Shorts from New Zealand

I’m back in Christchurch, which means I will have spent a third of my year in New Zealand in this city and the vicinity. My working holiday visa expires in a little over two weeks, so I’m working to sell my car and wrap everything up here. But it’s not quite time to return home–I’m taking the scenic route. I’ll first fly to Sydney and visit Australia, then I’ll visit Southeast Asia, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. I’ll return home in October and revel in my second autumn of the year.

So for this blog post, here is some

Miscellany from Down Under

For this story, keep in mind I’d been working and living almost exclusively with Kiwis for the four and a half months prior.

All year, I’ve been told Americans are loud, and I’d felt that, too, often speaking more quietly by a few notches when talking with a Kiwi. I thought it was just the volume at which we speak (and how slow we speak) that people noticed.

But when I visited a sheep station in Queenstown during a week of touristy activities, there was a group of Americans who sat in front of me during the sheep shearing demonstration. Continue reading

Four Seasons in One Day

Several fortunate things happened on Thursday.

First (and what turned out to be the most important), I decided to wear my glasses. Grey clouds dominated when I looked out the window in the morning. Surprisingly, it’s easier for me to see on grey days when I wear my glasses with transitional lenses — there’s not as much squinting, as contacts make greys more intense and sunglasses are no help.

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Sunset at St. Kilda Beach

Some color and light appeared when I stepped through the doorway with all my gear (a change of clothes, second pair of shoes, lunch, notebooks, laptop, and camera) for my work after I was finished as a teacher’s assistant at the school. The sun lit up the hills near Otago Harbour. A small blue patch showed sky’s attempt to break through the colorless clouds.

Otherwise, Dunedin and the Pacific Ocean were grey and flat. Continue reading