Well, after 30 hours (approximately), three airplanes, one bus, a whole lot of dragging luggage up stairs and hills, and one van, Jake and Brittany and I were finally moved into our new flats.
These first few days have flown by so far. On the first day, Brittany and I were starting to wonder what we were doing in New Zealand and how we ever thought this would be a good idea. The traveling and whatnot was a bit overwhelming…it was the little things that got us questioning our decision to come here. Like almost missing a plane because we didn’t know where to go or what to do or how to manage the massive lines. Or not being able to order a normal coffee because “long blacks” and “flat whites” were on the drink menu instead. And being unsure where to get food, or how to navigate our new home. And having to enlist the help of two super-nice Canadians to get our luggage moved in. But it wasn’t long before our trio had found a whole bunch of new friends who were just as lost and eager to make friends get the hang of things as we were.
In fact, a whole gang of us (seven in total if I remember correctly) went out to the local town, “Palmy,” on the second day. We raided a poor cell phone shop in the mall to get ourselves odd little pay-as-you-go phones – which involved re-learning how to text without a qwerty keypad. We found a K-mart (kiwi style) and a cheaper-end grocery store called Pack ‘N Save, which is a Costco-like store only everything is sold in normal grocery store portions. To save money you must pack your own groceries in your own bags. Finally, we all pitched in together and made ourselves a delicious burger dinner with wine and stuff.
The flats Jake, Brittany and I live in are adorable little buildings in a neighborhood-like setup. Each flat has five rooms, a kitchen, eating area, living room, patio, “toilet” room, two shower rooms, and a washing machine. Clothes must be hung out to dry. The Atawhai neighborhood even has a friendly little family of feral kitties wandering around. All though everyone is not moved into the flats yet, it’s shaping up to be a cool living place.
Massey University’s international student program has over 80 countries represented in it this semester. The people here literally come from all over the world, and for all different types of study programs. The study abroad and student exchange program is actually quite a small part of the over-all international student population. Just today I met a post-graduate student from a country I’ve never heard of – he said his country (somewhere in Asia) is only 10 years old. Our friend group so far already includes people from China, Canada, Switzerland, the Middle East, Ukraine, Vietnam, New Zealand, and of course many different states in America. It’s awesome though, we all can have a good laugh at our differences and we all definitely have tons of things in common to talk about. Especially here at Massey.
Well until later!