Rachel: “should we get tuna… wow look at all the different flavors”
James: “buy them all!”
James: “I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to eat cold spaghetti-o’s out of the can every night”
Rachel: “why do you keep doubting my commitment to living like a homeless person?”
“Let’s get a station wagon so we can sleep in it”
These were all quotes from our first days in New Zealand. We didn’t realize the consequences that would result from the decisions we were making that day. They have lead to fun quotes such as:
“you should just write about how we are never prepared for anything… nothing… not one thing. Or you could write about all that awful tuna we bought.”
“Ahhh, I slept in the same clothes I went hiking and swimming in”
Rachel: “what are you going to wear tonight?”
James: “the same clothes I have been wearing for the past few days”
“We are awful at this”
– Rachel and James (many times)
“Why are we so bad at this?”
– Rachel and James (many times)
“It is better to eat the spaghetti-o’s in the dark, because at least then you don’t have to see what you’re eating”
“I promise… we are going to survive”
Living as a hobo is less glamorous than originally anticipated. Actually, I didn’t anticipate living as a hobo at all, so my current situation is actually far far less glamorous than originally anticipated. I’m not constantly living as a hobo, it is just that when I do go hobo, I hit it pretty hard. It is now day 13 in New Zealand I have lost my shaving cream and along with it I have lost most of the respect I once had for up keeping my general living condition.
New Zealand exists in two absolute forms of Heaven and Hell. My life in New Zealand jumps me back and forth between these biblical worlds and it seems that St. Peter simply decides where I am by changing the weather. When it is sunny here, New Zealand is hands down the most incredible, beautiful, and awe inspiring place I have ever visited. No mater where you are here if it is sunny you can look in any direction and be amazed. Most things literally don’t even look real. I feel like I’m on Pandora. Sadly, this is all boring to write about.
Luckily for my blog, however, much of my time here has been spent in misery. It doesn’t much matter that I’m traveling through some of the most pristine countryside in the world when Rachel and I are shivering in the back of our station wagon trying to settle down for bed (bed is the back of the station wagon) while eating cold spaghetti-o’s out of the can, and furiously scratching mosquito bites (the bites were mostly suffered by Rachel… luckily).
Not every night is this bleak. One night we managed to spend a few hours sitting on the floor of an empty room that contained a sink and a hot plate. We managed to create what Rachel named “deluxe hobo chili” (this was an upgrade over the “hobo chili” we made a few nights earlier). After sleeping in the car that night guess what we had for breakfast in the morning. Leftover deluxe hobo chili. That day we visited the Frans Josef Glacier. It was raining, and neither of us wanted to go. We arrived at the “glacier” to find a massive dirty pile of snow.
Valentines day was spent in a beautiful setting. By “beautiful setting” I of course mean to say, “mosquito infested hell hole.” We hiked across a tidal basin in low tide to come onto a camp site where naturally, we had made no reservations. After setting up camp we met the understandably angry park ranger, but luckily for us there was nothing he could really do. The tide was coming in and the only exit from the site was flooded. We thought we were so clever, and giggled at the thought of our cleverness, but then night fell, and the tidal basin begins to act as the perfect mosquito haven. I’m comforted by the fact that Rachel likely had the most memorable Valentines day of her life. We had ants on a log for dinner, and then she got to watch me sleep peacefully as she furiously scratched her bug bites all night long (the mosquitoes went nuts for Rachel, but they hardly bothered me).
The technical New Zealand term for the way Rachel and I are living right now is “tramping.” Mom, don’t worry, it is far less “sex-worker” related than it sounds. But it isn’t much more glamorous.
We have, however, fought back. Signs such as “Don’t disturb the seals” have been blatantly ignored. I’m proud to say that I have now in my life scared several seals off of their protected, native nesting grounds. Other rules such as “no shouting in the casino” have also been neglected. Sorry, but I listen to Wesley Snipes for all of my gambling advice so I “always bet on black” and when my $5 bet on black is a winner I can’t contain myself. Our dealer calmly repeated “no shouting please” as I rang out with cries of “Woooooooo… that’s what you call a Woo bet because every time it wins it makes you shout Wooooooooooooo.”