Swimming upstream

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, July 13, 2009

I got up before the sun today to try to hit some of the vineyard contractors when they first opened, hoping that first thing Monday morning would be a good time to get work. As I walked across a bridge over a river near the middle of town, I saw some ducks in the water below. They were swimming with the current, staying in one place and waiting for a bit of food (bugs?) to drift by them. I think I've been acting like them for the past little while, just sitting in one place and hoping something comes to me while everything just flows by. The only difference between me and the ducks was that it apparently works for them; in the time it took me to cross the bridge, I saw several bob down then up, finding what they were waiting for, whereas I returned to the backpacker's empty handed.

Waiting has been an odd mix of excruciatingly boring and decently fun. I've hated spending day after day sitting in front of the TV or on the couch reading. I've had so much time to read that I've finished "The Stand" and two Clive Cussler novels and am a good ways into "Great Expectations." Wandering around town and making phone calls only to be told, "No, we don't have any jobs right now" over and over hasn't been fun either. I've felt like I've been wasting time and money when I could be out doing whatever I wanted around New Zealand, but I haven't left because I know I'll need to work at some point and just want to get it out of the way early and while it's winter and I can't do many outdoors activities.

On the other hand, it's been fun hanging out with all the other backpackers here. Because most of the people traveling to Blenheim do so to work, the crowd has stayed fairly consistent, with a lot of the same faces staying for quite a while. We've played poker at least once a week and had two parties: a farewell to two people moving on with home-made enchiladas, and a 21st birthday party that was film-themed. Everyone dressed as a character from a movie. I went as Mrs. Doubtfire because it was the easiest costume I could think of after going through the hostel's box of free clothes. So there have been some fun times as well, but not enough to make me feel staying here is worthwhile.

But today, my luck changed a little. I have a job lined up, but I can't start for another five days, meaning more sitting around. But at least now I know I have something definite rather than hanging around in suspense. If I'm able to make a decent amount of money over a few weeks, and I think I will be, I may go ahead and do something I've been contemplating: buy a campervan. But that's not until later.

Oh, I have some pictures of Blenheim and of the weekend's party, but the computer I am on needs to download a plug-in to be able to upload photos to Travelpod, and you need a password to download things, which the managers don't have (only the owner has it). I'll post the retroactively at some point, but I'm not sure when.
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