New Zealand Bound

This past week was utter madness.

Packing does not agree with me. Studying for exams is a pain. Saying goodbye to friends I’ve made over the course of the semester, some of whom I may never see again is extremely sad…and all three were happening at one time. Needless to say it was a week of highs and lows. We went out, shared love, pictures and final words mostly pledging that they wouldn’t be final words. 

I returned from Cairns very early Tuesday morning and went to the city library to get some study done. It is Veterans Day (or something like it) on the 11th of November in Australia too. There was a (very loud) tribute at 11:00am in the library that day while I was in the middle of my Archaeology notes. It was a little awkward I thought but it was interesting to be in a place where there was a tribute. Had I not been in the library that day, I would have had no clue. 

I met my friend Sarah for lunch before going back to campus and taking a break. I got a lot of studying done that day. Wednesday was a different story. It was the beginning of being caught between trying to throw things away and get organized in my room and studying for my Archaeology exam on Saturday. I mostly chose to stress out about the decision. Perhaps not very productive, but many would have done the same. It was lucky that night that I had made a date to go out to dinner with Harmina, one of my neighbors from when I lived in Cairns. Harmina was down for some kind of conference or course and she made a deal with me–if I could get to the suburb where she was staying, then she would buy me dinner. It was more than a fair trade and it was just what I needed. There is really nothing like talking to a mother-figure when you’re stressed. Harmina definitely fits the profile. She is always full of very sensible, motherly advice…whether you ask for it or not. It was a really good time and when I got back to campus I was refreshed, so I did a bit more reading and watched an episode of Futurama with Alex before bed. 

Thursday dawned more stressfully than Wednesday. I was beginning to feel the familiar panic fire being slowly lit under my seat and I really wanted to study for my exam. I couldn’t do it though because I kept getting distracted by all the other things there were to do. I posted a few things and read a little bit but then I was running all these errands for my visa extension etc. It was not overly-productive study-wise but I managed to do a little bit before going out with friends for one last hurrah. I figured that if I stayed home in the state I was in, I would only avoid studying and watch a movie or something. Better to do something that would really tired me out so I could get a good night’s sleep after having spent some quality time with friends I would find it difficult to see as often as I like after we move out of college. Sometimes those things are more important than school. So we went out. Alex learned of the strictness of Australian bar dress code regulations after being barred entrance into Union Jack’s (a SPORTS bar) for wearing shorts. I wasn’t drinking that night so I could get up and study in the morning, so I chose to accompany him back to the college so he could change rather than sitting in the loud bar watching my friends vent their exhilaration at having finished all of their work. When we got back to Union Jack’s the line was around the block, but we got in and stayed for a while. The night was called early when everyone realized that the combination of exam fatigue and beer made them prematurely tired, so we returned to college in the glorious vehicle known as the Maxi Taxi. 

Friday was crunch time. I managed to get a whole lot of stuff done that had to be done on a week day. The post office sent my parcel of school stuff via seamail after they were technically closed for the weekend, but my friend at the post office was there. She recognizes me now because I go there so often. I’m sad I won’t see her again. She didn’t give me a hard time and my package was sent on Friday right after I handed it in. I got through the whole sample test for archaeology and went to bed with only a little bit left to do before my exam the next day at 2:30pm.

Saturday the college was in a frenzy of leaving. There was garbage flying everywhere, parents pulling up and walking up and down the flights and flights of stairs. The weather deities chose Saturday to be the hot day, so most people were soaked through with the sweat of exertion. I felt bad for them but in a sick way I was happy that the university decided to scorn my happiness and give me an exam in the last period on the last day. I had more time than everyone else to move out. It was also the day of goodbyes. Half my friends were heading down to Sydney to begin journeying home. I finished my exam early so I got to say goodbye to some people twice!! The exam was mostly questions from the practice test. I’m not sure how well I did but I sure am happy that it is over. 

There was a handful of people who were staying the extra night to get flights thenext day. Aileen, Victoria, Gaia and I went out for steaks that night in the city. We were joined later by Morgan and ended our night at the Pancake Manor where Andrew joined us for delicious pancake dessert. Upon adjourning to college we were all SO tired (Morgan actually fell asleep on the bus!) that we went back to our respective rooms after saying goodbye and went to sleep. Morgan and Victoria slept on my floor since they didn’t have permission to stay in their own rooms. I’m glad they were there. Being alone on the last night would have been terrible. 

I had to wake up really early this morning in order catch my flight to New Zealand. It went down without too many dramas and three hours later (but six with the time change) I was met my Lucy at the arrivals gate. It’s wonderful to be in a home. Lucy’s parents are really nice and her whole family is very casual and has encouraged me to help myself to anything I want. I am trying to stay up a bit later so I can sleep tomorrow. I am not going to set my alarm and see how long it takes me to wake up. Probably I will be up before the rest of the household because I have been getting up so early lately, but the time change works in my favor in terms of sleeping late. We shall see. I’m excited for this week. I hope it is relaxing above all. 

Pictures to follow when I have my own computer back. That will be quite a job and will not take place for at least two weeks. 🙂 I will end by posting my holiday schedule of where I will be when. 

16 Nov 2008: Fly to New Zealand
17-22 Nov: Hang out with Lucy in LotR country and relax
23 Nov: Fly to Sydney
23-27 Nov: Sydney with Nicola/making my way up to Coffs Harbour. Stop in Newcastle? 
27 Nov: Arrive in Coffs Harbour to chill out with Morgan
30 Nov: Balina with Morg’s family and seeing Andrew probably, then back to Coffs
4 Dec: MY BIRTHDAY
11 Dec: Mel’s birthday and super awesome party extravaganza
12-13 Dec: Train to Brisbane
13-14 Dec: Staying with Alex and Aileen in Brisbane/Surfers Paradise day trip
15 Dec: Mom arrives in Brisbane!!!!!!!!
15-18 Dec: Brisbane Tour
19-21 Dec: Sydney Tour
22-29 Dec: Cairns and Surrounds Tour
30 Dec: Mom flies back to the US; I remain in Cairns
11 Jan 2009: Fly to Brisbane for flight to London via Singapore
12 Jan: Flight from London to Newark Int’l Airport and home

Those are my last ~2 months left in Australia. You can be sure I’m going to make them count. 
As always, thanks for reading. 

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2 responses to “New Zealand Bound

  1. From your biggest fan– or may second biggest after G’ma!
    For the sudden transformation to nomad status, you certainly have a well-planned and exciting itinerary! Happy summer vacation (finally!), Ruthie! Can’t wait to see you! First in your photo journal, a little later- down under, and finally back home!
    Love,
    Mom

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