Ralph Waldo Emerson

The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Hellooooo! Yes, I'm alive. I apologize to those of you who thought otherwise, but I did make it to Lake Tekapo in one piece...though barely. I hopped off the boss in the midst of a raging storm. The driver said, "You sure this is your stop? I can keep driving". Always a good sign.

Long story short, the waitressing job is awesome and I really enjoy running around and chatting with the customers. I get to tend the bar and am learning to make coffee, too, so finally am getting that "experience" thing every place in big cities seems to require.
My coworker is a really fun Australian girl who's travelling with her boyfriend. They've been wandering the world and working as they go for about 2 years now. She's helped me out a ton so far--from warning me about the scuzzy men of the town to lending me dvds to making light of the craziness of our boss. Ah, yes, the boss, she's a bit of loose cannon. She's only 26 and has been running this restaurant for 5 years, so I think the burden of obligation is just a bit rough sometimes...or at least that's what I'm telling myself. The most entertaining of her antics, however, comes when attractive guys come in the bar. Suddenly the hardened overseer is a giggly girl who bristles if any other female comes within 10 feet of her prey. It's like a real life nature program.

I've also taken on a job in the mornings, yup, I'm a regular blue-collar working girl. I'm a room attendant at The Godley Hotel, which means I'm the one calling out "Housekeeping!" as I shuffle down the hall with my cleaning accoutrements. Unfortunately no one's ever in their rooms so I can't say "You want me fluff your pillow" but one day...one day... Not that these pillows would benefit much from a fluffing. The place was built in the 60s and most of the rooms have not been altered one bit since. It's kind of entertaining to observe where people over the decades have walked on the orange shag carpet. Under the furniture there's still a good inch of shag, while the trail from the door to the bathroom is just a few bare threads grasping at one another. My supervisor, Jeneatte, is one of my favorite people. As I'm scrubbing out the toilet bowl she'll sweep in, discuss our star signs, talk about her ex-husband a bit, mention the awesomeness of the resort she worked on in Australia, take "only a half puff" of her cigarette, notice that I haven't restocked the soap and yell I'm trying to kill her, then waltz out to find Paul the handyman and bother him a bit. We're buds.

As far as living goes, I started out living in my boss' roommate's home office. It was a bit awkward, made even more so by the fact that he began referring to me as his office girl...great. Now, though, I found a fabulous place to stay. It's a big yellow house with three cats, a trampoline and an awesome little woman named Ness. Our third roommate returned from a trip to Australia two days ago, but she has yet to speak to me, so not sure what to make of her. It's a happy, warm little house with hiking trails right out the back door. The views here are absolutely stunning and so whenever I get off work and the sun is shining, I just set out to explore. But, honestly, the selling point of this place was the trampoline. How cool is that. One of the cooks at Pepes (nicknamed Crimi because he's an ex-criminal)is good friends with Ness and so we're both trying to talk her into buying a jacuzzi. He says, knowing her, she just might do it.

So, yeah, life in a small town is proving itself to be quite entertaining. It's nice to set down for a while and get to know people--when you're just passing through it can get a bit lonely. I'm also beginning to realize that this is a way of life that can go on for as long as you want it to...there will always be a job to make a bit of cash and always a country in need of exploration. So who knows, perhaps I'll come home in a year, but perhaps not. I'm just gonna play it by ear. If you want to come travelling with me for a bit, just let me know. It's quite a liberating experience...and how else would I have ever known the true insanity of Lake Tekapo? Much love to all.


Damon said...

Ahhh! I can't get over these lake/mountain pictures, or the fact that you have hiking out your back door. I have concrete and a dumpster out my back door.

That little bar too -- so cozy from the looks of it... do the mountains of NZ feature rugged folks with beards and flannel and flocks of sheep (itching to pick a fight) like I imagine?

- Damon

Carol said...

I think sheep tend to be gentle creatures by nature. Perhaps they have crazed, vicious ones in New Zealand due to evolutionary isolation or something. Hummmm... I will look differently on the postcards I have started covering my refrigerator with. I imagined herds of gentle sheep grazing bucolic pastures with wide sweeping views of faraway lakes and mountains. Be cautious hiking Kari.

Kari said...

Though I have encountered flocks of sheep all over the place, they have yet to prove themselves hostile...unless you count peeing and running as aggressive. Then yeah, they're a menace.

Carol said...

I am relieved as are they. Tubs