Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Getting to Uni

-this is just a ramble, so it's not very interesting, but I wanted to put it up so I can read it when I look back on my Year Abroad- 

Getting to University from Brisbane was by far the most nightmarish trip to date (I'm sure worse will come in the future but anyway)

Starting at the beginning, I had to get up at 5am, or rather I had to get up at 5am after getting 3hours sleep because 2 girls in the room decided it was a good idea to have a silent war over the air conditioning meaning the room was either constantly freezing or roasting. Getting the train to the airport went smoothly though - I’m savouring the small things which went right

But things started to go a little sour as soon as I got to the airport really, the lift was broken so I had to try and maneuver my suitcase on the escalator where it didn’t really fit… Then there was a Korean Pop group arriving so the airport was packed! Meaning I had to detour and squeeze past the massive crowd of screaming girls and paparazzi. Then I was told my flight was delayed… by 6 hours! They checked me in though and gave me a $15 food voucher (which I thought was really nice and I made good use of)

After a quick skype the internet disappeared from my kindle, and the internet wasn't available for my laptop so I went to change some of my random currency which I've steadily accumulated into something useful… but they couldn’t exchange half of my notes because they weren't accepting dirhams for some reason(?). I did eventually get change and sat down at one of the computers but then the computer swallowed my money, so I couldn't contact anyone.

By now I was 4hrs into the supposed 6hr delay, however while I failing to access the internet the time for departure was steadily getting later and later. Which meant instead of getting into Auckland mid-afternoon I’d now be lucky to get in before midnight so I wouldn’t be able to catch my bus. And since i didn't have access to the internet, or a working phone, I couldn't ask a friend to pick me up.

After a minor breakdown when tiredness caught up me, it soon became clear that I the midnight prediction had been optimistic, and the early hours of the morning was looking increasingly likely. 

The plane did finally arrive, although it took another 2hrs to ready it. And then they decided to change the boarding gate from 21 to 75… 10 minutes before we were meant to board. The mad rush from one end of the airport to the other was the perfect end to my time at Brisbane airport. 

My seat on the Airbus was pretty good though I have to say - 3 whole seats all to myself again!

Getting through customs took an age, there weren't very many people on (it was 3am so I wasn't surprised) but there were a lot of people to get through. It also took me 4 attempts to fill in my form as well - I was so tired I just kept making silly mistakes!

Anyway I got through fine (although I forgot I had Banteel dates so I had to declare them which was a bit of a pain). Then I found out I had just missed the bus was going to catch into Auckland, typical. Only as soon as I sat down, consoling myself about the hours wait, the bus rolls up! The joys of everything being late in NZ!

Once I got to the hostel I had the fun of trying to navigate the lift. The buttons didn't correspond to the right floors, so you could press level 2 and end up on 3 or you could press 4 and end up on the ground. When I did eventually find the right level everyone was awake and playing tennis in the corridor. Then I noticed receptionist hadn't written the number of my room very clearly so I had to just go around and try all the different doors and see if any worked!

And then my room was the only one where everyone was asleep so I felt really bad coming in dragging my suitcase! Oh and the guy in the bed beneath me came in at 5am and decided that was a good time to try and have a conversation with me… not quite sure what made him think that…

And the final little drama, i asked at the hostel desk where i could get a bus, she told me every single bus leaves auckland from the ferry stop. So I got the joy of pushing my suitcase down Queens Street (the busiest street in Auckland) for 15 minutes only to be told they don't actually leave from here, no they leave from the other end of the street. Another wonderful 20 minutes passed as I walked to the other end of Queenstreet… Once I booked my bus I then got the truly lovely news that the bus stop was behind the Skytower. The Skytower is on top of quite a steep hill. So then I had to push my suitcase up the giant hill. And I have to tell you, if you've never pushed a 26kg suitcase with a 9kg backpack up a hill in the middle of the a city centre, at lunch time when the streets are packed you haven't lived. I suggest everyone gives it go, oh and try it when you've had no sleep, it's especially fun then, even more so when you're in a maxi skirt which keeps getting tangled. 

The woman spelt my name wrong on the bus list… I'm now R Hashwood. Then there were road works so the bus arrived into Hamilton 2hours late. Then the ATM wouldn't accept any of my cards, I tried all three, so I had to ask a taxi driver to take me to an ATM on the way as by now schools were out so there were hundreds of children at the transport centre and there was no way I could get through them with my suitcase. 

When I eventually got to Orchard Park the office had closed at 1:15 and I don't have a phone yet so I couldn't ring the number to get someone so I had to walk around to try to find someone - luckily a girl let me borrow her phone and stayed chatting to me until someone came to let me into my room.

All in all, not been the best 48hours, but I'm in my room, I'm in one piece and it could definitely have been worse.

P.S Then when I did a wash the machine left my clothes all soapy :( 

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