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week 1

Our first full day was spent finding food and getting an idea where we were. The cab driver that dropped us off the first day told us that the last ten days had been cold and rainy, something that continued for several days. Therefore, randomly walking around neighborhoods searching for a grocery store (or dairy as they call it here) was less than uplifting.
After stopping several times for a warm cup of cappuccino (Travis quickly realized asking for a simple black coffee won’t get you anywhere) we found a dairy, the place we will spend most our income. I was expecting high prices after living in Hawai’i. I understand most stuff has to be shipped in, but it still hurt to go through the isles. Travis was crushed at the price of beer and cigarettes. I guess Kiwi’s are big on sin taxes here. The tax on alcohol is proportional to the amount of liquor in it, so spirits cost several small children, and the hope for finding a cheep, high-alcohol content beer like we all did in college is never going to happen. We were also stumped at the deli. I asked for one gram of ham, the lady just stared at me. It turns one slice of ham is 100 grams, who knew.
Day two was spent in a café stealing their wireless Internet. I applied for all the teaching jobs I could find and Travis looked for places to live. We found a few that were pretty far away from the city, but we figured there are buses. It was a few hours after we set up to see some rooms for rent in the boonies that I was told the busses were on strike, go figure. Flash back to my first week in Hawaii. Plus, later that day I had a meeting with a teachers’ placement agency and the guy told us we should get a place in town, good advice but who’s going to pay the rent?
The next few days were consumed with looking for a place to live. We were paid up in the hostel until Saturday morning, and had little desire to extend our stay. I wanted to shower in a bathroom, not a kitchen. We walked FOREVER to look at several places, just outside the city. It was getting very clear that “cheap” was not an option. Either we lived in a hostel situation with no privacy, or we anteed up and got a studio in the city. You pay rent by the week here, that’s so you don’t get cheaper rent during the longer months. I wish I thought of that.
As the week wore on Travis and I were both getting pretty stressed out. We had met no one to talk to, our dreams of cheep living had been crushed, and while I hope we didn’t smell we defiantly didn’t feel clean. Our last day in the hostel we finally found a place to live. It is only temporary, the owner is trying to sell the place, but it was really big for what we are paying for it. In other words is bigger then 10 x10ft. and we moved in that night. I showered.


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