Thursday, January 1, 2009

Walking all over Welly

Wow, I don't know if my legs have ever been so tired from walking. When we got our temporary apartment in downtown Wellington, I thought it would be so great and "urban" to walk everywhere -- the grocery store, post office, bank, etc. I'm sure we logged at least five miles just today, including another jog along the harbour this morning. Whew. I think it's a healthier lifestyle (especially since we've learned to buy food that doesn't weigh much, because we have to lug it several blocks) but I'm looking forward to owning a car and experiencing a slightly more suburban perspective of "Welly."

Yesterday we took a cable car up to the top of the Wellington Botanical Garden. And when we say the "top," we mean it! Then got to wind through the park all the way back to something closer to sea level. What a beautiful park! 

I don't know if this is a NZ thing or if you've ever seen this before, but we came across this cool thing called a sundial of human involvement in the park. 

And it works ... it was just after noon when Jake took this fabulous shot of me. 

I have to say our pics don't do justice to the scenery. We were having such a great time wandering around, and we also took the opportunity to strategize about a couple of rental houses we're considering. We're getting closer to making a decision, and it'll be great to get to actually move in somewhere and start feeling at home. We've been nomads ever since we moved out of our place in Fairway on Dec. 19. 

The cactus below earned a photo because it thinks it's a palm tree. And I promise Jake owns more than one shirt. He just likes to wear this one in all the photos we post on this blog. :)

We've had just spectacular weather this entire time. And today came the wind. This is no ordinary wind! I don't know how the women here walk around with long hair. I think I'm going to invest in a few more hats or a shorter haircut. It's crazy windy! I don't have any photographic evidence of this wind yet, but I'll work on it. In the meantime, I'll tell you about our newest adventure. Today Jake and I stopped in a little Chinese restaurant called the Big Thumb for lunch. We're both having a bit of trouble understanding the Kiwi accent, but are making out okay for the most part. I didn't understand anything our Asian server said. But after we ordered, we quickly learned the Yum Cha (have you heard of this?) is a type of service where someone will come around every two minutes and try to sell you an appetizer. First they came with prawn and chive dumplings, and of course I just thought it was a free sample because we looked like clueless Americans. (How nice of them...) Then she wrote down $4 on our ticket. (Hmmm...) Then came some sort of fried twig-looking items, which we declined. (Jake was already nervous about the whole experience after he found beef intestine on the menu.) They brought the food we'd ordered, but kept coming by trying to sell us stuff. Our lunch was good, but we were running out of ways to politely decline the strange-looking dishes. 

Also today we called up a colleague of Jake's from West Virginia who works for KPMG here. We've never met him but he and his wife have helped us with lots of questions about settling in here via e-mail. His name is Archie, and he and his wife Maggie are expecting a baby. They've invited us to dinner tomorrow night, so that will be good. I think Jake and I are both anxious to interact with other people at this point. We make a good team, but we have been around each other 24/7 practically since we moved out two full weeks ago. He reminded me today that we've never spent so much time together, even on vacation. Extended conversation with other people will definitely do us both some good!  

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dave said...

What a life. I'm reading this as I'm devouring one of your frozen lunches ... thanks and hope there are more.

When's Jake start working?

Jake said...

I will start up next Monday the 12th of Jan. Hopefully, my kiwi language comprehension will be adequate so I'm not immediately dismissed.

Good to see that my wife has bought you lunch. Wish I could say the same. She hasn't done a thing here yet...other than complain about the sunburns and my inability to blog at an acceptable frequency.