If you’re reading this right now, and the text isn’t blurry or making you want to vomit, congrats and happy new year! You’re not hungover.
This New Year’s was my first in Auckland. It happens to fall during our move, since we found a place to live just a couple of days ago. Kiwi was still working, so he departed for where we were temporarily staying. I stayed behind in Auckland a couple of nights before New Year’s Eve and on the actual day to get some stuff done for the house before I joined up with Kiwi again. Here are some of the highlights I can share:
I had my first night in Auckland in a not-hotel.
On the night before New Year’s Eve, I stayed with an Airbnb host located near Eden Park (a big sports stadium). This way, I could get some insider knowledge about the city and explore another area of town. This was a good move. My host introduced me to some good dry goods brands and told me tidbits of Auckland history. After a chat, I went into my room to do some online shopping, then headed out to get dinner.
Since I would be dining by myself, I picked up this month’s Metro magazine. It’s the city magazine for Auckland, and it’s a really smart publication, the result if Monocle and New York spent a couple of days in Auckland and decided to make a magazine. This issue had a feature on Prime Minister John Key’s recent year, at times comparing his political style with Obama and Merkel. It also had a calendar of events to look forward to this summer. (It’s still weird for a North American to say it’s summer.)
I went back to my Airbnb host and watched MasterChef Australia. It was an episode where the chefs had to slice fish for sushi and Nobu would judge it. I went to bed, woke up the next day, had breakfast with my host, then left for the local mall to buy some house stuff.
I took the wrong bus home.
After I bought some linens and pillows, I ended up waddling to the bus stop with pillows under my arm, two bags and my carryall. I knew there was a bus that would take me close to where we will live. I jumped on the bus that I thought would take me home.
It took me about a mile in the opposite direction. I waddled the 45 minutes home.
Once home, I took a nap on the floor for like 20 minutes. What? We have no furniture. It felt good on my back. But once awake, I had a few hours before I expected delivery of a bed and frame. So I needed to do something. And I was hungry.
I ate 25 parcels of pork and chives.
Our new place is off a main road that is filled with inexpensive Asian takeout and cafes. So I tried one of them: Bun Hut. Five buns for $4.
I bought an order of pork and chive steamed buns and dunked them in soy sauce. So good. And a bit of a novelty because I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere that offered easy-to-find steamed buns. But these didn’t quite squash my hunger. So I thought: Asian food crawl along the avenue.
Well, that didn’t quite pan out. Most places are still closed until January 3. But there was a dumpling place still open: Barilla Dumpling. I ordered a tray of steamed dumplings. Twenty for $12. Really juicy, at times I wondered if I had ordered soup dumplings in a welcome accident.
One person should not eat 20 dumplings. Or 25 parcels of pork and chives. I felt sick. So I went back home and took an nap on the ground.
Not too long after I passed out into food coma, the delivery men came with the bed. Once they left, I had a decision to make: Do I leave now and get an early bus to Kiwi? Or do I attempt to make the bed?
I made a bed that was not manufactured by Ikea.
The bed came with the bolts and wrench it needed. And I needed some exercise to work off the dumplings. So I made the bed, then I put the sheets on it, then I took a nap. Blame it on the pork and hardware. (At this point: Kiwi, who reads 99 percent of blog posts before they go up and doesn’t nap, chided me for blogging about a three-nap day. I regret nothing.)
I woke up after an hour, then left to meet my bus. It’s a three-ish mile walk to town, so I made the walk and made the bus. I reunited with Kiwi, we had a roast dinner, then went out to celebrate the new year.
It wasn’t a dress-up, wear hats sort of New Year’s, but there were bigger things to deal with, like preparing a house to live in for 2015. And I’m fine with that.