"What did I do, anyway?"
05.04.2011 - 13.05.2011
I need a job. That's one reason I'm in Nelson. I also need some sun. That's the other reason I'm in Nelson. "Welcome to Sunny Nelson," the bus driver says as we roll in to town through sheets of rain. Not the greatest joke I've heard but surely one I would make as well. Ah, but it won't last. It actually stays quite nice for my first few weeks, facilitating equal amounts of looking for work and sitting in the park along the river, pouring through books and chasing birds.
No luck on the job front, alas, but on the bright side I worked out a cleaning for accommodation deal at a cute little hostel called Shortbread Cottage. The owner sells shortbread to raise money for a foundation that builds schools in Nepal. He's there right now, in fact, so I've been working with two women who are caretaking until he gets back. Sasa and Tanja, a Slovene and a Finn respectively, are probably my favorite things about Nelson.
It's funny to think back on my five and a half weeks here. What did I do, anyway? Just kinda took it easy, really. Climbed a bit in the hills, up to the alleged geographical center of New Zealand (come on, you're telling me the center of the country just happens to be at the top of this big hill?), went to the beach at Tahunanui, had a delightful picnic on the beach at Rabbit Island, lived in a van, gatecrashed a rugby match, realized I didn't actually care about any rugby match and left, drinks at the Free House, experiments with living on six and a half dollars a day, new friends, old friends... Yeah, like I said, I just kinda took it easy.
I'll tell you this, though. It's not so easy working at a hostel. Sure, you're just making up beds and cleaning the kitchen, but here's the thing: your friends are always leaving. And now it's my turn.
Nelson from the top of Botanic Hill.
Shortbread Cottage, home and work for five weeks.
Ellis Street is lined with early 20th century cottages - so cute.
Rabbit Island at the southern tip of Tasman Bay.
Sunset over the rugby pitch across the street.