Week 13: This is my Real Job


It has been 2 weeks (or 10 working days) in my new job at a ski resort and things have been going on pretty well for me, except that I probably won’t get to save much money during these 5 weeks as I only get about 25 to 30 working hours per week. Back in Christchurch, I get about 40 hours per week which means that I get about $140 lesser; yet I’m paying almost x2 for my weekly rent.

Well, my money goals for these few weeks is to not suffer a deficit. This means that my expenditure should not exceed my income. For a start, I will no longer be doing massages (no matter how much my body is aching) and I’m no longer visiting the grocery store 4 times a week. Also, there are less temptations for bubble tea, watching movies in cinema, cafes and restaurants. I no longer have to drive to work (staff bus is available) and even if I drive (within Wanaka), it is just a 5-10 mins drive each time.

I was doing my calculations of my finances last night and I realised that I have spent almost $10k (including purchase of car + housing bond). I’ve only been here for 3 months so this amount looks a little scary and I haven’t exactly done any expensive activities like skydiving so I’m still pretty puzzled where my money went but then again, I’m kind of like a spendthrift too so.. I guess it is not too surprising either.

Okay so now let’s rewind back to last week for my weekly recap.

On Tuesday, I went for a ride onboard the TSS Earnslaw Cruise (part of employee benefit) and there was a sheep sheering performance. We had to top up $$ for a delicious BBQ buffet lunch but it was really decent. We then continued with some window shopping in QT + went to airport to send off two friends that I barely knew. I’m kind of getting used to the constant farewells. There seem to be at least one per week, sometimes two or three per week and god knows if I will ever meet these people again (as we all return back to our country) but as always, I’m glad to have these memories and happy moments with them. It’s the people that I meet along the way which kinds of enrich my travel journey, way beyond the beautiful scenery and good food in my stomach.

On Wednesday, there was a department gathering after work and our lovely team leader chartered a cruise boat for our group of 20-30. The boat brought us around the beautiful wanaka lake and it was such a lovely ride even though I barely know these people. #mycompanyiscoolerthanme

I had a total of 3 ski-days last week. On thursday, I went on my skis and practiced the turns at the beginner magic carpet with some tips from an instructor. On Friday, I had a friend that visited and we decide to go up the gondola and both of us did our first green run down Skyline (a really flat but scenic beginner slope from the top). To be honest, I was a little scared to do this without an instructor but since it was her last time skiing in NZ, we should challenge ourselves more. She fell thrice but we were all happy that we completed the run. On Sunday (yesterday), I must have been super lucky and got a 1 hour private lesson with an instructor who brought me down two runs on skyline. He pointed out my mistakes (aka bad habbits) and taught me how to turn properly while going down the slopes in order to control my speed. Also, it was the first time I went on the chair lift and I even went for two runs on my own after the lesson ended! I guess I kind of understand why this sport is addictive but.. the price I ‘pay’ for the fun is that my body (espc knees and shin) is aching the whole of today. Nevertheless, I believe my body will get used to it like how I had lesser muscle ache after my nursery work. For now, I’m kind of using different set of muscles so I guess it will take a while.

My aim for the season was to go down the green slopes and now that I’ve done it, I need to improve and try the other green slopes. Should I be aiming for the blue (intermediate) slopes next?

On Saturday, I attended an in-house barista workshop and by another stroke of luck, I was the only participant. As a result, I had hands-on training with at least 8 to 10 cups on the espresso machine and expensed the entire bottle of milk. Sadly, I don’t have a gift for it and my frothed milk ended up being cappuccino most of the time, not latte. Sometimes, I’m really impressed at the amount of positive words and praises they can come up with. I’m really bad at praising people but I guess I kind of have to learn to fit in the positive culture over here. I couldn’t do latte art at all – mine was a complete disaster – so I guess I’ll have to wait for more opportunities in future.

So.. why do I say this is kind of a dream job for most people? You get to do the things you love and everyone around you pretty much shares the same passion and enthusiasm. Sometimes, I really wonder how hard it would have been for them to employ a bunch of people with high enthusiasm level. Everyone seems really friendly and approachable and even when I make mistakes, life goes on with a smile. Even though I get pathetic hours (thankful still enough to survive), we get encouraged to play and spend time on the fields in order to not waste our time traveling up and down the mountain (1 hour journey each way). There was a challenge to see who could do the most number of ride breaks and even though I know I wouldn’t win (Skiing during 1 hour lunch break doesn’t make sense for me cause I spend about 10mins just to wear my boots), I did not want to make myself be the lowest ranked one. Ha.

Even though Wanaka is such an expensive town, I feel very proud of my neighbourhood. I get to see the snow mountains most of the time and to add on to its charm, spring is here and the flowers are all starting to bloom. It feels happy to leave/end work with an eye-candy display of pink and white blossoms around your neighbourhood. The sunrise and sunset views are surreal too and everything is just so picturesque and postcard worthy.

Well, the only thing that I feel quite uncomfortable in this beautiful country is the number of dead rabbits on the road. I know the rabbits are kind of like pests (the way we see rats) but its still so upsetting to see them dead and having their corpse being run over. I try my best to avoid them all the time but sometimes it is just inevitable. Oh wells.

Anyway, today was a lovely day too. I had to drive to Queenstown but I got to join a friend on her car ride to explore Glenorchy and Paradise (yes, a real name for that area) which was supposedly filming locations for Lord of the Rings but I haven’t done much research to verify yet. It was such a beautiful place and probably it will deserve a blog post of its own sometime in the far-away future.

So.. what’s gonna be my future in 3 weeks time? Haven’t secure any future jobs and I have no idea where I want to be. Maybe I’ll just end up going home for Christmas and not extend my visa? Uncertainty is the only certainty for me right now (kind of like change is the only constant) and I’ll continue to worry and whine until some light shows up at the end of the tunnel.

On the side note, I kind of gifted myself with two blog post assignments that I hope will be ready in the next few weeks or so. One will be on the promotions, deals, loyalty programs and apps that people on working holiday should know about and another would be a FAQ post for me to compile and answer the questions that people have been asking me along the way. The next batch of WHV for Singaporeans will be opening soon (well, in November) and I thought I should prepare a little something.

^See you next week. Thanks for sticking with me and my lengthy entries.

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  • Keep the bog posts coming! I wished I had the opportunity to ski more like what you are doing now! Do it now. Leave little room for regrets. 🙂

  • I did a Google trip on Lake Wanaka, and it really is lovely! “Google Travel” is my favorite way to explore now, so thanks for the tip on another place to travel… :-))

    • Hey there, Wanaka is a really beautiful town! It is less crowded than queenstown and not so much activities but it is really good place to take a break, relax and enjoy nature’s wonder. Do visit New Zealand in the future if you can!