NZ Adventure Chapter 11: Getting Sick & Climbing Fences
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
In chapter one I wrote that, “…the most important part of any adventure story is the worst for the protagonist. An adventure is not an adventure without a struggle, without doubt.” God I wish I could punch past me in the face.
You see, that sounds romantic and all, but when you’re on your own on the other side of the world, getting over a recent sickness, and endlessly job hunting so that you can afford to stay in the country, It’s a little harder to see it that way.
You see, for the past 4.5 months my relationship with New Zealand has been kind of casual- I was a traveler in an unfamiliar place. I bounced around the islands, stayed in hostels, and was constantly on the move. Everything was new and exciting and temporary. But then I started running low on money.
After Fox Glacier’s overpriced grocery store and Queenstown’s overpriced everything, I knew I would have to make somewhere my home base for a while. I was also burnt out on traveling and needed to sit still for a minute. So I headed back to Auckland and started my job hunt and my search for a place to live longer-term.
I ended up finding a job at a pretzel place and found a flat that looked small but cozy. Then it all went to shit. Well, not everything went to shit but a lot did… and some good things happened too. Here are some highlights from the last couple months:
I felt terribly sick one day and asked my boss at the pretzel place if it wasn’t busy if I could leave early due to the fact that I had a throbbing headache, was constant coughing, and could barely hear any customers over the sound of the pretzel oven thanks to my clogged ears- he told me to go ahead and go home and the next day he told me that he no longer needed my help at the shop and that it wasn’t because I was sick but that it “didn’t help” (It was definitely the cause though).
Some of my Semester at Sea friends came to visit! (And we went to Waiheke Island which was really fun).
The day after I moved into my flat I came home for the day with a bunch of groceries and was locked out. The management kept telling me that I should have gotten my key updated months ago- even though I had literally just moved in-which I told them- and they didn’t get anyone to fix it until Monday.
I have some very messy flatmates, I share one bathroom with 4 other people, the shower door constantly breaks, there is no heat or room for a heater in my room, and my packages get stolen from the mail area. The management is occasionally impossible to reach and rude when you do talk to them.
As I've been continuing my search for a decent flat, I have come across many places that look hilariously unlike the pictures from their listings. One I went to was completely unrecognizable and when I went to leave I walked out the wrong door and found myself locked in a car park. After unsuccessfully trying to contact the agent that showed me the room and/or the building manager, I asked a random man walking by if he knew how I could get out. It went something like this:
[Me, standing in a car park looking helpless] “Hey, I was looking at a room and walked out the wrong way and now I’m trapped. Do you know how I can get out?”
[Random guy who was walking by, now briefly stopping & looking amused at my question] “Sorry, I don’t know!”
“Do you know anyone I can contact?”
“No, sorry, that’s not my building, I’m in this one!”
“Ah, so do you think I should just try to climb the fence?”
“Yeah, go for it!”
And that’s how I ended up climbing a fence in the rain to get out of an apartment that I had just viewed.
I turned 23! (And celebrated with wine and pizza obviously. Also I can't get that Blink-182 song out of my head...#nobodylikesyouwhenyoure23).
I've still been dancing and working as a cleaner at the dance studio. As long as there's still some dancing in my life, things can't be that bad, right?
It’s not easy right now, and Auckland seems a little reluctant to take our relationship to the next level, but maybe this really is the most important part of my story. Maybe this is the struggle I knew I would have to face eventually. All I can do is try really, really, hard and hope that I can stay in this country that I’ve gotten to know so well. As always, I’ll keep you updated…