Yep, I’m still here in New Zealand, stuck in the Otago area for the past 3 months and in Clyde/Alexandra for two months and counting.. With my ‘Christmas present’ of finally getting a visa extension, I did not get deported home before 2020. Okay, deported is kind of an overkill word but I thought that it sounded a little more urgent but I guess I kind of overused it cause my friends kind of got worried thinking that it was serious.
There should be celebrations and fireworks now that I got a 3 months extended escape from reality but in reality, I’m kind of not feeling a single bit of excitement. My life had been ‘slow and peaceful’ last week and now it has up a level and I’m admitting that I am getting bored. I’m not sure if it’s because my mental capacity only prepared myself for 6 months and this extension has not been internalized by my emotions yet or perhaps.. I’m just stuck in the same town for too long. I’ve visited the same cafe 3-4 times, dined at the same curry place 3 times, visited Queenstown more than 5 times (probably more but I’m lazy to count) and I’ve reached the point that I wouldn’t mind not going out on my off days.
To make things worse, I’m rather unhappy in my job and the disappointment is made worse because this was one thing I thought I would look forward to. It was something that everyone raved about and I kind of had high expectations for it but.. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of mental strain it will cause me.
Apart from having frozen hands at work (even with wool gloves underneath my plastic gloves it still feels damn cold), my company does not allow us to have our handphones with us, nor to put on earphones for music. The consolation was that we are allowed to talk (one other company is very strict against this) but.. how much can you talk with one person? I’ve already ran out of conversation topics and I yawned more than 20 times today despite having 8 hours of sleep last night. My mind is in a complete torture right now as every of my previous jobs allowed me to listen to music/audio book while I work. I know I am like a broken recorder complaining about the same thing over and over again but.. this is it. I will leave before the season ends.
I was just calculating my potential income for like the 3 to 4 weeks if I stayed on and my income will range between $1,500 to $3,000 and I was wondering if I still had enough things to think about to last for one or two more weeks. To be honest, the plan was always to work the full season and perhaps walk away with some sort of completion bonus but the thoughts I have been having at work each day had been on leaving this job earlier, and earlier. To be fair, this job has its plus points too. I have rather nice and approachable office and packhouse staff plus the people are all quite nice. We are allowed to bring home as many waste cherries as we want and I’ve already made two batches of cherry jam with the leftover cherries. Everything else, but my frozen fingers and not being able to listen to music/earphones, is great. But that’s still not enough for me to survive.
Like the saying goes whereby your plans are never fast enough for the changes, I’ll be changing my plans again and probably leave early. Trying to sell my car right now (pushing myself for an adventure) but you’ll never know if I change my mind again. I’m trying to get the right high price and I’m not in a rush so.. I’ll update again when they are changes.
So.. what did I do this week? For work, we kind of had 40+ hours as there were free 16 hours from the Christmas and Boxing Day public holiday. The good thing for some companies is that they do pay for Public Holidays and this is one of the reason why.. I will be staying on till the new year. We got to packed some new varieties and we even tasted the highly sought after white cherries today. Apart from that, work is stale, boring, cold and mentally draining.
For the 2-day christmas break, I headed over to Dunedin with my friends that were willing to drive. We started off at the Moraeki Boulders (which was my second visit) before going to the beach at Warrington with the intention to catch some abalone (puau). To our dismay, I saw a sign saying that the area we were in was protected and it was illegal to bring abalone home. Not much of an issue cause we didn’t find any but I guess we have to research more in future. Well, the biggest highlight of my trip was that we got to drink bubble tea not once, but twice! Gong Cha rules over ChaTime. I also had chinese food for lunch on the first day and dim sum for lunch on the second day! Broke my unintended alcohol-ban by drinking my first bottle of amisfield reisling in the backpackers that we stayed in. Although it was boxing day shopping, the streets and shops were crowded but I only bought a $10 shirt. I spent the remaining time at the art museum (which was really lovely with an exhibit with real tea-tasting) plus I finally caught the movie Frozen 2, one month after its release. This is possibly the last and only road trip with these girls but.. I’m glad that it happened. Even though there might be a chance that we will never meet again (cause it’s just so difficult), I’m still happy to have the memories. On a random note, I met a Singaporean at the backpackers and it was apparently someone I have already met back in Jan during the meetup. It’s kind of funny as the moment I heard the accent, I could confirm-chop that he was a Singaporean. Oh wells, so that was the first unplanned working holiday Singaporean that I’ve met in New Zealand out of the 200 people who applied.
It was back to work from Friday to Monday and when I work (in this cherry packhouse job), nothing exciting comes about and I even stopped my work IGS because there’s simply nothing to share when I’m doing the same thing everyday. Even the korean drama I’m watching seems to become the weekend highlight that I look forward to. I’ve stopped bringing home cherries cause the current variety is not a popular choice but to be honest, there will come a day I will totally get sick of eating cherries.
Anyway, it his highly likely that I will be dwelling out here till March (cause that’s when my visa really ends) and it’s gonna be harder and harder to find a job as the time goes by. Which means.. I should be spending more time on travel right? I have this crazy plan to go on a somewhat solo backpacking trip without my car. It’s been a while since I had to slave myself to the public transport so.. it might be an adventure and probably more blog content for me to write about? No idea if I can survive this nonsense but at this stage, plans are still plans and plans can’t help but get overwritten by new plans so.. watch this space to see what happens next.
Sometimes at work, I narrate to myself so much in my mind that I think I am ready to write an autobiography book about my adventures.
Anyway, to my few readers (who I hope are still following my weekly updates), Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll be the first country to welcome the new year (though I’m like not prepared for the new decade at all) and hopefully I’ll get to finish my reflections post before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow.
Adios and.. till next week!