Published: June 26th 2010June 23rd 2010
Since I am still in Kaikoura, I really don’t have that much exciting stuff to tell ya, but I will try my best to clue you in on what’s been going on in my little “working” world.
The bakery has been great. I was a little skeptical of the boss man at first, but got along with his wife wonderfully. They bought the bakery 9 years ago from a family friend and have been running it, without any “holiday” time, ever since. They both work everyday, most days starting at 6 making the rolls and sandwiches, others starting at 3 with all the baking. They are a true testament to “doing what you love” makes you happy. They are always laughing and joking around and it’s been a wonderful place to spend a majority of my time, even if I do smell like an onion ring when I finish. Don’t get me wrong, the place smells great, but I think if you’re in there for longer than twenty minutes you start to smell like the food and after someone's been frying donuts all day long, you smell like an onion ring. Weird how that works, considering they don’t even
have onion rings, and the donuts don't even look like donuts.
Me and my 6 AM starts haven’t gotten any better. I have worked out a system though. My alarm goes bizerk at 5:51 (that way I don’t have time to dilly dally, or dread the coldness). It is absolutely freezing cold in the mornings, so I sleep in my leggings, throw on my bakery shirt (and hat), quick brush of the teeth and I’m out the fire exit and into the bakery. I don’t know if I could handle it if I had to walk a ways to get to work. Sometimes, lately, at night I turn on my hairdryer to heat my bed before I go to sleep. Haha, yes I know that’s ridiculous, but it is sooo good. I just sit in the bed and it gets so warm and toasty, but by the morning all that glory is gone and it about kills me to take off the covers.
Satine and I are friends, I still can’t understand her, but I no longer have the urge to call her Saltine. However, she stills makes me laugh inside my head when she works out front
with me. Shirley, an older lady that works at the bakery simply because she has nothing else to do, always says “is that the lot?” to ensure that that’s all the customer wants, which is all fine and good. However, when Satine says it, it sounds more like “eez dah duh laht?” and it gets me every time. Never once have I heard a customer that can understand her, so I don’t feel so bad when I have to ask her to repeat herself a million times before just smiling and nodding. I know, it's mean, but come on.. that makes you chuckle.
I often feel like I’m playing 20 questions with the customers because, if they order a sandwich.. white or brown? If they order a scone.. would you like that buttered? Would you like me to heat it for you? If they order more than one pie.. in the same bag ok? Separate bags? Would you like tomato sauce? If ordering coffee.. Milk or sugar? Chocolate or Cinnamon on top? Do you need a “carry bag” for all of this? Is that EFTPOS or cash? Do you need cash back? Would you like your receipt? Geez! I
feel so annoying, but they are all legit questions I suppose. I know some people just wanna get in and get their dumb pie and get out though! Speaking of.. Pies.. oh, the world of pies. A pie is a little pastry filled with all kinds of things.. My favs are bacon and egg or steak and cheese.. Other NZ favorites are “mince”(ground beef), steak and kidney, curry mince, chicken.. So on.. They also have “potato top” pies or what we at the bakery like to call “mountain top” pies… which is a pie with a load of mashed potatoes neatly gushed on top. Sausage rolls and baby mountain tops are also a big hit.
One day this little old lady came up to the counter looking as if she was going to cry. She explained to me in a quiet voice that someone had weed in the "toilets". I, confused, said "what? weed? in the toilets? really?".. which was dumb because that is exactly what she said, I just questioned every word. I thought it was mildly humorous that someone had gone for a smoke in the toilets and then for a wander in the bakery. I assured
her I would "take care of it" and inform the manager. I apologized for something I had nothing to do with and set her on her way with the comfort of knowing it would be gone within an instant. I walked to the toilet to sus out the situation and low and behold.. she was right. Wee was everywhere! It was sick, but I could not stop laughing at myself. This poor little lady was trying to tell me someone had "weed" all over the toilet seat.. not that there was "weed" left lying about. haha are you following? I felt like such a moron.... :)
But while we are on the subject... toilets. After working at Dusky, the Bakery, and at Tuti's I have cleaned more than my fair share of toilets per day. Public toilets.. Why? How? Who does this? I do not understand how someone can go poo in a bathroom and just leave it there, or how it gets where it gets? Honestly, you'd be amazed. It's gross. So, dear readers, if you poo in a public toilet... consider the person who cleans it. You should be ashamed of yourself for creating such horribleness anyway!
just for you mom
a quilting shop in Kaikoura... see, you could live here too! :)
Traveling has certainly cured me of my "safe toilet syndrome", but some people should stick with it! It's not such a bad thing after all! :)
Tuti's has been just as great, if not better than the bakery. The girls and Tuti are seriously incredible people. It has been so nice to be in a family place. They fight and bicker (sp?) and give each other the silent treatment. It's hysterical. I think they think I am always confused, because I never know if they are talking to me or to each other. They speak Indonesian and sometimes I misunderstand who's saying what to whom? They just laugh at me though, so it's all good. They always say "OK, MK?" - "OK" then we smile and keep doing what we're doing. It makes me happy everytime. It's the little things you love, right? :) Oh, if I am ever reincarnated, I want to come back as a pig in Kaikoura. The pigs here, they eat all the good stuff! Scraps from Dusky, the Bakery and Tuti's. I seriously would eat straight out of the bucket if I were allowed, and weren't embarrassed. haha that's bad right? Oh well..
As for a few quick things/different words/phrases that I love:
flat white - coffee with milk
long black - shot of espresso watered down
chips - fries
Kumara - sweet potato
filet is pronounced "fill it"
prawn - shrimp
two popular drinks are lemonlime bitters and raspberry coke - neither of which I know how to make properly, so I just do it and pray it doesn't come back
lemonade - sprite
biscuit - cookie (my kind of biscuit doesn't exist here :(
scone - my kind of biscuit except sweet and not at all like a biscuit.. ha, I know that doesn't make sense, but some of you will understand. :)
ham - bacon
(to me) bacon - stripey bacon or American bacon
hotdog - corndog
(to me) hotdog - American hotdog
sultana - raisin
serviette - napkin
hill - mountain
"good on ya" - maybe my favorite Kiwi phrase, usually with "mate" attached to the end
"ta" - shortened verison of Thank You
"choice" - really good, debatable to be my other fav phrase
there is a fire alarm that goes off to alert all the volunteer firefighters, but it sounds like a tornado alarm, so
the first few times I heard it, I got a little paranoid about storms.
the number 10 is pronounced "teen" and they always comment on how I say the number 13, it throws them off - for some reason they think I'm Irish... weird.
As for Dusky, things are pretty much the same day in and day out. We dread cleaning, but we do it. Lindsay, one of the managers and one of the best people I've ever met, Helena and Sarah, the Irish girls and myself have all started doing Zumba. If you don't know what Zumba is, then you clearly don't watch late night infomercials! "Zumba is the dance sensation that is taking over the woooorld!!" (said in the fakest voice you can imagine) It is this ridiculous dance, workout thing that makes you look highly uncoordinated, that we have gotten into. We lock ourselves in one of the open rooms and play the video on Lindsays laptop. I'm never sure if I get a good workout from the video or from laughing so hard at ourselves. It's one of those "you gotta be there" type things I suppose. :)
In the evenings, or throughout the
day really, we have the fires going full blast and it makes me feel a little bit like Christmas. The weather has gone from cold to colder and I am not a fan. One weekend there was a surf competition, which was fun to see. "Loads" of surfers and people just hangin on the beach. It was good, but could have been really good had the cold not existed. They have this bathtub set up on the beach with a fire beneath it so when the surfers get out of the freezing water, they can hop in it and warm up. I thought that was pretty clever, and I kind of wanted to get in it, even though I hadn't been near the freezing water.
Snow has capped all the "hills" and it's gorgeous. I truly will miss seeing them everyday. After day in and day out of the same kinda stuff, the Irish girls and I decided we needed a little road trip. We planned to do a glacier hike. That is as far as we got. We decided which day and would leave after work. The only problem with this was that we had no idea if
they were even doing them, or if the roads would be open. Some man died on it two days before our planned date. Yikes. Anyway, after shrugging off the advice of pretty much everyone not to go at night, that is just what we did. (stop rolling your eyes mom!) We left Kaikoura, driving through Lewis Pass, amongst the mountains and into the night. We made a pit stop for "takeaway" in Hanmer Springs, which I only recently realized is hANmer Springs, and not hAMner Springs. We continued across the country and made it to the West Coast. A few more hours down and we were in Franz Josef Glacier. Seeing as we hadn't even booked the hike, we definitely hadn't booked a hostel. They we were, 3 girls 1 Honda Accord. They were leaned back in the front seats and I was snuggled in the back. It was a tight fit, but a good one. I could have actually had a good nights sleep had my toes not almost gotten frost bite and minus a little noise from the passengers seat. At some unknown hour all I hear is:
Sarah (tapping Helena): "Helena, you're snoring"
Helena : "Oh, right,
I'm so sorry"
Sarah: "Oh, that's OK"
Helena drifts back to sleep with minimal snoring
Sarah takes a huge deep breath in order to wake Helena back up
It was the nicest wake up I have ever heard, and possibly one of the funniest, because I felt Sarah's pain. That being said, Helena slept great, Sarah and I... we had some isssues. :)
Alarms go off and begins the excitement! We had talked so long about doing this hike, and now, we were finally there. After a quick rearrangement of the car/our beds, and layering up, off we go to gear up. We had "overtrousers", boots, mittens, hats, and crampons given to us. Crampons are those things you clamp onto your boots so you don't slip on the ice. We were all very excited and very "official" in our gear. We loaded onto a bus and to the glacier we went. We had about a 2 km walk to the base of it, then a steep, quick trek up to the ice. I cannot explain how odd, yet great it was to actually be standing on a glacier. A glacier, people, I was standing on a glacier. I still
can't get it. With any change of water rolling off, or bit of gravel to fall it could change in an instant. It was a little unnerving, but exhilerating.
Legend has it, that Franz Josef glacier formed from a Maori woman, who loved hiking, convinced her husband to do a hike up with her. On the hike, he fell to his death and she cried so much that the gods took pity on her and froze her tears. Isn't that nice in a gruesome/sweet way? I like. :)
Our guide was Tom, who we called Spidey Tom. He jumped over, around, down, up, all over that ice. He was smooth like Spidey Tom and I think we all had a bit of a crush on him. We walked inside ice caves, along ice walls, through ice paths, and in some REALLY tight spaces. At one point, the girl behind me got stuck and I had to pull her while the one behind had to push! It was kind of scary because all I could think of was something happening and the ice moving just an inch and I would've been crushed. As much as I want to, it's
this is about twice the size of the smallest one...
not really something I can explain. I was miles up and walking on ice. We had to side step to get through some crevaces. There wasn't enough room to get your other foot around, you had to step, then step again, with a lead foot. I guess you all know what side step means though... hmm. Anyway..
The parts I did like were climbing up and down. We had to sort of abseil these steps. It was pretty scary because one little slip and off the side you go. One little slip on the ground and off into the crevice you go. It was intense in a scary, fun way. Live life on the edge, "ay"? :) ha, I know you hate that mom, but it's over and done! :) The best part was going through the last tunnel. It was a tunnel of ice with a little stream running through it. My hands we soooo cold that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull myself up. They were seriously turning blue, like the ice. The blue was such a pure and pretty color. Something about the way the sunlight reflects off of it, makes
it so beautiful. There were little puddles of water all over the place. We filled our bottles up and it was delicious! Glacier water! It was so good and I was a little sad when all I had was an empty bottle. That might be one of my favorite parts, ha, even how minuscule! It was such a great experience and I am so glad I was able to do it with the girls.
They are two of the most positive people I have ever met. No matter what happens, they always find the humor in it. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit them one day! Such fun to be around. We were sooo exhausted after the hike. It took all in all, 8 hours. We also had lunch up there. Sitting, eating lunch on a glacier. What? :) It was awesome. I was soo happy to get back to the car though and get warm. While we were hiking it was alright, but if we ever stopped, it got cold, QUICK. "Fair enough" though.. we were on a glacier. :) I was so wrecked I couldn't even stay awake for our little drive to Greymouth. I fell asleep,
but the girls were troopers and got us there safely! We booked into a cozy little hostel, had a great shower, and the best nights sleep.. the most comfy hostel bed, complete with hot water bottle. It was amazing.
Up, not too early the next day, we mozied our way back to Kaikoura via Arthurs Pass. We missed our first alarms and were already late for cleaning so we decided to take our time. Arthurs Pass is a famous drive and it's one more thing I was able to knock off my NZ list. It was beautiful. The road winds through mountains, all covered in snow, yet the sky was sunny and sprinkled with a few puffy bright white clouds. Pictures are pretty, but they really don't do it justice. We stopped several times along the way for photo ops. Nothing else to say except, it's beautiful and if you ever come, you should take the stroll along Arthurs Pass.. definitely worth it. :)
Oh, I almost forgot... the slow, unfortunate, death of Karlene Jean. :( She was a "beaut" and she served us well! How incredible to think where we started and how we parted. The interior
lights lightshow from the beginning, the constant offbalance of the steering wheel, she almost shut down after the cheap gas in Northland, almost boiled up in Taupo, almost gave up with a flat tire in Wanaka, and made me uneasy ALL along the way. However, she made it! I never really used her at Dusky with work and other things being so close, which was great. The two weeks before Smith left, I let him borrow her while he tried to sell Chooky Blue... my first mistake. I don't know how this is even possible, but he broke the lock on the drivers side door. So... now, whenever I want to get out, I have to roll the window down and reach over to the outside handle to let myself out. He was leaving, what should he care, he just left her lockless in my hands. Keep in mind she has BEEN expired on all her warrants, inspections, service updates, blah blah. I knew I wasn't going to be able to sell her, and especially not with the locks (or lack of), or the way the gas tank cover now flies off everytime you try pop it open. Ridiculous. Good
news is, she got us/me everywhere I wanted to go and a little more. I didn't really care about all her issues, because all I had to do was donate her to the dump. However, I didn't even have to go that far. Lindsay took her off my hands for me. She said she had been wanting a "clunker".. haha, I assured her, KJ was the one for her! So, as you all know, or should remind yourself everyday... "it will all workout". She is in a good place. :)
Everything else has been pretty normal and day to day.... However, one small thing. The weather. It has been wearing me thin! Super cold and I had a little freak out about 4 weeks ago. It rained for about 2 weeks straight, no joke. I couldn't handle it. Cold, cold, cold and rain = nightmare. So, one day I needed to pack up and get to Christchurch. The night before, we had a family dinner/Mexican night for me. It was so nice. We toasted, reminisced, and thought of the days ahead, for each of us. It’s amazing how quickly you become best friends with your fellow travelers. The same
mindset, gets you in the right place. I will miss each of the people I have met in NZ, yes, some more than others, but all nonetheless. It wouldn’t have been what is was without every single one of them. J Cath, from the Bakery, even made me a death by chocolate, chocolaty “Thank You” cake. It was so cute and generous of her. She didn’t have to/shouldn‘t have done it… Kiwis are so nice. J
Anyway.. I meant to pack the night before, but as some of you know.. I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to packing. I don’t know what it is.. I have to wait to the last minute and stress myself out just a little bit. I was meant to leave Kaikoura around lunch. Well, I didn’t wake up until just before then.. Which already put a hurtin on my packing. So, I began the process. It’s amazing to think I came over here with one backpack, yet now have a room and car full of… well, crap. I sorted things into piles like they do on the TV shows and eventually, I got what I needed back into the single
“rucksack” and small bookbag. I ran a few errands in town, and needed quickly to get on the road before dark.
How do you get on the road when you just got rid of your car? Hitchhike. Lindz took me to the “hitching spot” with my cardboard “CHCH” sign and 2 minutes and 12 seconds later… badda bing, badda boom.. I was in a car with two guys from Fiji. Zek and Toohey, and they could not have been nicer. They even gave me “biscuits” and took me straight to the airport. Yep, the airport. I had a flight booked for 630AM the next morning so I “slept” in the Christchurch airport. Myself, and several others were all snuggled in our sleeping bags on the dirty, rock hard floor. I wouldn’t say it was anywhere near good, but I’ve definitely slept in worse. J Up and even had a shower before the flight, then into the “queue” with numerous others , leaving on a jet plane to…. Thailand.
I have been here for 6 days now and could not only write a book, but a series of books about these few little spots I've been in.
going back to my title... N Zed: it's been real, and it's been fun... and it has been, real fun!! I am so grateful to have been and I encourage every one of you to go!! :)
Check back soon as my travels continue into SE Asia.
There are more photos below