December 05, 2006

Windy Welly

Our second day in New Zealand, we woke up very very early. It gets light here before 6 am, and after all the sleep, it was quite easy to get up and going that early! I unpacked all my things and put them away, and we then put all the suitcases away to make us feel a bit more settled. And yet, we…well, I still feel like I’m on vacation…

After breakfast, we headed into town again determined to get information on internet service, cell phones and basic info on living here in Wellington and New Zealand. We made our way to the “Information Center”, but found all the information was for visitors, and that we had many of the brochures already in the welcome pack Darrel and Merrin had given us the day before. We did try to ask one of the employees about getting a tax ID and figuring out the bus system – she was of some help, but in the end told us that she is late for everything, and doesn’t understand the bus system herself! Hmm...maybe she should work somewhere else? Still, we couldn’t be angry because she was just so nice about her confusion.

We did manage to figure out what kind of pass I would need if I ever wanted to take the bus, and then picked up a pass good for 10 one-way trips. Unfortunately, busses to our suburb don’t run very often or very late, but it’s still a good option on rainy days.

We also found an internet café and hooked up Appleseed (our laptop) to the somewhat slow broadband. As most internet café’s charge $4 an hour, we thought it would be best to find another alternative. We were quickly shocked at the cost of internet, considering how wired New Zealand is. Many broadband plans (which we can’t get until we have our own place anyway) are fairly expensive and are priced by amount of usage. There are no unlimited plans, as far as we could tell. And because this country is so wired, every single ad for broadband and dial-up refer you to their web address for more information! We even asked Darrel for dial-up suggestions, and the first thing out of his mouth was a web address. Haha! Our next trip to the internet café was fruitful, and we signed up for a dial-up account called “Slingshot”, which is actually quite fast. Yay!

On the way down to the city earlier that day, we passed a restaurant called “Sandwiches”. ( There was an ad for jazz on Wednesday nights, so we made mental plans to come back and check it out.

However, as we made our way home that evening, we noted the sky was getting quite dark. As we sat from our perch on top of Mt. Victoria, we saw the storm roll in over the hills across the way. The winds were much stronger than what we had experienced, well, anywhere, and started to rattle the doors and windows.

With increasing frequency, the giant picture window in the living room would bend !

We saw the waves in the bay were quite high, and several times the wind just blew the water to the shore. At the time, we thought “at least it’s not raining!”

Then it started to rain…no, POUR. It rained and rained - seemingly from every direction! Darren said he saw plants ripped out of flower pots and thrown down the hill. And wouldn’t you believe, there were still people f’ing jogging up the hill in that weather! Sheesh these people are crazy!

When the house itself started to shake, I went to bed.

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