Yesterday was a bit of a low key day. That’s really your best option when you wake up around noon. The days of waking up automatically at 9:00AM are long gone. We must’ve left that internal initiative in New Zealand. Not the worst thing in the world, for sure, but when the wintertime sun starts fading at 5:00 PM that’s not a lot of daylight to explore. And it gets right cold at dark!
After our normal awakening routine (check e-mail, Facebook, etc. followed by a form of breakfast. I chose bacon) Indi kicked me outta the room so she could do her cardio and yoga. I’m so proud of her, by the way! She’s been doing yoga and cardio workouts regularly for the past two weeks or so. I don’t mind getting kicked to the living room for such a great purpose. Besides, it gave me ample time to try and beat Indi’s scores on my iPhone games. By the time it was all said and done, it was getting late in the afternoon. Our flatmates had mentioned a nearby café called ‘The Globe’ that was good for reading and relaxing, not to mention the fact it was a popular ex-pat hangout, so we decided to pack a few books and go chill for some hours.
When we arrived, though, our books never came out. We walked into the shop and were first greeted by a modest little bookshop tended by a stereotypical bespectacled woman. Past the counter was a small hallway leading to a small café with ample comfortable seating, a bar, and a loft. As we admired the little red room, something happened that hasn’t happened in a long time. “Rhys, Indi!” In shock that anyone would know who we were, we looked around and saw Rob and Adrienne, the two fine folks that hosted the Christmas Party we attended. Let me tell you, it was nearly overwhelmingly joyous to be recognized by someone. We gladly joined them at their table.
The next few hours were a flurry of conversation and beer. The Globe is more popular than we anticipated, and we were joined by several people over the course of our stay. Dan, one of the other partygoers from Christmas stopped by for a little while (even though he’d left just ten minutes prior to our arrival, he came back to learn more about our journey.) We were introduced to Elizabeth and Brett, the former being an English teacher here and the latter being a visiting boyfriend from the States. After much frivolity, some surprisingly accurate nachos, and absinth by some, we relocated to a restaurant on our street that we’d never been to.
This place was amazing. You walk in and the place doesn’t look like much, but you slowly snake your way through multiple dining rooms and begin to wonder if it ever ends. Most of the tables are long runners and have multiple parties seated. There are traveling accordion-and-tuba duos that provide live music and atmosphere, and waiters run about constantly with trays full of dark home-brew ale and shots of some other delicious alcohol. Once we got seated, we were brought said drinks and ordered our food. It quickly arrived and, being a meat-and-dumpling variation, quickly made my must-eat-again list.
This whole experience may sound a bit mundane to some. For us, it was a shocking piece of what normal life was like before we set out on our trip. Meeting up with friends, going out for a meal together, and good times. Good times, indeed.