Foreign Relations

Hello travelers. Is my title not clever? Eh? (It’s okay, it really isn’t.)

So I’m late again, I know, but after a trip up to Hamilton where I spent way more on one paperback book than I’ve spent in years I made a mad dash down to Matamata for a cuppa then spent the evening hanging out with some mates. I spent the night since I’d promised to rise at 5am to watch the All Blacks play in the World Cup. Otherwise I would’ve been watching it alone at home, and what fun is that?

Anyway, last time I promised to tell you about my date the other night, and I will, but only the bullet points since really it’s none of your damn business.

Funnily enough, the guy I went out with was the one who slipped in a took the room out from under me. Which I can’t begrudge him anymore since I’ve found a nice place to stay. He picked me up after work and we drove up to Hamilton where we first went on a nice walk around Lake Rotoroa. We enjoyed a rich orange sunset before heading to a brewery called Good George. We chatted over a couple beers before going off to find some food and finished the night by walking around Te Koutu Lake.

In the thick of my pre-move anxiety, there were many times I found myself almost imagining people in NZ as this alien species. I was excessively dehumanizing. I knew things were going to be different and as if to prepare myself for the worst I expected them to be extremely different. When really, they are still quite similar.

This fact is in no way surprising to me. There will be assholes everywhere you go, there will be incredibly nice people, indifferent people, religious people, people unhappy with their lives and highly motivated people. So far the biggest difference is what side of the road and car you drive on and the latitude and longitude.

Going out Friday night and having spent a couple evenings with my could’ve-been flatmates have been good reminders that people are just people. I still feel like an outsider. I don’t know things about the town, I’m not in on all the so called ‘inside jokes’ of the community. There are subtleties of life, shared views that it will take time to recognize and learn.

Now I’ve got to go and hopefully find a car. Otherwise getting to work is going to be difficult.

~Ren

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