Well, I be here in New Zealand. I actually got here the day before yesterday, but haven’t been in any kind of mood to post anything until now. The hostel I’m staying at is called the ACB Base, or Auckland Central Backpackers Base. Whoever designed this place must have been on some serious acid or something, because it is a goddamned maze just getting to my room, which I’m sharing with three other people. One of them, a really nice Korean girl from Sweden named Cecelia left yesterday morning, which made me sad, because she was so nice and the first thing she did when I got in was show me around our little portion of Auckland, and where the Australian consulate general is, which was extremely helpful, considering that’s the main reason I’m here in the first place, to get a visa from the ACG. Long sentence is long.
Anyway, back to the maze that is the ACB Base. To get to my room, you have to go in through the entrance which says on the maps that it is right on Queen St., but is in fact on a side road that isn’t even large enough to get onto the maps to begin with. Step one: difficult at best, succeeded in finding entrance after one hour of searching. Step two, go into the elevators up to the third floor. Succeeded with ease. Step three(a), go through the cafe. Step three(b), go through the internet cafe and find the correct door out of five that all seem to look like generic janitorial closet doors and go down the stairs that you don’t even see until you’re almost falling down them. Step three: extremely difficult at point of sobriety. Inebriated as most of the tenants are when they return from the NOISY AS HELL NEVER SHUTS THE FUCK UP club next door: impossible, to be nice. Step four, go down a corridor that looks like a storage facility with nice carpeting and find your room, if the room number is still attached/not covered up by random signs talking about Kiwi culture. Step four: complicated. Step five, return to front desk when you realize that they forgot to give you your room key, which is one of those cards that will stop working if you put it near your wallet. Step six, try to remember your way back to your room and hope your front pocket in far enough away from your back pocket and wallet to still work. Step seven, return to front counter, yet again, climbing the two flights upstairs to return the key card because it’s retarded and doesn’t want to work, even though you kept the key as far from your credit cards as possible. Step eight, purchase new key card, because the computer will list your card as lost. Step nine, and I’m pretty sure that steps six through eight were just to (a), get more money from you and (b), to make sure that you won’t get lost and they don’t have to show you the way instead of giving you vague directions like they do the first time you ask how to get to your room. Step ten, enter room, find out that it is 10×12 feet and already has three other people in it and the only bunk left is a top bunk. Step eleven, drop things, slither onto top bunk. Step twelve, and this is key to your survival in the hostel, pass the fuck out.
Keep in mind that this is all from the perspective of a very tired tourist who has had all of three hours of sleep in the last thirty six hours or so.
Now, when staying in Auckland, prepare to empty your bank account when purchasing the smallest of items. One bottle of Aloe juice weighing in at 17.6 FL OZ: $4.00. One bag of generic brand potato chips weighing in at 150g: $8.00. One bag of generic brand MINTS weighing in at 200g (this is a very small package of mints): also $8.00. That is a total of twenty dollars for you to omnomnom for twenty minutes, freshen up and then drink something small, yet healthy because you feel guilty about eating those chips, because you think you’re starting to get a bit round around the mid-section.
Now, at the airport, where fast food is generally at it’s most expensive, it was $7.80 to get a large double cheeseburger meal at Burger King (known as Hungry Jacks in Oz). In Auckland? $8.00 for a JUNIOR WHOPPER MEAL. Yes, I made no typo there. Damned close to ten dollars for what could not even equate to a $3 kids meal at a BK in the states. Do not come to Auckland unless you can afford to buy the city you live in, claim it as a new country and then supply the military you haul together with weapons, rations and strip nights to keep them in check. AND have some money to spare for yourself after all is said and done.
On a completely different note, the internet at the hostel is extremely inexpensive. It’s $50 for an entire week of unlimited bandwidth usage, which for Oz and NZ, that’s extremely cheap, considering buying 3 gigs of bandwidth per month will usually cost about $150 or so.
So I’ve already downloaded two movies and the live Dream Theater concert when they played at the Budokan, as well as the rest of their discography that I didn’t already have, which was five albums.
Alright, I’ve rambled on enough. I’m going to eat another mint, chug my aloe drink, smoke a cigarette (having to go through the maze twice to accomplish) and then finally passing the fuck out. Fortunately, tonight, I am on the bottom bunk. That removes step eleven (refer to step eleven).