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Kiwis Again

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 3 April 2009 | Views [497] | Comments [1]

We've been back in New Zealand for almost two weeks already and time is flying by.  Our flight from SE Asia took us to Christchurch where we nearly fell over backwards as the airport's automatic doors opened and a gust of bitterly cold wind blew past us.  We'd gone from the heat and humidity of southern Thailand to seeing our breath in the air.  But we only stayed a couple of days in Christchurch before resuming our New Zealand roadtrip and driving north to Kaikoura, a sunny and WARM coastal city.  Did some walks and enjoyed being back in a country with blue sky.

Further north we got back to our Kiwi way of traveling and camped in a small town outside of Havelock.  It was a chilly night, but we had a great tent site by a river.  It was also a no moon night so the sky was black, and with very few other campers in the area, we slept well.

Now we are in Nelson, on the north end of the south island, working in The Palace hostel.  It's a pretty dirty place but we get free breakfast and lunch plus an apartment that we share with two other girls, Laura (Irish) and Emily (from Arkansas).  This is just a quick stop as we plan the next leg of our journey... so far we know we're heading north by ferry next week!  We'll miss you, South Island.

Meat Pies and Mice

While at the Palace our lives were very structured:  Wake up at 9:00, eat free breakfast till 10:00, work till 12:30, free internet till 2:00, go on a walk, take a nap, be up in time for free food at 5:30 which consisted of a bakery spread (truly awesome, free meat pies everyday and I usually could snag one to save for lunch the next day), then hang out and drink boxed wine till about 2:00AM.

All this was good until day three.  We had just finished working and were about to go enjoy some free internet at the library.  While eating lunch in our apartment I saw something out of the corner of my eye, then I looked harder.  Sure enough staring right back at me was a plump little mouse.  We had a good 5 minute staring contest before the little bugger ran to safety (that's right, I won this round!). 

About me:  while growing up in the small town of Bellevue, Washington my family raised chickens and ducks.  This was very typical so I was not made fun of in school, especially when my Mom brought them for show and tell.  Anyway, as a slave to my parents I was forced to feed the animals each night.  So, every evening I would go into the barn and a rat would run across the rafters, or jump out of the food bag, or chase me through the yard.  As you can probably tell I am very tough, however these were not normal size rats and they would attack without warning.  Due to this fact I am still deathly afraid of all rodents, I even slept on my sister's couch for a week in college when I realized my house was infested.

I knew seeing this large mouse was a bad thing, but resisted the urge to pack my bags and move out.  I went and told the manager of the hostel who assured me we would have a trap by that afternoon.  I waited and waited and no trap arrived.  After two days and no trap I knew something needed to be done, we would catch the mice ourselves.  I told the roomates to all stay on alert and do the special mouse call if there was a sighting.  Sure enough that afternoon I heard a screaching sound and saw a mouse on the stove.  Another staring contest took place (which I won) and the mouse scurried behind the oven.  I figured it was in the oven drawer and went to investigate.  The next few minutes are very blurry, I think I blacked out.  What I remember was a lot of girls screaming, me on a chair, then being outside with the oven drawer and throwing it as far as I could.  One mouse down!  Number two was much easier.  While sitting and talking we heard a plastic bag rustling around.  We went to the kitchen and sure enough one of our grocery bags had taken on a life of its own.  Again I blacked out, but there was screaming and chairs and finally our roommate Emily was outside with the bag in her hand.  We walked it about 200 meters up a hill before releasing it (I wanted to step on it, but "animal activist Emily" wouldn't have it).

That was the end of the mice.  We have moved on now, not a day to soon.  The Palace was an interesting place, however we were getting sick of living like we were in college again.  Now we're in Wellington on the north island satying with the Meroiti family who first hosted us as WWOOFers. 



You should have caught it and brought it back to me as a gift. Perhaps I would have named it Rupert...

  Calley Ekberg Apr 15, 2009 1:34 PM

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