Disclaimer: These words are written a bit in a hurry. I couldn’t really correct them and there are still some pictures missing since the wifi is not working properly. I will make an update soon.
Sitting in my hostel in Rotorua I felt quite unsure what to do with my last week in New Zealand. I didn’t feel at all like I had to explore a new place and so I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. For the first time I took a look at the Woofer and HelpX websites and there it was: Someone posted on that day that he was looking for help from 4th to 8th in Auckland area. It felt like this was written just for me. I applied immediately and even got my couchsurfing place for the last 2 nights in Auckland settled. So there it was, the plan for my last week.
On my way from Rotorua to Auckland I did a one night stop over in Hamilton to shorten the bus ride and because it felt funny to stop in Hamilton again, even just for a good coffee on the next day.
When getting to the hostel I thought about grabbing 1-2 beers from the supermarket and enjoy the evening there. The wifi password „washdishesnoalcohol“ made me decide for the alternative of going out tonight.
First I claimed my bed in the dorm and had a pretty nice chat with the guy sleeping there. And it sounded like a joke when my bed neighbor told me he lived close by just over the bushes from Hobbiton (his words) and needed some time for himself. That’s why he stayed in the hostel for 3 nights. His name was Sam. And that left me even more confused.
So out with me into the streets just in time to run into Lisa again – from Dunedin who I had also met by coincidence in Christchurch. What a funny way of fate. We set up a breakfast for the next day. I moved on quite happy, the sun still shining and I decided to roam a bit more before settling in a good looking burger and beer place. And since normally the shops close very early here I was surprised to find an incredible good looking second hand bookstore still open. The smell of books and the thought of one specific made me go inside. For weeks I’ve been already loosely searching for Walden (Henry David Thoreau) – in hostels and bookstores. So I thought if not here where else.
I felt a bit sorry for interrupting the guy in the beautiful store at his dinner but I just had to mention the title of the book and he was already of to a certain shelf and got an old used version of the book out. Maybe it’s cheaper to buy a new version, maybe it’s even better to read but finding this book on this evening that easily I just had to buy it. And books just gain character like wine, right?
It was time to close the evening with a good beer, a tasty bean burger and a good read into the copy from Veronica who got that book in July, 1971.
Helping out in Auckland Area
“I want to do more craftsmanship” I have written just a couple of days ago into my profile. And here I am, standing in a trench of clay and digging a joint between the two trenches in the burning sun. I already used the grinder, the sledgehammer and learned knots with which you can also build shelters and other stuff in the woods if you need to.
On the evening I arrived at Tom’s House and the first hour of good talks I knew that I was at the right place at the right time. Destiny is funny sometimes if you just believe and follow your heart and instincts.
In these few days at his place we worked on his unfinished self-build house, cleaned the area on his 7 hectares of field and bush form construction leftovers and built different kind of obstacles for his upcoming movement workshop. Balancing, vaulting and hanging obstacles.
We slept the nights in an unlocked house where just the 2nd floor was 70% finished. There was no shower, just a tap outside to wash in the backyard. Instead of a flushing toilet we used a straw compost toilet and I was quite surprised about it.
In between I was allowed to join a Feldenkreis group for a unit and was quite impressed how my body seemed to fall back into the shape it was supposed to stand and lie. In the evening we had talks about life and getting along. How to handle break ups. That there’s more than often no way back after fishing a chapter in your life like a relationship or work. And how to challenge your fears every day.
I can’t remember learning so much in such a small amount of time. Thank you, Tom, for letting me be part of your life for 5 days and trying out so many things by myself with just the right amount of advice (“Don’t cut your fingers off”).
I was very lucky to spend the last 2 days in New Zealand at Ryan’s place in Auckland and felt very welcomed at his mini room close to the CBD.
JAFA – just another fucking Aucklander – is a regularly used acronym by kiwis. And so the task was set to prove why Auckland is a cool place to explore although it’s maybe quite different then the rest of the country.
We went to Davenport, enjoyed observing people at the beach and had many good coffees just to prove that Wellington can’t claim the good coffee just for itself.
We listened a while to Christmas carols around downtown, watched couples dancing swing to a big band playing and sat down for the free concert at Christmas in the Park.
I enjoyed many Couchsurfing stories and the second non-German person in my life who says that German sounds sexy. We watched British TV shows that left me quite confused – if you don’t know them have a look at Bromans and Naked Attraction. And I had my first Philippine dinner which was delicious!
I couldn’t have wished for a better goodbye. Thanks Ryan!