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Alex: An introduction

July 13, 2011

This blog will be the chronicle of my trip to New Zealand. Trip is probably the wrong word, since I’ll be here for almost six months. I’ve been here more than a week already, but I feel like I’ve done a month’s worth of stuff, so now that I have some down time I’ll go back through it bit by bit. I apologize if it’s all out of order, but unfortunately we cannot always trust our brains to present things nicely to us.

THE JOURNEY: 

This is likely the first and last of the chronologically-ordered posts. My memory of it isn’t in days, just blurry green whirlwinds punctuated by sleep.

I had never flown by myself before, so this was quite the adventure. MSP was pretty easy to navigate, and finding my flight to Denver was easy. On the plane I sat next to an adorable old lesbian couple watching foreign films on a portable DVD player. Despite my best efforts, I fell asleep on the plane, the mid-afternoon sunshine does me in every time. The flight to LAX was even less eventful, except that Felicity Huffman was on my plane, in coach no less. She was boarding right in front of me. And the view of the Rocky Mountains through the clouds is life-changing. My six hour layover at LAX went faster than I expected. LAX is a city, so it took me some time to find my way to the proper terminal and get my Air NZ boarding pass. I had late lunch and a drink at a restaurant in the airport, and watched the guys in blue beat the guys in red at soccer. Got a lot of listening to my World War Z audiobook done. The flight to Auckland was gruelingly long. I was determined to stay up a few hours and sleep the last few hours of the flight, to try to set my clock right. I failed. I was asleep ten minutes after the safety video ended. I was exhausted, having been up and travelling for 19 hours at that point. I slept through dinner, and I’m glad no one woke me up to give me any. I slept until two or three in the morning Auckland time, then powered through three movies before breakfast. I accidentally mimicked the flight attendant’s accent when she asked me what I wanted for breakfast.
When we landed I found out that my bags had not made it on the plane to AKL, and it took me forever to get the phone card they gave me to work. But luckily I met with my group pretty easily, and the weather was beautiful (for a while). The coach bus took us up to the top of a now-extinct volcano (of which there are many here) where we had a great view of the city, and we were promptly poured upon with rain. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur, but most of us went out after dinner for drinks at a bar down the street from the hotel. Good times were had by all, although we were all exhausted and in bed by ten.
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