Sweet as

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Friday, November 5, 2004

We finally arrived in Auckland on Tuesday afternoon. We had a lovely flight into Auckland. No pro-surf team this time but rather four hours of movies, lunch, and dessert all aboard a brand new jet. Leather seats and all. Rather cozy.

We were greeted by a rather intimidating customs crew who asked us everything but what our favorite color is (or should I say 'colour') and then had the even more intimidating drug sniffing beagle puppy give us the smell down. Molly and I collected our backpacks and looking more than a little flustered were approached by another backpacker from our flight who was just as flustered as us. Mike, with his think Canadian accent, joined us at our hostel that evening and we attempted to tour the city of Auckland for some cheap dining accomodations. Our travels took us all over the city (or we just walked in circles), yet didn't prove to be overly succesful. We finally found a little pizza place and each had a Export Gold (the official beer of New Zealand) and a tasty dinner. Dinner got a bit stressful when it dawned on us that we weren't aware of the proper tipping system throughout the country. We couldn't spy another table with random loose change on the table so Molly just convientantly popped over the seat of our booth and asked the couple behind us. Turns out that they were British (like every other traveler out there) and had no idea either. We got through our first traveling blunder unscathed and found that it is not nessecary to tip in NZ. Minimum wage is $9 so they are making more than there moneys worth already.

Wednesday was spent in the IEP office going through orientation. It was long but contained so much useful information, and ultimately put the two of us at ease a bit. IEP has everything so well organized and we were able to open bank accounts, buy a cell phone and get tx id numbers all in about an hours time. Plus it shouldn't be a problem finding work or a flat to live in. We're very excited about it all.

Today we went to the backpacker's car market to buy a car but didn't have much luck. We spent the entire day walking to internet cafes and taking numbers off boards, still to no avail. We came home exhausted and to a less than perfect hostel. But for $14 a night we couldn't ask for much.

As it stands now Mike, Molly and myself are planning on traveling together, granted we find the proper vehicle. Tomorrow will be the deciding day depending soley on the car choice. Mike is great and I certainly hope we can travel with him, but if not we'll go our seperate ways. All three of us are up for anything and hopefully with a third person decision making won't be so hard for Molly and me. And petrol will be a bit cheaper.

Auckland is a great city...reminds me a lot of San Fran...but we're just so ready to be done with it and get out to the real New Zealand. We still have a bunch of stuff to do before we'll be able to leave (getting a car being the most important) but we're working dilligently to complete it all.

Until next time...cheers.
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