Alright so after barely having made my 7am flight from Auckland to Wellington, I made it here in one piece and now have about 5 hours before I can check into my hostel. Grand.
I can leave my bags in the luggage storage at least, so I abandon everything except my laptop and go for breakfast. I’ve made a rookie mistake with this flight. I always think I’ll be so thrifty, book the cheapest airfare, and sacrifice an early morning to save myself 20 bucks. Well. Guess what? The breakfast I’m now eating to kill time is gonna cost me about 20 bucks.
“This has been the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever.”
Next I go exploring. I find my way down to the waterfront which is full of good vibes. I’ve been here 10 minutes and I think I already prefer Wellington to Auckland. Everywhere I look there are buskers, people on long boards and bicycles, art installations, street art, food trucks, tons of cute cafes and restaurants. It’s got everything!
The only downside so far is the weather. It’s a beautiful day today, but windy as hell and I’ve been told that’s normal. The winters get rainy and even more windy. While it’s not -20 like back home…I’m not sure I want to commit to that. I have some pretty fabulous hair, but when it’s up I look bald, and I’ll never be able to wear my hair down here if it’s so windy! Do I want to be bald for a year? Not particularly.
I’ve forgotten it’s Waitangi day, the national holiday. Maybe that’s why the city is so alive, bu I expect it’s like this all the time. On my way back up to the hostel I walk through a park with a stage and listeners lounging in the sun on blankets. Some kids are performing what I can only assume is a traditional Maori song in honour of the holiday. Okay, so this is probably not here all the time. Fair.
2pm finally comes around and I can check-in. I’ve purposely chosen the cheapest hostel in the city, Lodge in the City, despite its 6/10 review on Hostelworld. I can deal with whatever, but it soon becomes apparent why it has its reputation. Firstly, just 30 minutes of free wifi per day. That’s absurd. Secondly, I’m on the ground floor and my closest washroom is directly opposite reception which isn’t a big deal BUT what does suck, is that it doesn’t have a shower. The showers, which are co-ed, are on the first, second, and third floors. So I have to walk through reception and up a flight of stairs just to get clean.
If the showers were close and co-ed, no big deal. If the showers were far and all female, I could deal. However with this configuration, if I forget to bring a top with me, I’m not going alllllll the way back to my room, and now have to worry about a nip slippin’ while I blow dry my hair. Most undesirable.
At least I get a bottom bunk.
I’ve not been on my bed for 2 minutes before I’m invited out to a festival with a British guy and Italian girl who share my room. I love how social hostels are. We head back down to the waterfront where I’ve just come from, and find the park with the stage. We pick up a couple beers from the supermarket across the street and lay out on the lawn. The music has changed from the children’s choir to another Māori artist who I reckon is quite famous here. He has the traditional Maori tattoos covering his entire face and mixes the two languages in his songs. It’s rad.
Next another band comes on, with a more reggae style, but still honouring their Maori roots. They’re called Tomorrow People, and lots of the crowd is singing along. We get up and dance near the end when they’re playin’ their most popular bangers. They entertain us for an hour or so before the final act takes the stage. Everyone is chillin, relaxing after the reggae tunes. Then BAM the next band is a hardcore rock, bordering on screamo group. Not exactly family friendly holiday out in the park kinda music, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. I fall asleep on the lawn during their set because I’m so tired. I pride myself on being able to sleep anywhere but…who’d have thought I could sleep through something so intense? I’m an expert level napper.
I go back to the hostel for a miserable second floor shower. It’s not as bad as I expected but it’s neither enjoyable nor is it convenient.
Some of my hostel mates and I go for some drinks out, but come back relatively early and retire for the night. I fall asleep almost instantly.
When I wake up, the guy sleeping adjacent to me starts up a conversation.
“hey! Who was that guy sleeping under your bed last night?”
“That wasn’t a friend of yours?”
“Was WHO not a friend of mine?”
“There was a guy sleeping under your bed, man”
And then two more of my dorm mates confirm. Everyone had just assumed I had a friend who didn’t want to pay for a room and let him in but uhhhh NOPE. I check my bags and all my stuff is still here…but I’m creeped tf out. Laughing, but that’s definitely not cool. It’s probably best that I DIDN’T see the guy before he left in the early morning because if I’d have woken up to an arm below my bed, I might have died. Or he would have.
The identity of this dude is still at large; as is how he got into our room.
There’s a huge depression in my bed from where I’ve been sleeping on my pathetic mattress, to boot.
I’ve booked 4 nights here and I’m not weirded out enough to leave, but if I plan on staying in Wellington to find work, I should probably upgrade my accommodation.
Today was an expensive day.
Airport bus: $17
Airport bus $9
Lawn beers $4
Pints out $20
Ahhhhhhhh. It all happened so fast!
I need a job. Like now.