You know those times in life when you’ve been doing a good amount of activities but they’re all kind of at the same level of interesting so nothing particularly stands out from the pack so you can’t decide which things to write about in your weekly blog and which to keep to yourself hence you just avoid yonder blog for 10 days until you get invited to a Stevie Nicks concert? If so, TALK IT OUT WITH YOUR CO-WORKER DEANNA CUZ I DON’T WANNA HEAR A PEEP OF IT; this is my space.
Back from a short hiatus that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with ridiculous problems mentioned in paragraph 1, I give you Year of the Kiwi Installment No. 6 AND 7–HIT IT, MARLON! *Cue the beginning bars to Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Tales Two”*
This week I gained a garment rack, a.k.a. the one piece of bedroom furniture I really needed and wanted and craved and yearned at, for free via my people-skills (I wrote a note to my neighbors who had the afforementioned garment rack on their porch, confirming, once and for all, all excellent communicator claims made on my CV!) Then I ate $4 lunch pizzas–of the chicken and brie and chili sauce variety, massive yum we could say–with the Frenchie, Garance, who is from literal Paris and knows I call her the Frenchie so it’s cool I swear.
All has been mellow on every other front, EXCEPT, OH YAH! LAST TIME WE SPOKE I WAS A GIRL WHO HAD NEVER BEEN IN THE SAME ROOM AS STEVIE NICKS AND NOW THAT FACT CAN BE SCRIBBLED RIGHT OFF THE LIST OF KNOWN FACTS ABOUT EMILY PACHECO.
GUYSSSS. I love Fleetwood Mac as much as the next person but I was unprepared for how. damn. cool Stevie Nicks the Person is. Killer friend and flower Annie Marie Scheck (don’t call her that) managed free tickets by barbecuing her own spleen, I believe? Stephanie told us about her friendship with Tom Petty and the time she wrote a poem to Prince
and then looked right into my eyeballs and encouraged me everyone to hold their dreams in their hands and pray for it every single night until it comes true. OK WILL DO THANKS STEVIE<3
Also I got this dress (and a double chin!) for $14 NZD:
Take care of yourselves out there, chicken tenderloins!
If you’ve ever been invited to a Guy Fawkes party*, only to put on your Sunday best, hair-pom the hell out of your pomade, polish your slacks and iron your shoes and look in the mirror and still feel like something is missing, I know what it is: you forgot your rabbit. No worries my friend, this is an easy mistake to make and we’ve all been there! Personally, though, I can only throw my mind into the past and try to remember those uncomfortable days out of solidarity because I HAVE A
TEMPORARY RABBIT AND LIFE IS GRAVY. Officially, we are just an Airbnb for Jack the rabbit while his new home is sorted, but it took only 5 minutes alone with real-life Bugs Bunny (he’s the most perfect gray, it’s unnatural) to fully mentally adopt him as my son and soulmate–Hamlet-themes be damned. I’m already thinking up outfit ideas for our first public outing.
So now you know.
This weekend was a LEARNER, guys. I took a trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and it was as intense as it sounds, with full-sized ancient boats and wooden kites and so many carvings I developed carpal tunnel just looking at them and a cringe-worthy history of colonialism. If I ever sign a treaty with a native civilization and then go back on my word, YOU, MY POROUS PEERS, MUST TAR&FEATHER ME IN THE NAME OF ACCOUNTABILITY.** Nod your head if you accept.
Week five was otherwise a pretty mellow week in the City of Sails, as
not a single person we here in Auckland call it. My face is burnt from an impromptu Cheltenham Beach Day due to inconsistent sunscreen application and a gaping hole in the ozone layer; my stomach is an aquarium of fish and chips. I have a semblance of a routine which I enjoyed for no more than 4 days and now I hate that I have a “normal” and am ready for something new. Is this chick a nightmare or what, Bart?!
I also cut myself and couldn’t locate the bandaids I’d packed into my luggage in Boston to ensure total preparedness. Never prepare, kids!
*I’ve not been invited to a Guy Fawkes party (I’m really not even sure if a Guy Fawkes party is a genre of party) but it was truly Guy Fawkes Day. Based on the celebration style here he was either the inventor of backyard fireworks or some kind of traitor to the English parliamentary system, but what do I know?
**Tar & feathering has always stuck with me as sounding like the worst old-timey punishment and something I’d definitely hate, which shows you how high the stakes are.
I’VE BEEN IN NEW ZEALAND FOR 1 MONTH OFFICIALLY TODAY IT’S THE TRUTH PEOPLE I’M SERIOUS!
This month honestly zooomed (scope weeks 1, 2 and 3 if you missed) and I’m sure it had to do with all the learning that was/is still taking place. For a long time, there was no such thing as “just wandering to the store to grab shoelaces” (this is an example, I’m not sure I’ve EVER purchased shoelaces that didn’t come with shoes attached) because I didn’t know my way past my front door. Or the name of a store that would sell shoelaces. Directions are given in meters, temperature is read in degrees Celsius, sprite is called lemonade. Nothing is second-nature yet.
Full disclosure, the oversaturation of unfamiliarity gave me a casual Sunday morning mental breakdown this week. (Thanks mom and Ladybug-the-Cat for handling that and then gluing the fractured shards of my brain back together!)
All the newness has forced new discoveries, and sometimes these are just the most precious and it’s fireworks for your soul! A beautiful pink sunset over the ocean on a scary Halloweve*, for instance, or finding an ivy-covered cafe or a bar that really gets what you’re trying to do on a Thursday night all count. I’m also finding that Auckland Me has much less patience for nit-picky problems and self-consciousness while I fry up the bigger fish a.k.a. remembering to look the proper direction for oncoming traffic before crossing the street. I don’t even own a mirror at present, who the HELL am I?!
Honestly, though, I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far–YUS, I SAID THUS–has actually been how NOT CRAZY it is to make a big move. I’m not a natural planner *gasp heard ’round the world* but just picking a date, saving up and buying the plane ticket covers the process in a teeny-tiny nutshell. I know it’s doable, even if my emotions go from zero to 100 in the span of a day. I have a better sense of what’s worth worrying about (housing and job leads!) and what isn’t (anal-retentive suitcase-packing mindset!)
*Photo-realistic interpretation of our scary Halloweve starring man with knife and face tattoos:
I/you/we deserve a Tim Tam.
As I write this, week III next-evolution Kiwi-Emily is listening to new passion radio show on 95bFM hosted by Amelia Discrete, as mentioned in previous post. This Wednesday is a spooky Halloween special and the current song–if you can call it that–is a 21-minute recitation of something called “Pea Green Boat” by Stewart Lee and is basically journal entries from an owl about a cat he’s been watching, but it’s a real heart-wrencher, I think the owl just died.
IT’S WEEK III, GUYS!
Since I last had hold of your eyeballs, New Z. has elected a new Prime Minister! Girlfriend. is. fascinating. Good luck, Jacinda- I’m thrilled to be here. This past weekend was also labor day weekend over here and although it felt real festive it also rained like the Queen of England, by which I am blatantly ignoring syntax and making a tenuous connection between Ol’ Liz, longest reigning monarch in England’s history, and this never-endingly damp as weekend. NIICE ONE, PACHECO. I took a run with official Auckland orientation leader Annie Scheck by the water in Herne Bay and nearly got blown off a cliff, brainwashed a cat named Ladybug (as long as SHE’s fine with it…) into being my friend, and experienced Such Culture by means of the Auckland Symphony and a wander through the Auckland Art Gallery. There’s no such thing as too much beauty!
In case that sounds like sensory overload to you,
mind your own business don’t fret! I spent just about the whole of Monday at Mondays, a precious ivy-covered greenhouse-vibe cafe where I both soothed AND re-energized by simultaneously (well, kind of, I only have one mouth) drinking a matcha-filled “emerald latte” and that rainy-day staple, a flat white.
It was also hero/soulmate/close personal friend Jeff Goldblum’s birthday on Sunday. Did you know his middle name is Lynn??
It’s been exactly 1 week since I landed in New Zealand; ONE. WEEK. since I walked off my third plane in 29 hours straight onto tarmac, on through to the waiting Sky Bus that took me into Auckland City. I refuse to utter a judgement yet on life below the equator– after all, the key to Kiwi living may turn out to be a devotion to 007-like secrecy (too early to say, its all very hush-hush down here)– but I CAN say that I am alive and kicking!
So far I have seen morning joggers run barefoot, eaten at a farmer’s market and a night market (one has vegetables, one has noodles), gotten caught in more rainstorms than I can count, taken the wrong bus, worked a trial shift at a hip circus-themed restaurant (only to spill orange juice all over a table, still waiting to hear back on that career opportunity…) and attended a 4-year-old’s dino birthday party.
People are friendly as all get-out, and in fact I have developed a method of pretending I am getting a phone call which I must take outside if I’ve walked into a shop that I don’t actually want to buy anything from.
I move into my flat on Friday, which I hear has a lemon tree in the backyard, so stay tuned for chapter 2, pleebs!
Love always, your International Gal of Mystery
**Oh, they say “Sweet as, bro,” a lot.