Saturday, April 26, 2014

Down Under Trip

I went back to New Zealand in February for a visit. It was my first time back after living in Europe for eight years. I never thought I would be away for so long, it just kind of happened. I was quite apprehensive about going back, wondering how it would be, but it was wonderful! Well, not the actual travel getting there (30+ hours and four flights...) - that seemed never ending.  But it was so nice to hang out with my friends, to see my family and meet all the new additions - my cousins are rather prolific :) I wish I had gone for longer, the time there just flew.

Fun times with Hayley

My New Zealand passport expired a few years ago and I had no reason before to replace it. For this trip I looked into getting one but then I ran out of time so I travelled with my British one. I had to get visas to enter both New Zealand and Australia! In NZ I got a visa on arrival at the airport. I had my expired NZ passport with me but the immigration officer still said I couldn't work in NZ and would have to leave within six months!

Absolutely ridiculous! I am still a citizen, even without the passport.

My grandmother came up to the airport as a surprise! She even brought the teddy bear I knit for her years ago. Note, if you have the option to sew rather than knit - go with sewing! That bear took me FOREVER.
My dad's jungle vegetable garden. He has every kind of vegetable you could think of in there.

It was strange to see what has changed and what has not. At my dad's place time has stood still. My old bedroom is just like I left it - on my dresser I found receipts from things I bought when I was 18. My old KFC uniform (complete with cap and name badge) was still in my dresser. In the garage is my car, my love, my 1976 Honda Civic "the beast". I thought it had been sold so I really could not believe my eyes! That was a huge surprise.

The Beast
One of the best things about NZ - driving! It was SO GOOD to drive again. I went in to renew my drivers licence and the lady was like "it expired three years ago....". I haven't needed one in Europe. Really easy to get a new licence though. It was so nice to be back on the highway, the radio up loud.

The clothes I made as a teenager are still in my old wardrobe. My style was a bit more extravagant back then. I didn't mind standing out, so I had a lot of shiny, sparkly, sequinned things. I didn't get the best pics but I'll show you a few of the highlights.

Black PVC pants. I made these when I was 15. I was wearing them when I had my first kiss. And wore them until I couldn't fit them anymore (when I was around 18). I could just squeeze into them for the photo but the 15 year old fabric flaked everywhere, black pieces of plastic ended up all over the carpet for this pic. So, sadly, into the bin they went.

Most of my skirts had crazy high side splits like this. 
I made this from a vintage pattern when I was about 16.  It's a wee bit small now.
I loved bell bottoms. I found a few other pairs I made but couldn't fit into them. I used to wear these pants ALL the time. And sequin love. I even made purple sequin curtains for my bedroom at one point....

In my old bedroom I found a beautiful old Singer I bought years ago when I was a student in Dunedin. I saw this machine in a second hand shop.  Love at first sight. I just HAD to buy her. She was made in 1951. She's very heavy but I managed to carry her home on foot where I discovered the plug doesn't work and the foot pedal is missing. But she's just so gorgeous so when I road tripped up North when uni finished for the year I took  her with me. She had just been sitting at my dad's ever since so now I gave her to my mum and she was very happy. A crazy thing I discovered at my mum's place - she has an old Singer which is almost identical looking to the one I have here in Budapest - the same Tiffany decal pattern too. Her table is much more beautiful than my one though.

With my mum and nana.

Summer, sunshine, outdoorsy stuff. I climbed up the Mount for the first time ever. It's a landmark in the Bay of Plenty. Everyone has climbed up it or walked around it. Somehow I had done neither before. I won't lie. It was hard. Walking uphill is not my thing. But it was so nice to reach the top. Then later that day I went swimming with my friends at Plummer's Point which is around the bay (you can see the Mount looking tiny in the background of the video below).

Top of the Mount!

I also stopped in Australia for a few days and met up with both of my brothers. It's so crazy to see the youngest one all grown up. He was 13 the last time I had seen him... and now he's an adult! We could legally drink together!

Oliver (25) got IDed. Morgan (21) did not :)
Talking about getting IDed. I went into the supermarket in NZ with Hayley. We are both almost 30. The drinking age is 18. She was buying a bottle of wine. I wasn't buying anything. We BOTH got asked for ID. I got so mad. Why should I have to show ID in a SUPERMARKET if I am not buying anything?? I refused to show it, the supervisor had to come over, and in the end Hayley could buy her wine. Apparently it's some stupid new "party" law where everyone in the group needs to show ID. How does this stop underage drinking at all? All it seems to do is make it more difficult for adults to buy alcohol for themselves. When we were underage we didn't go into the shop with the random person we asked to buy our alcohol....

When I travel I quite often randomly run into people I know. This time was no different. I ran into my friend Chris not once but twice even though I was only in Melbourne less than a week and more than 4 million people live there! I was at the Sydney Road Street Festival with my brothers when we saw Chris. Oliver visited me in Budapest five years ago and stayed in the hostel when Chris was working there!

Oliver's lovely girlfriend Em, my brothers Morgs and Oliver, Chris and Chris' girlfriend.
I hope that not so much time passes again before I visit again.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, it is the first time I come and visit your blog. What a nice blog ! And what a nice part of it to read, very emotional to me. I live 10 000 km from my Dad, brothers and sisters, I don't see them often so I totally understand ! You have a beautiful family, I hope you'll see them again very soon. Blessings from Reunion Island.


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