Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Made a second trip to the grocery store today.  New World's Metro is pretty much the NZ equivalent to the US Hy-Vee.  I needed some laundry detergent, dish soap, rice, milk, and eggs.  I am trying very hard to watch what I spend, especially on food.  I am going to budget in only one night out for food a week...if that.  Meals here at "cheap" restaurants are still at least $15 when you add a drink.  The McDonald's 5-pack of nuggets is $2.50...and that price is half-off from $5 for a limited time only (according to a friend).  Outrageous.  My Kiwi flatmate, Amanda, said she'd go with me to the weekend fruits and veggies market on the harbor.  It comes every Saturday and Sunday.  She said the prices are way cheaper than the grocery store.  If I do that, I can stock up for a week or two and then only buy milk, eggs, and bread at the grocery store.  I guess I'll  be keeping to a very minimal diet...I already feel myself shrinking, my shorts are literally sagging, and it's only been 2 weeks!

By the way, the most reasonably priced grocery store in town is still a 15 to 20-minute trek from my flat.  And the hills!  Oh my goodness, there are so many hills.  I will never allow myself to carry one item over ten pounds from the store back to my apartment.  I think my body is getting used to all the strain from walking and carrying bags around town.  I haven't been waking up sore.  Gosh, I hope I don't have projects at school that I'll need to carry back.  I suspect I won't be building any models.

Studio is only one day a week for 50 minutes, so I'm hoping that's a sure sign that studio here will not be as strenuous as studio back home.  Classes start this coming Monday.  I have checked my course schedule online, and they are called "papers" here.  Later on in the week I will have to sign up for tutorials...those will apparently be a mad dash to sign up for so I'll have to battle my way through the lines to get the times I want.

This is mainly for my parents, but for anyone else who cares to know, this is my papers schedule:

Monday:: Landscape Architecture Studio 8:30a-9:20a; Peopling of Polynesia 3:10p-4p
Tuesday:: Colour, Pattern, Light 8:30a-9:20a; Sustainable and Regenerative Design 11:30a-12:20p
Wednesday:: Peopling of Polynesia 3:10-4p
Thursday:: Peopling of Polynesia 3:10-4p
Friday:: Sustainable and Regenerative Design 11:30a-12:20p

This week has been orientation week for Victoria University.  So far I have attended the mandatory orientation and enrollment day, a block dinner, and a pub quiz for Everton Hall.  Victoria also has a group for all international students called Victoria International Leadership Programme (VILP). There are some seminars to attend and socials to meet new people.  It seems interesting, so I may join this semester.

The socializing has been quite fun, but now I am afraid I have come down with a little cold.  Perhaps it is the weather change or time change or I could have caught this from someone else.  In any case, my voice has been lost since Tuesday and my nose is a bit stuffy.  I bought some tea and honey and throat lozenges yesterday.  Additionally, I have been taking some tylenol and trying to get some rest.  I am hoping to feel good as new by the time my classes start...wouldn't want to take sick day my first week.

Still getting used to the city, the whole navigation thing...I haven't gotten lost yet.  My favorite streets so far are Cuba Street and Lambton Quay.  There are lots of little shops and cafes and restaurants, the most life in the city.  I'm pretty sure I can find my way to the School of Architecture and Design and back home just fine.  My roommates told me the safest route back home, well-lit and usually traversed by many walkers at all times of the day.  I think that'll be one of the most important things I could learn about the city at this point.  I know back home I would stay in studio until late hours of the night, but here I will need to be extra conscious about walking home in the daylight or with someone else at night.

Today was the first day this week it has rained.  I've been thankful for the isn't as warm here as I thought it would be, but the water is beautiful.  I hear the wind in Wellington is the worst!  According to my flatmates, umbrellas are kind of a bad idea in the rain...good thing I brought two with me!  I mean, I suppose I could try them out just in case, they are pretty sturdy umbrellas.  If they do happen to turn inside out, I have my warm fur-lined raincoat.  I am not looking forward to walking to class in the wind and rain in the coming months.  Some people say they've been blown off the sidewalk, that's how bad the wind is here.  Joy!

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