Ralph Waldo Emerson

The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Auckland=Hells yes

In recent news:
1) I arrived.
2) I met up with my buddy, Carly Ann. Just for a little context, you'll see her pictured to the right.
3) I got a job...make that jobs. As in two.
4) I have an agent
5) I am learning...emphasis on learning...to love rugby
6) I have yet to figure out how to get a plain cup o' joe

Yup, nearly 48 hours after landing in Auckland it looks like I may actually survive.

First of all, the people here are incredibly, genuinely nice. Here I am in the largest city in the country, the economic capital of commerce, and it seems no one's in a big rush. They all have time to chat and joke and they don't even mug you. From the dude that sold me my Vodafone minutes to the coffee shop workers at the mall this morning, everyone seems to take a genuine interest in others' well being. It's weird.

As for me getting a job, I personally use that term very loosely. I know most people think of a job as an entity in which you "make money" and/or receive a "paycheck", but you see, most of my experience with working has involved free labor, scholarships or under the table cash benefits. In fact, thinking back on the jobs I've held, only one has officially led to government taxation. So this whole going out and finding a place that will actually pay me under governmental standards is a bit of a new concept for me.

So new, in fact, that my two "jobs" don't really involve a pay check.

But wait, they're still cool, so I had an appointment yesterday at 11am to meet with one of the co-directors of the DocsNZ international documentary film festival. The festival starts at the end of the month and I just lucked out by arriving in the midst of all the preparation and planning...in other words they needed a willing slave and I don't have a lot else going on, scratch that, nothing else going on, so it seemed a perfect fit.

So I walk into the office and right away the boss guy seemed cool. I come to find out that this office is an entertainment-one-stop-shop. All family run, he's an entertainment lawyer/documentary film dude/actor/producer/etc. whose sister (two doors down) is a talent agent and other sister does some kind of film development. It was all explained to me, but between jet lag and pure information overload, I just nodded my head a lot as I was pulled from one office to the next.

7 hours later I stumbled out of my interview with acting representation, an internship with the immensely well connected boss man (that hopefully will turn into a paying job very soon) and an afternoon spent crawling beneath computer monitors and editing equipment in an attempt to prove my technical abilities (which are, admittedly, wanting).

So fighting through jet lag I wandered into downtown Auckland, a typical big city downtown except for 1) it's kinda small and pretty friendly and 2) you can base jump from their tallest building, the Sky Tower.

Soon I had a resume submitted to "job" #2: working as a receptionist at a chill downtown hostel in exchange for accommodation, free laundry and internet. Seemed like a pretty sweet deal to me, plus as receptionist I'll get to meet everyone coming and going from the place and therefore scope out who'd be fun to hang out with. Yup, I'm that much of a nerd that I got a job partly so that I can make friends. I'd be ashamed if I weren't convinced that it's damn brilliant.

But that job won't start for a couple days, so I trundled the 45 minutes back to my current lodge that's definitely more oriented to an older crowd...you know...people in their 30s. Eek. This morning I woke up at jet-lag-o'clock and wandered into the common room to watch the tube. By 6:45 I was joined by Brandon and Roy, a tiler and a retiree who were up early to watch rugby. Yup, turns out I'm here just in time for the Rugby World Cup, but of course you already knew that, I'm sure.

I am pretty ignorant when it comes to sports. Okay, half the time I'm not sure which way the team should be running or if the ball was a home run or out of bounds or whatever, but lets face it; there's little better than experiencing a game with someone who really loves it. If their team kicks ass, it's great, if they get slaughtered, it's hilarious, but in that kind of internalized I-probably-shouldn't-say-anything-right-now kind of way.

And so with great anticipation and much fan fare, the game commenced...for 20+ minutes. Lots of slow-mos and fast action replays, countless flags waved from all different angles, and of course those money shots of burly, beautiful men destroying one another on the field. That poor man who does the lawn must live in his own personal hell...grow the lawn, trim the lawn, Miracle-grow the lawn, love the lawn, have a bunch of oversized dudes pummel and destroy the lawn...repeat.

So we're watching rugby and it's the match between Britain and South Africa. Before the game even starts I realize I really like rugby, but mostly due to the aesthetic nature of the players. But once it started, try as I might, I could not grasp what, if any, rules there are to this incredibly full-contact sport. Honestly, it seemed that it was a free for all: grab the ball and run until someone destroys you, then chuck it to the next poor soul who will inevitably also be pummeled...leading me to wonder why the hell you'd ever want to pick up the ball. But they do it, again and again, and once in a while the ref will tweet his little whistle and say some guy didn't pummel correctly. I mean really, who comes up with the rules for destroying another human being? But no matter how little I understood of this testosterone riddled game, it was a good deal of fun to watch Roy shout at the players as he sipped his chamomile tea. Good morning.

(New Zealand's rugby team: the All Blacks. A docile bunch)

Well, I've bombarded you with quite enough vignettes and updates for the time being, but all in all I've been having a good deal of fun here with the Kiwis. Hopefully I'll soon be able to make a break from the city for a bit of nature. With how much there is to see and do, I'm quite glad that I have a whole year to explore.


Wells said...

Leo and I are dying of laughter.

Mom said...

Great blog, Sparky! Save jumping off of tall buildings for last. No point tempting fate til you've done everything else on the list. Tubs