Published: November 12th 2010November 12th 2010
Castor Bay view from our house
We reluctantly boarded the plane leaving Rarotonga bound for Auckland after spending an amazing four weeks on the tropical island, arriving back in a slightly colder New Zealand four hours later. Our plane arrived at the unearthly hour of 4.30am, we unable to check into hostel until 2pm so we spent the next 8 hours hogging the seats in the arrivals by using them as beds! A short bus ride from the airport to Auckland city centre and we were back where we started our trip four and a half months ago with fellow caravan club members Matt and Kate. We were staying at the Base hostel in the city centre which meant that we had gone from one extreme to the other, from a beautiful island to a room in the hostel which resembled a prison cell as it had no windows! We spent the next four days and nights scouring the internet and newspapers looking for jobs to help us fund the rest of our trip, applying for everything from call centres, to working for Greenpeace and even for a company looking to bring back the milkman to New Zealand. During those four days trapped in the Base backpacker’s
Auckland skyline at sunset
prison cell we were joined by some fellow Welshies in the form of Cerri’s old university friends the legendary Shenaide, Jenny, Lynsey and Laurie. The first night they joined us, we all headed down to the bar in the basement of the hostel called Globe Bar, which enticed us in with a free pizza offer and a game of bingo! Some of Matt and Kates Las Vegas luck must have rubbed off on us, as me and Cerri both won tickets to the Auckland rugby match the next night, although Jenny had to work hard for one of the tickets by standing on the bar doing her best impression of a monkey! As we’d been to several rugby games during our time in New Zealand, we decided to give the Welshies the rugby tickets we’d won and with that we said our sad farewells as the girls were off on the kiwi experience bus early the next day. After serving our prison sentence at the Base hostel, we headed across the Auckland Bridge to the North Shore to stay with Gen who is the daughter of my boss from NZ Tax Refunds. She was studying occupational therapy at the nearby
What are we?!?!?
University and had a spare room in her house which we rented for the next week. The house was in an area of North Shore City called Castor Bay, where pretty much every house wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Grand Designs TV programme. We spent the week in our new surroundings mainly down at the nearby beach, as our tans from Rarotonga were already starting to fade! We also had an interview for the company looking to bring the milkman back to New Zealand and the following day we got the call saying the jobs were ours! The Business is called “The Trusty Delivery Company” which is a spin off of “Aussie Farmers Direct”, basically bringing back the milkman with other essentials thrown in. After being offered the job, the following day we went in for a training day to learn the art of door to door sales. Essentially the job involved us going door knocking, letting people know about the service with the aim of getting them signed up for the milk rounds that would be starting in a couple of weeks time. Normally we would have turned down a commission only job but the fact
The Milkmen Haka
was that we were only trying to sell milk and bread not getting people to change Electricity Company or something else along those lines we thought we’d give it a go. Before we started the job Cerri had to pay another visit (3rd time lucky) to the doctors to try and sort out her toe; with a mountain of pills to fill the back of a lorry she was good to go. The weekend came which involved us going out to eat a lot with us finding our new favourite spot in the city called the Chancery and a visit to the comedy club with the uni girls from the house . . . . with that the weekend was over and Monday was upon us and our first day at work. The Milkman team consisted of a Canadian couple called Jesse and Kaja, from England there was Nick aka Pav Man ,Chris and Liam aka The Boss, Claire from the US of A and representing both parts of Ireland were Colin and Sean. In true New Zealand style our first team photo was of the group attempting to recreate the Haka!
Over the next two weeks we become
accustomed to our new roles and were actually becoming quite good with our sales techniques. We were also finding the job quite enjoyable, as we’d get back on the bus at the end of the day and somebody would always have a story to tell. Cerri knocked on a door and got invited in for champagne, when she was sitting in the lounge sipping on the champagne she realised that she had gate crashed a party, she then noticed that there was a bowl on the table with everybody’s car keys thrown in.... you’ve guessed it Cerri was now in the midst of a swingers party and two men were quite keen on her staying! Cerri also had the opportunity to have a jump on a kids trampoline using her gymnastics skills to good use whilst the “Mum” filled out the order forms winning the bet set by Boss Liam” first one on a trampoline gets $10.00!” My stories are not quite as interesting, but I have been invited into plenty of houses to sit down and have a beer with them and even managed to get dinner at one house, a nice chicken salad with a glass of wine!
"Milkman friends, thumbs up friends"
We are only working five hours a day but are earning around $1500 a week between the two of us.
After spending a week in Castor Bay, we decided it was too far away from work and went flat hunting in the city centre. We stumbled upon a little gem of a place and snapped it up straight away, it’s on Upper Queen Street and is only a five minute walk to the city centre. Our Landlord is a dutch born kiwi called Onno, which I believe is the only name that can be said the same way if its read backwards! Also in the flat is another Irishman, Chris who is a sparky which always comes in handy. So we moved into the flat and the next thing on our to do list was to find a local, somewhere we could have a cheeky pint to discuss the days events after work. After much deliberation we all decided upon the closest pub to the office, an Irish bar called “Father Teds”. We often frequent the establishment on a Friday nights to let our hair down, and with only having one haircut in the past 5 months you can
imagine my hair is getting quite long!
The followings weeks saw us add some new members to the milkman team, including Cassidy also from Canada, Steve from Ipswich and we were also joined by Claire’s sister Megan. We moved around different areas of Auckland getting the milk rounds set up, so we were getting to see some areas of the city that we would never have gone to. I had my best day of sales whilst on possibly one of the roughest streets in Auckland, Kupe Street where the majority of houses had boarded or smashed windows and reminded me of something from “Once were warriors”. We have also been having some competitions at work where you battle it out with another milkman for the most amount of sales that day, these are normally on a Tuesday with the winner getting a KFC as a prize as you can imagine Cerri is extremely happy when this day comes around!
Normally on the weekends me and Cerri would allocate ourselves a little trip or do some sightseeing but we’ve been trying to save the pennies, so we have only done the one trip so far. Waiheke Island was our destination
Waiheke Island aka Wine Island
of choice, which is a small island off the coast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf. Claire and Chris from work came along for the ride, and after the 35 minute ferry crossing we’d arrived. We decided to hop on a tour bus to get our bearings; the bus ride took us all around the island explaining about all the different flora and forna alongside showing us all the beaches on the island. We jumped off the bus in the village of Oneroa, picked a nice little spot for lunch the cafe was really cool and quirky and instead of table numbers they gave you action figures. After filling our faces we headed down to the beach for the day. During the ferry ride back we witnessed the sun setting down behind the Auckland skyline, which was quite a spectacular sight. The next Saturday we opted for another day down the beach, this time it was on the mainland in an area called Mission Bay. Chris from work had blagged some accommodation in a beach front cottage through a guy he had previously met on his travels. The cottage had its own private beach, so we spent the day chilling
out with a few beers enjoying the sunshine. We also visited the Mt. Albert gardens where a few of us had a kick about with some locals, although during the Wembley singles tournament I got stitched up with a guy who can only be described as a lookalike for rapper Fat Joe!
As they were a couple of spare rooms available in our flat, we managed to get fellow “milkmen” Jesse, Kaja and Colin to move in, this then meant we had to have a house warming which turned out to be a great night, Jesse after a few drinks confessed that he used to be a gymnast and was trying to impress Cerri with his skills and we ended the evening with everybody putting make up on Colin’s face as he’d passed out on the sofa!!! The Welsh girlies returned from their kiwi experience, but the reunion was short lived as they were off to Melbourne the next morning although they did join us for one of our now famous house parties!
So we've only got four weeks left in Auckland and then we head off to Samoa for a little holiday to top up those tans
. . . . again! And then we're off to Australia to see our family, something we are both really looking forward to. We hope all is well with everybody back home and that the weather isn't getting too bad??? Let us know what you folks have been up to, as it would be great to hear off you.
Ben & Cerri's Tip of the month - Support your local Milkman!!!!
There are more photos below