One week in

Trip Start Oct 17, 2007
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

We've been here a week now.

It's been a great one.  I really love Wellington, which has something of interest around most every corner.  Or, for most of this week, at least something new around every corner.  But new inevitably becomes familiar and I'm now starting to feel settled here.  I can now tell you without consulting the map which is the best route from Lambton Quay to Cuba Street, and I know where to buy gourmet cheese or a Mazda or chana masala--your typical daily needs.

This is not to say that I know Wellington.  What I have seen I'm only superficially familiar with, and much of the region outside of the compact center is still a mystery.  But at some point, perhaps today, I feel like I crossed from 'tourist' to 'resident'.  Hopefully the euphoria that accompanied the former phase has good implications for the latter.

Correlated with this feeling--causation probable but direction of such unknown--is the steadily increasing realization and resolve that my wonderful three-month holiday has to come to an end.  This is partly due to a glance at the balance sheet which clearly shows it's not sustainable, partly due to a desire to do Something Useful again, and partly because if I don't get back to work soon, I might not be able to bring myself to do it ever again.

Work will be good, though.  As much fun as being commitment-free and touring around has been, it's eventually nice to have something solid to build a life around.  Things do seem much brighter and clearer from the Outside, and I hope to maintain some of that when I enter the workforce again.  Seeing everything through the filter of a job can really dull your senses.

...

On the quotidian side of things, we're looking for a quasi-permanent place to stay; i.e., somewhere to be after we get kicked out of our current place in a month.  We lucked into somewhere quite good to start, and I hate to leave; I've contemplated squatting.  But surely there will be other good flats around.  We looked at one today on The Terrace, which is the main business/financial street in town, one block west of and considerably higher than Lambton Quay, the main commercial street.  This particular part of The Terrace consists of older largish houses that are generally made into flats.  The flat we looked at was nice enough with nothing particularly bad about it, and comes fully-furnished, and is just three minutes' walk from the very center of town (75 feet below), yet it didn't really grab us.  Maybe it's too much to ask for the Perfect Place...but we still have time, so there's no reason to settle just yet.

After the house hunting we caught a bus down to Newtown, which is (to my knowledge) Wellington's premier lowish-rent multi-national lotsa-different-cuisines neighborhood.  I quite like the feel of it and would consider living there, but at this point we're committed to living somewhere walkable from the center, and Newtown would be a long and not-terribly-pleasant walk.  We had more Indian food (yum) at Planet Spice, which came recommended and not without good reason.  Very nice.  Then came an Asian--primarily Indian--grocery called Asiana, which will help us cook yet more Indian food at home.  Man, I love Indian food.

And while we were in the neighborhood we wandered down to the zoo.  Our very-friendly waiter from lunch recommended against it, saying the animals didn't look at all happy, but we thought we'd check it out anyway.  If a moral plea wasn't enough to stop us, the cost was--$15 per person seems awfully costy for what I understand to be a pretty small zoo.

This evening I took a short-but-rather-vertical walk (as many tend to be here) from our place in Aro Valley up to Victoria University on the hill in Kelburn.  Nice views, but I was literally almost blown off the hillside several times.  Yeah, it's one of those days here.  While the views are great from the hilltops, I kind of like living in a valley.

-Aron
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