like in Germany. 11$ for a Ticket is an acceptable price. A lack of good movies forced us to watch Tin Tin. The 3D Animated Tim und Struppi Movie. It was not bad, but also nothing you have to see.

Next Post I write about our New Years Eve here. Keep being ready for the next one.DSCN3448