Week 31 – Fresh Start in a New Town

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Yep, it’s another Monday night (or perhaps its 12:24m on Tuesday morning) right now and I’m sitting at the dining table waiting for my hair to dry. I just ended my first day of work at 11PM in a new job and.. I’m wondering if I will survive. Let’s see.

It has been 15 days since I last worked and the withdrawal symptoms is real. Over the past 15 days, I had an awesome break in Christchurch back in the comfortable sharehouse. It’s a town where I started in and I guess it will always hold a special place in my working holiday journey.

On Wednesday, we set off for a mini roadtrip – first off to Kaikoura and then to Blenheim. In Kaikoura, I finally did something which I had been wanting to do since I cam – to go for deep sea fishing. It was rather pricey, at $110 NZD per pax for a 2 hour journey but it was rather fantastic as we were the only 2 customers in a 20-seater boat with 2 crew. This means that we had 100% attention at all time. As it was legit deep sea fishing, sea sickness was.. real. Despite eating this level one entry level sea sick medicine, me and my friend felt pretty nauseous one hour in (especially when the boat stops moving and we put the lines in). Nevertheless, we still managed to catch more than 10 sea perches (which were of legal sizes) and 1 blue cod fish. It was a beginner no-brainer experience as the crew will help us tie all the strings and we just have to drop the weight and the bait into the water. The crew will also inform us when there is a bite and ask us to reel it in, which takes a long time as the water depth is about 90m. It did feel a little tiring at times but I was kind of used to the reeling action as I’ve previously done deep sea fishing in Rompin before. Well, the best part of the trip was that they gifted us with 2 lobsters (1 each) from the traps that they have set by the rocks at the coast area. I guess that was the main factor that made the fishing trip kind of ‘value for money’ as lobsters are pretty pricey (in my opinion) and this was literally fresh from the sea. On a side note, the people in Aussie and NZ calls lobsters as crayfish. I did a google search on it and it seems that crayfish is the freshwater type with big pincers and lobsters (usually called rock spiny lobster or something) seem to be the more apt name. No idea when anyone is going to resolve the conclusion but.. yep their so called crayfish is actually lobster.

After the fishing trip, we had an amazingly solid afternoon nap back in our hostel. Perhaps it was the side effect of the sea sick medicine or perhaps the rocking motion was still somewhere in our body – we had like a 2 hours nap (which we snoozed at least 4 times), before crawling out of bed to.. figure out how to cook the fish fillets (yes they will help you fillet the fish so you won’t get any bones or require to do any scaling) and the live lobster. Despite chilling the lobsters in the fridge for 2 hours, it was still alive when we took them out. As advised, we submerged the lobsters in fresh water for more than 10 minutes. After which, we boiled them for at least 10 mins, took one out to grill and left the other one in to cook it fully. I grilled mine with butter while my friend pan-fried hers with butter and garlic. We had the other boiled lobster with salad for dinner the next day.

We set off for Blenheim the next day (disclosure: I was just a passenger of my friend’s car) and we had craft beer tasting and went to a vineyard for wine tasting too. Just so you note, most tasting places in New Zealand are chargeable. I was thankful that my friend was willing to be the driver so I could just.. not care about not being sober but I was sober anyway. In Blenheim, we visited Pak n Save, my all time favourite grocery store, and I also tried the Spicy McNuggets from McDonalds. We ended the night in a holiday park (my first time) and sadly the bunk beds we had in our cabin lodge was.. kind of too soft and I didn’t exactly have a good sleep. Furthermore, pillows and blankets were not provided but I was thankful my friend had a spare sleeping bag for me. We decided not to pay for shower ($1 for 5 mins of hot water) and there was no free Wifi too. Out of desperation, I paid for 12-hour unlimited WiFi which cost me $4, and it did kept me slightly entertained through the night. To be fair, this accommodation was the cheapest out of all the last minute places we found ($45 for 2 pax) and.. I got to stop complaining. Oh wells, I’m just whining as usual. Our night was rather stressful as we hadn’t secure any accommodation in Motueka, our final destination, for the next night. It was the eve of Lunar New Year, which meant that most chinese landlords are busy, and we didn’t get much replies from all our available options. Thankfully, one replied and allowed us to sleep in a campervan (as every other bed space was occupied) and invited us for the reunion dinner that night too.

 

The sharehouse that I’m currently in is.. pretty crowded. Until today, I’m not too sure of the exact number of people who stays in the house but I believe it is a number that ranges between 15 to 20. The location is pretty secluded, on top of a hill, but in return you get rewarded with an amazing view of the town, the sea and a sky full of stars with clear milky way every single night when it is not cloudy (which is almost every of the 4 nights that I have been here). In return for the awesome views, I had to sacrifice on the comfort and cleanliness. Oh wells, I’m still adapting but I might have to move again for reasons not within my control. After two nights in the campervan, which seems rather decent, I now share a room with 4 other girls. It is a cosy and crowded houses but I guess everyone just managed to find a way to live decently with one another. I’m.. still adapting. The last time I had to adapt to living with 9 people, now the number almost doubles.

That being said, I have been blessed with a weekend of adventures. Over the weekend, I’ve visited the beach 3 times, went on an early morning seafood catching experience with some of the housemates where they caught sea cucumbers, sea snails and shrimps from the rocky shores during the low tide at.. 5am. It was followed by watching the sunrise at a random hill. That evening, we went for another coastal walk along the beach (which I thought was supposed to be a visit to the beach to hear the crashing of the waves) and that walk took more than 2.5 hours.

Because it was summer, the sky darkens really late at about 9:30pm, and we tend to go home late as a result. On Sunday, after visiting the sunday market and having lunch, we went to this place (which was a long and windy 2 hours drive) which was famous for the Windows 10 lock screen wallpaper.

Sadly, the weather wasn’t perfect and we couldn’t see blue skies or sunset. We went to another place called Cape Farewell and I kind of like it.

We ended the road trip with a visit to this scared Pupu springs which is supposedly home to the clearest waters in New Zealand.

So basically, I kind of completed my agenda of the list of places I wanted to visit in this Tasman area and next up, I wanted to try the least desirable job – as a mussel opener.

I’ve heard a lot about this mussels opening job. Most people that tried the job can’t stay for long as they couldn’t reach the target numbers or perhaps they couldn’t stand the smell or the repetitive action and extreme boredom makes them quit. Being a fan of ‘experiencing’ something so I can judge on my own, I thought that this mussel opening job can.. make my NZ working holiday kind of complete. As expected, it is the hiring period and we kind of got an interview, which followed by an offer, after walking in to the.. Guard Post, for the first time. We walked in on Friday and started on Monday. As advised by our house mates, we opted for the night shift, which was known to be less strict and more forgiving for slow learners.

On my first day, I forgot to bring my dinner (sighs, I’ve been extremely forgetful these days) and had to buy a pie to keep my tummy full and.. right now I’m starving but I’ve already brushed my teeth and I’m lazy to brush it again. Anyway, we kind of had a 3-4 hour induction and I had urm 2 hours of training before finally getting let in (I was the last person) to the actual workspace with the belt. I don’t know how to feel about my 2 hours of work. It is indeed tiring on the shoulders, hands and fingers and.. I’m pretty bad with the quality and speed but I don’t feel like giving up right now on the first day. On a side note, my friend has decided to give up and taken the resignation form. Which means that I will have to start making other plans tomorrow and I guess I’ll just wake up to the problems or perhaps live a day at a time.

I guess this week is pretty much an adventure for me? To be honest, I’m not sure where I’ll be next week and perhaps whether I will still be employed next week. As my working holiday adventures is nearing an end (well 2 more months), my feeling starts to get a little more unsettled and worrying seems to come into play. Oh wells, things will never be perfect but I guess what’s more important than perfect is that I get to train myself to be more adaptable.

Happy Lunar New Year to all and may the year of the rat (eeks, I don’t want to see any rats) be pretty decent for me (though my zodiac forecasts say otherwise). Cheers ^

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