Four months at the other end of the world. I must say, I still haven’t seen a lot of the country (been to Rangitoto, Coromandel Peninsula including Hot Water Beach, and the West Coast including Whale Bay), pretty much Auckland-bound during term, but well, uni is part of the deal and I’m looking forward to three and a half months of holidays!
It took me a while to get used to Auckland – never had I lived in such a big city before. It’s hillier than Edinburgh, and can’t compete with Edinburgh’s unique flair and atmosphere. The weather is finally getting warmer and sunnier, I already had my first sunburn and it’s not even summer yet!
This semester I did Advanced Phonology, Historical Linguistics and two Psych papers (Clinical Psychology and Research Methods). We had heaps of assignments during the semester and one exam per course at the end (I had my last one the day before yesterday)! Besides the classroom, I founded a linguistics society (LLS, the first linguistics society at any Kiwi university! –website –fb) and so far we’ve had Jason Brown and Quentin Atkinson give talks, and are looking forward to our first talk by Miriam Meyerhoff next semester in March.
Contrary to what I usually like to do – plan everything way in advance, I didn’t plan my summer holidays in that much detail. I’ve dreamt of this for quite a while, to just go out there and live kind of à la Into The Wild, which is not really realisable in most parts of Europe but more so in NZ with all its uninhabited, untouched places. I’ve got a sleeping bag, a tent, and I’m preparing a bag full of food and water plus some pieces of clothing. In about two weeks my adventure will begin; first I’m going up the Northland, spending NYE with friends on ‘the Island’, then down to the South Island to be back in Auckland at the end of February. I’ll mainly hike and possibly hitch-hike now and then. I’m not a big fan of spending money if it’s not necessary (i.e. public transport), and while it would be quite convenient, a car is out of the question too (not only that I wouldn’t have the money for petrol and over-expensive parking, but I don’t even have a driver’s licence ;P). I’m looking forward to this experience, being free, unbound, on an adventurous journey to the unknown. Yet, I have to admit, I’m somewhat scared too. A girl, alone (couldn’t find anyone to tag along, most of my friends are Kiwis who have/want to work during the break), into the wild. Tbc how that goes…
To lift up your mood in order to not leave you with worrying thoughts about my upcoming wellbeing, here a list of some NZ peculiarities I’ve come across:
Many greetings from sunny Auckland, already wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2013!