So as you may have noticed, we’ve been absent for a little while. Ok well yes, it’s been more than a little while, and closer to a while. A month. Ok it’s been more than a month. Stop counting, get a life.
But look at it this way- the longer we’re absent, the better a time we’re having. And the longer we’re absent, the more stories we have to tell. So strap yourselves in- a lot has happened in the last month. Here’s a list of the seven biggest, most awesome, weird things that have happened in the last month. Enjoy!
- We left Asia. No surprises there, considering if you’ve been following either of our facebook’s or instagrams in the last while, you will have realised that we are in actual fact in New Zealand. But leaving the continent we’d become so adjusted to had it’s issues.
- Firstly, and most noticeably, it was no longer boiling hot. Which restored Myrthe’s sanity and made me despair at my fading Trump tan.
- Secondly, we remembered that we were broke. 3 euro scooter rentals were replaced with 18 dollar 20 minute bus rides. Eating out three times a day became trying not to get sick of oatmeal thirty-two days in a row. 5 dollar luxury resort hostels with private cabins became 32 dollar, 18-bed, squeaky shitholes that smelled like a hundred-year-old boy’s locker room. In short, we were put back in our rightful backpacker places.
- We forgot what it’s like to be yelled at. 4 months of “taxi taxi! Massage? You want go waterfall? Tuk tuk? Yes come eat here good food! Only 100 baht!” transformed into complete and utter silence. Not because the people were any different, although that did help, but mostly because nobody lives in NZ. Nobody. More people live in Slovakia and that says something considering a) Slovakia is empty and b) New Zealand is twice the size of the UK.
- We joined the Kiwi Experience. Or, as the Kiwis like to call it: the big green vagina bus. Oh yes. With Queen Gina B as our leader, 55 of us made the epic, month-long trail around the north and south islands of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. And boy was it epic. From treks along geysers and glaciers, horse rides across hobbit country, luging down mountains, dancing with pensioners, wining in hot-tubs and being thrown into icy cold oceans, Kiwi Experience did it’s damned hardest to make this month the best we’ve had so far. Safe to say it succeeded, in epic fashion.
- We got a cultural ass-whooping. Now it’s no secret the Pacific Islanders aren’t the most cuddly looking humans on this planet. Anyone who’s seen the All Blacks play, or seen Maōri tribal tattoos, or seen a Haka, or just generally met a Pacific Islander… you’ll know they aren’t the people you’d generally bet against in a fight. So naturally, when faced with a tribe performing their “welcoming” haka at the Tamaki Experience in Rotorua, wearing full traditional war paint and roaring their songs in deep, resonating voices… Myrthe and I gracefully shat ourselves. Confusingly though, these men were as hospitable as they were terrifying. So much so that the morning after we didn’t want to leave the little tribe we’d been welcomed into the day before. Although, judging by our bulging stomachs and our exceptionally poor renditions of Maōri toddler songs, it was about time we left, for our good as well as theirs.
- We met some awesome humans. Everyone from Michaela (“I am not a planner”); Neebs (“I think calling him a steamed potato may not have been the best idea”); Andrew (“Slovaks must eat a whole lot of Souvlaki. It is Souvlakia right?”); Khadiyjah (“I told y’all I suck ass at pool”) Hannah (“I’m not going out dressed like a hitler sheep”); Funcle Rob (“I quit drinking. For today. After this pint.”) Cara (“Yes you are going dressed as a hitler sheep”), Nadim and Bobby (“I promise we’re better at parenting than this”); to the Irish contingent (“Guys what’s the lyrics to jingle bells again?”): guys thanks for an amazing couple of weeks and a hell of a lot of scarring memories that will only take a few years of therapy to get rid of. We’ll miss the lot of ya.
- We saw our parents. Well. Partly true. Myrthe saw her mum. So 25% true. So that’s another thank you we owe: to Marinka and Lex for reminding us what it’s like to sleep in a normal bed, to eat breakfast that isn’t oatmeal and lunch that isn’t rolls of bread with hummus, to have hair that isn’t one big split end, to have faces that aren’t so dry they’ve begun to peel. And for teaching us how to play squash, and for taking us for walks in Rotorua, and for showing us what Hobbiton looks like in torrential rain. We had an awesome time ❤️
- We celebrated the holidays in the most underwhelming way possible. I mean really, really pathetic. Christmas day was spent nursing a hangover and feeling sorry for ourselves on Orphan beach with all the other backpackers stranded in Queenstown without their families. New Years eve was potentially even worse. We found ourselves in the capital of NZ, beautiful Wellington, by the harbour with hundreds of people, a G&T in hand. We were ready. 3! …2! …1! Myrthe and I look to the sky, ready for action. One, singular, lonely firework bursts into five pathetic pink sparkles. Another fires into the sky. Three green sparkles this time, and only one of them lasts longer than half a second. A third barely climbs more than twenty metres before dissolving into nothingness. Silence. Myrthe, Michaela and I look at each other, look around. Nobody is making out, hugging each other, yelling Happy New Year in slurred voices. Not one person is kicking off drunkenly in the background. The crowd smile politely at the “fireworks” then turn to pack their things up and head home. We gape. Then shrug, and shuffle home with the rest of the Kiwis, sober and moping. Oh well. Well past bedtime anyway.
- We discovered the most beautiful country on earth. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.
Lots of love,
231daysofsun, aka Myrthe & Eva