Yes, I got Colgate pwnd, even in New Zealand. Last night I met my flatmates. Guess what! I’m no longer resident SuperJew, as one of my mates is an Orthodox Jew from Philly. Her name is Michal, she goes to Penn, and she’s studying something like medical sociology, except not quite that– I forget exactly. Another one of my flatmates is Julianne, from California, and she’s a first year grad student for genetics. My third flatmate is Maria, from Denmark. She studies English literature. And finally there’s Cleo, my Kiwi host. She’s studying chemistry, but has some kind of a concentration in neuroscience, or something like that. Either way, she finds neuro interesting, so we can totally nerd-out together. I told her about Mole Day and Pi Day, and she liked those ideas, although in NZ, like in most of the world, the day comes before the month, so 3/14 (Pi day) isn’t quite accurate. Too bad.
Last night, I unpacked my stuff. I have the smallest of the rooms in the flat (bad luck of the draw, huh?) but it’s still decent. It’s a single, and I have a double bed, a closet, lots of drawers, even more shelf space, and a desk. Not a bad accommodation.
It’s kind of cool how things work here: the outlet has a little switch next to it, so you can turn it off when your electronics are not in use. Why hasn’t America thought of this? I don’t know, we’re stupid.
Anyway, I was tired, so I talked with my flatmates for a little while and then went to bed. But not before starting my endeavor to catch up on last week’s Daily and Colbert. I’m still working on it. Oh, House, too.
This morning, I woke up at 6. I don’t know why. But I watched some more Daily and Colbert before meeting up with da flatmates to go to the Dunedin farmers market. It was a pretty sweet market, I must say. It was raining, unfortunately, but there were a lot of free samples to be sampled. I bought a jar of raspberry peach jam, and then I walked around a bit. There was a woman cooking a bunch of foods and then she’d let us sample what she’d made. There was this really good apricot raisin chutney, some kind of white fish, and some other things. I got a recipe sheet, so maybe I’ll go out of my comfort zone and try to not burn down the house.
I went back to the flat and met a friend from my program at the clock tower (see picture above) with one of his flatmates (also American, unfortunately), and we went on a walk into town. We found a couple outdoor goods stores, but I had to leave before I was overcome with the urge to buy something, anything. I fought that urge successfully… this time. I went back to my flat and watched another round of Daily/Colbert before I took a short nap, only to be awoken by Cleo: “Does anyone want to meet my friend?”
I did. It was Joe, from England. We all bonded over Youtube videos. Joe divulged that his ringtone came from Skyrim, and I wanted to die. It followed me here. Skyrim… ruining our boys everywhere.
Anyway, it’s still kind of early here, and I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tonight. I still don’t know too many people, so it’s kind of hard to have a social life of any sort. It’s like freshman year all over again… but hopefully better.
Here are some fun tidbits:
1. Yesterday I got carded when I ordered a glass of water. My group was out at a pizza restaurant/bar, and apparently in order to even sit there, you had to have passport ID… which I did happen to have on me. That was cool.
2. I went to the supermarket with a couple of friends from the program. There was a wine tasting, and I was not carded that time. I had a little taste of something pear-flavored and bubbly. Twas delicious. On our way out, we realized it was a far walk back to our flats and we’d have to carry our bags (I did buy a couple of reusable bags to minimize my plastic use, yay environmentalism). Steph and I decided to borrow shopping carts to wheel our bags back to the flats. We got to the edge of the parking lot and then the stopper on the cart kicked in. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. But we were unable to continue, and unable to even bring the carts back to the market, so we left them there and carried our bags by hand, even though they cut off most circulation in our hands.
3. Cleo, the Kiwi host, likes Marmite. Yuck.
4. Goat milk yogurt is not worth buying. It’s like goat cheese, but in yogurt form. Kind of icky.
5. I still haven’t caught on to this backwards driving thing. If I die while I’m here, it will most certainly be due to my confusion.
6. It is pretty chilly outside, but my windows are still open. I love single rooms.
7. A sheep is not sheered, a sheep is shorn.
8. Cleo lent me a book of typical Kiwi-isms. I’m going to start talking like a Kiwi now. And spelling.