Day 6: Island Bay annnnd Wellington Zoo…

Again, I felt tired this morning. Maybe I need to sleep in a little longer…the day is starting off decent though. I had jam and toast (I gotta lay off that butter though!) and had a short meeting with the NCWIT (women in tech) group back home. I tried calling mom a few times but it didn’t work. I leave tomorrow for Auckland so I did some more organizing to make it easier for myself. I gotta figure out the bus fares on my Snapper card so I don’t put more money on it since Auckland’s bus system is different. I walked around and decided on going to Island Bay.

Riding the bus is pretty fun. I really enjoy it. It’s something I don’t experience much since I don’t take the public transportation back home.

Side note: this dress I’m wearing is not awesome. The lining in the inside is riding up and it’s making me self conscious and annoyed. Luckily I have shorts that blend in but still!

It’s so nice here and the water is so blue. And I can see the Taputeranga Islands. Since I was tired, I decided to stop buy The Bach for some coffee. Once there though, I decided I wanted food too! It was a hard choice because I wanted seafood but didn’t know what. It was between the chowder and the mussel fritters. After asking for the waiters opinion, I settled on the chowder since its popular. It was pretty good! Maybe needed a little salt but I’m not sure if that’s the American in me. I had a nice seat near the water and there was wifi! The table next to me were super loud and were throwing the “f” word around every two seconds. The chowder was very filling so I think I’ll be set until later tonight.

It’s also another windy day, not too chilly though. The sand is hitting my legs like crazy though.

As I was walking back to the bus stop, I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy. Maybe it’s the change in atmosphere but I feel different. Something inside me feels happier and I’m enjoying just chilling by myself. It’s so much easier to do things solo here. Normally if I’m back home and no ones around, I just watch tv or YouTube and read random articles. Although home is nice and my friends are awesome, something about Wellington makes me want to move here. Or overseas somewhere. The process seems simple enough (someone explained it) and I could totally do it. I think I’ll revisit this plan in two years after gaining some work experience. I feel like I could be happier here. Or somewhere in the Oceania area.

Now I’m at a park here and there are so many little kids! I think it’s a field trip. Reminds me of the kiddos back home. I think this country would be a fun place to raise some kids (if I want them).

Since I had time in my day, I decided to go to Wellington Zoo near Newtown I think. It’s a pretty cool zoo! I got a student discount (yay student card!) and started the adventure. So there are time schedules that tells you animals they’ll be talking about for the next 15–20 minutes. At two, I saw the sun bears. They were so tiny for bears! And I got to see them up close when they opened the doors. At 2:30 I saw a kiwi! It had one leg! At first I went in the wrong door and got freaked out because it was so dark and scary. I went to every single talk from 2–4. It’s so interesting because the zoo has stories about each animal and how they were rescue and such they all have their own special story and some have missing limbs. I went to every animal area and saw almost all of them (minus some that were not in their specified area. I’m quite proud of myself.

I also met an older couple from Pennsylvania. They were super sweet and were their son who works in Wellington. They gave me some tips about Greece and I was glad to see another American.

Since I was meeting Ben and his coworkers at 5:15 I had to head back. I got on the bus and was embarrassed since the guy wasn’t ready and had to recalculate his route before people get on. He basically called me out and embarrassed me. I hate that. When I get embarrassed it sticks with me forever…like forever. It’s 10 pm and I’m still thinking about a 5pm thing.

Eventually I met Ben and a coworker (I don’t remember the name. I think it’s Naresh?). We were going to meet up with Naresh’s wife and Carl later. We got to southern crossing and I ordered the lamb. It was $33 nz but it was so fun to cook. I just want to point out I spent a lot more than I thought in Wellington. I’ll definitely have to get more money in Auckland. I planned a budget (which is getting low) but I also have budgeted an emergency budget that I can spend if I under budget. Example of my planner self. Anyway, I feel like if you spent all that money to come to a foreign country, you got to live a little. You need to experience the country and food even if it is a little pricey. I think it was worth it. But the lamb! It was pretty cool! It splattered when I was cooking it but hey that’s what I get. And the kumara root was yummy! It tastes kinda like a sweet potato. And then there was beer. I am not a fan of beer but I drank some that Ben bought. I was trying not to drink much since I had an early flight.

Afterwards, the four of us (Ben, naresh, Carl) went to Havana. It’s kinda Cuban I think. I had a gin and tonic (which I thought I didn’t like) and there I met naresh’s wife. She’s an accountant and was so fun to know! She checks Ben like it was nothing!

So afterwards, I went to a club…a gentlemen a club. As in, I went to a strip club. When we passed calendar girls this week, ben had been telling me I should try experiencing it and naresh’s wife enjoyed it. I am not comfortable with naked anything…ever. But peer pressure and the want to hang out made me convinced to go. We got there and as the first two went in, the bouncer stopped me and I got carded! I was the only one! Guess I look under 18! ;). Anyway, after showing my passport (carry it with you in a safe place. They don’t take US drivers license), we sat down and I got some funny money (stripper money). The experience was interesting…uncomfortable but interesting. The first girl was alright but the girls after that were pretty good! Their pole skills were pretty impressive and the heels they wear were freakishly high. I would’ve fallen wearing them let alone dance in them. I had another gin and tonic and had my first experience giving strippers money. Naresh’s wife tried to get me to give the stripper money with my mouth. Can you imagine how unsanitary the money and couch is?! Ain’t no way I was putting it in my mouth. I sanitized the money for goodness sake! So when you put the money in your mouth, the girls basically use their boobs to take it. Kinda funny to watch. And when you place money in their thongs, you get a side kiss. The girls were pretty nice! Lol overall, I think it was a fun experience and I had lots of questions. For example, how much do they spend on waxing/shaving?! Will I do it again? You know what? Maybe…just maybe. Lol

Lastly, we went to a rooftop place called Dirty Little Secret. Carl and I were singing my dirty little secret by all american rejects. The other friends had left for the night. We hung out a little bit and since my host wasn’t able to answer, I stayed out a little longer.

As Carl and Ben walked me to the train station, Carl and I had a musical singing session. It started with Maria from west side story and some wicked and legally blonde the musical. And then there was some lion king going on. I gots some videos of them (they didn’t know!).

After saying my goodbyes and hugs (I got a hug from weird since he’s not a hugger! Guess it’s because I was leaving), Carl and I walked to the train car and he explained the snapper process since I was curious if I needed to add more money. We finally bid our last farewells, and I left for Wainuiomata

I’m on the way back now. My last night in Wellington was fun. I met fun people and I had a good time exploring and seeing the city. Although I have to wake up early (5ish am) in order to get to the airport for Auckland, I think I’ll be okay (ask me again tomorrow!).

Well, on the bus and going back now.

Bye y’all.