Friday: Revisiting Auckland & Napier On My Own.

It’s been two days since Kathleen took off, and so far I’m still in one piece. I haven’t managed to get hit by a car just yet (despite always forgetting they drive on the opposite side of the street here). I haven’t gotten robbed or mugged. I haven’t gotten dreadfully lost or missed a bus or checked out/in at the wrong time of a hostel. So far, I’ve been golden.

Lacking in conversation and camaraderie, sure, but hey, I haven’t accidentally killed myself, and that’s gotta count for something.


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Wednesday: One is the Loneliest Number…

When I asked Kathleen to come with me to New Zealand back in December, I don’t think I had any clue how well it would all work out. At the time, I knew two things: that I didn’t want to travel alone and that Kathleen was one of three or four friends I wouldn’t want to smother in their sleep after spending far too much time together. This was enough to conclude that she should probably come along with me, hence me extending an invitation after we saw The Hobbit.

Little did I know that we were a travel duo made in heaven. The two of us have balanced each other out beautifully this entire trip. Not to mention we’ve sort of turned into an old married couple. Not only did we reach the point of finishing each other’s sentences, we even began to say the exact same phrases/words at the exact same time with the exact same inflection. It was awesome and creepy all at once.

But just like I didn’t realize how amazingly we’d get on together during travel, I had absolutely no idea how devastating it’d be when the day came that she packed her bags and left this country.


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Friday: Auckland Zoo & Sky Tower.

Day four in Auckland. Status update: very cold, but very happy.


Good news! They’re hiring!

Not too much to report on, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a busy two days since my last entry.

Yesterday Kathleen and I decided to go to the Auckland Zoo, seeing as we heard it was well worth the visit. As you might remember, we visited the Domain the day before yesterday, and in doing so we walked all the way there and all the way back. This, unfortunately, made us cocky. Oh, we can walk a measly mile to a park, eh? Well what’s stopping us from walking three miles to a zoo? Absolutely nothing!

As we were walking to the zoo on Thursday morning, following our Google map directions to a tee, we began remarking on how amazingly awesome we were at not getting lost. We had gotten this finding-our-way thing down to a science. We were personified GPS’s. Basically, we were the tits.

Then we got lost.

… For two hours.

We finally found the zoo, after having to stop and ask for directions on two separate occasions (once in a McDonalds and again in a bank). Let me be clear that this was not entirely our fault. Google maps told us to take a left when we were supposed to turn right, which led to us walking for a stupid long time in the wrong direction, and after walking for over a mile we quickly grew suspicious that the directions were lying to us. We looped back around, asked for the correct route, and set about attempting to find our way. There was also a part where we ended up in a park and it was filled with black swans. Their eyes were red. I’m pretty sure they were the spawn of Satan.


Spawn of Satan? More like swan of Satan.

But we got there, and it really was an excellent zoo. Very much worth getting lost for a crazy amount of time. I’d talk about our time at the zoo in depth, but I feel like if you’ve ever been to a zoo then you can probably figure out what our day consisted of. But here are some pictures to enlighten you.



They like to move it move it.



Oh hai most adorable creature to ever exist on this planet, ie. the meerkat.


Ah yes, the sign that 100% of the children in this exhibit ignored.


This dude definitely got devoured by that hippo. (But not really.)




Kathleen and I also went out for drinks last night. We originally intended on going to a pub crawl that our YHA hostel was promoting, but upon getting to the starting bar we noticed the event looked pretty dead. So we went to another bar, ordered a cocktail, realized our cocktails had no alcohol in them and that we were basically drinking out of sippy cups, then went back to the first bar again. Still pretty dead. Deciding to ditch it, we ended up at another bar where the bartender reminded me of a balding, Kiwi James Nesbitt. We drank our drinks while watching a darts competition on TV. (GO TEAM HAMILTON.)


He sure looks happy for a guy who’s only real accomplishment in life is throwing pointy colorful sticks at a round board.

As for today… well, there’s not much really worth writing about today. We got up, had a late breakfast, and then ran a bunch of errands (buying Kathleen new jeans, buying more Mrs. Higgins cookies, looking into sim cards, buying ziplock bags, etc.). We decided to give ourselves a break, considering the amount of walking we’ve done in the last several days. We kind of deserve it.

I guess we did go up the Sky Tower, which was pretty awesome. It’s sort of the Kiwi version of the Space Needle.


We could see all of Auckland.


And here are some random highlights from the last two days:

  • We witnessed a young Asian girl face plant onto a huge Justin Bieber poster on the side of a building.
  • We also witnessed an incredibly drunk woman fall flat on her back at nine in the morning on the side of the road.
  • We saw another elderly woman riding a razor scooter. Apparently this is a common occurrence?
  • We’ve seen four transvestites! Success!
  • Our YHA Auckland hostel roommates have consisted of three German girls and two girls named Karen. Basically, a full house.
  • Tonight we had alcohol served to us from a teapot.

We take off for the Bay of Islands early tomorrow morning, which I’m sure you’ll all hear about next Monday. Until next time!

JGask out.

PS. Quick notice: I’m postponing Fan Girl Fridays until further notice. This had been on my mind for a bit, but became conclusive after I spent an hour typing up today’s entry only to have my computer accidentally delete the majority of it. I see that as a sign. FGF will probably resume once my travels slow down a bit and I have less traveling to report on.

Wednesday: Ogling Auckland.

When we last left our heroes, Kathleen and Julia were anxiously waiting to board their flight to New Zealand. Thirteen cheddar cheese packets. four Milano cookies, and six hours later, the girls headed to their gate.

We did have a bit of a scare at this point. Y’see, Kathleen didn’t print out her holiday-work visa prior to our travels, but both of us had figured this would be okay because we assumed our visas were electronically connected to our passports. Makes sense, right? However, some guy working at the San Fransisco airport, who from this point on will be referred to as Liarface McGee, told us that there was a very likely chance Kathleen could be sent back to the USA due to not having a physical copy of her visa. Thinking Liarface McGee was accurate in saying this, we were put in a bit of a panic. We did our best to gather up all her necessary information, even signing onto her visa account on my phone and screenshoting her visa just in case. After doing all we could, we boarded the plane, praying to the universe that she would be allowed into the country. (Spoiler alert: she was allowed into the country)

Still a little shaken by this (totally false) information from Liarface McGee – Kathleen worrying about being sent home prematurely while I freaked out about the thought of being in New Zealand on my own – we boarded our flight.


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