Here's how my first day in the antipodes went.
I'm just writing this now, and will post it some time later. There's an internet cafe down the street (and another, and another. They're all over, and for $2NZ per hour. But I have more pressing business.)
Flight out was quite nice. I didn't watch either movie, though "Intolerable Cruelty" looked interesting. But I hate airline edits, so I actually managed to sleep most of the time. Got a fair amount of "Tournament of Shadows" read too, but decided that despite my desire to have been a participant in the Great Game, Englishmen were crazy. (Reinforcing evidence later). Slept a great deal of the way, and watched a little short on Lord of the Rings and NZ, too. "Airline to Middle Earth" indeed. I expect a petition to the UN for a change of name any month now.
After landing, at 7:30 local time or thereabouts, I proceeded through Customs (nothing special) and Bio-Quarentine (very cautious, x-rayed all bags, etc.) The sniffing dog caught my backpack, but I'd already eaten the carrots and oranges inflight. From there, I did a good share of the loading the bus with luggage, which eventually overflowed all compartments, 2 rows of seats piled high, and had to infill the aisle, thus blocking off the students from the driver, staff and me. Most fun. From there we swung by the hotel (Kiwi International Hostel) to drop off the excess baggage, picked up the earlier arrivers, and walked down Queen Street, to be guided about. Saw the University, a park, and the downtown area. Dispersed for lunch, and in the intention of avoiding some of our more shallow comrades headed uptown instead of waterfrontwards. This was rewarded by ending up at the same bakery that our staff showed up at after we had ordered. Points to us++;
After lunch reembarked on busses and visited the North Head, a former set of fortifications turned park, and Mt. Eden, which has a small basin in it from a dormant volcano. Jay, another UT student and a Kines major and I actually descended to the bottom and looked around, but got very winded running back up. Incredibly steep.
After this, we went to a bit of an aquarium sort of place, where we saw penguins (sang a little Lyle Lovett), a display on Scott and Co (sang a little Arrogant Worms, and cofirmed insane Englishmen hypothesis) and lots of fish including sharks and rays in a tunnel through their tank. From there, we bussed back to the hotel to freshen up for an little bit before going again by bus to a very trendy pizza place. Had a good time there, lots of interesting flavors. We all agreed it was the stereotype of trendy in all respects.
After returning to the hostel, hung around a bit and then went out with Jay, who turned out to be my roommate here, Brad and Tyler to a club called "The Globe club". It claimed to be the hottest party on Tuesday night, and I couldn't disagree, for a Tuesday&. Archie explained a little bit of the rules of cricket to me, as the NZ-South Africa game was on, and I had a pint of Tui IPA, which was very nice. Archie, Chelsea, Tyler and I decided to head back at about 10, when we'd gone out at 8:30. Such timing. Left before the lap dancing contest began, feel no regrets. Especially since a comrade was promising to come back next week to compete, when she was "properly dressed" for it. Anyway, the four of us walked back up Queen St and decided when we got back to play pool. After discovering it was a billiards table, we had a good game of 8-ball, finally won by the team of Tyler and me, while Chelsea and Archie had 2 balls left to go after 30 minutes. And now to the putting in of contacts so I'll have them in the morning, which took no more than 15 minutes, and the repacking and writing of this, which have brought me up to 11:45pm local, and 4:45 am home if I cared. Up at 8ish tomorrow, so now to bed.
Second one following right away, #3, 4 and 5 probably my tomorrow, and we'll see from there.