Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hey, Auckland, What Up?

A week from today I’ll be in Auckland, kicking off a two and a half month trip around New Zealand. For the next few days I’m in Chicago and San Francisco (fingers crossed I get to go to the Folsom Street Fair!), gearing up. I’m pretty excited. And a little nervous. “Just show up with a backpack and a work visa and see what happens” sounded like a much more romantic idea when I was booking the plane ticket months ago. Now that my departure date is nigh, some practical concerns are starting to crop up, like, “Where will I sleep?” and “Oops, I already spilled stuff on one of only two pairs of pants I have with me.” (I spent twenty minutes locked in a bathroom stall at Union Station this morning trying to clean my jeans with facial wipes. This does not bode well.)

I also did something scary. I left my laptop at home. Shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But I spend pretty much every day with that computer. Mostly writing, but sometimes caressing it and talking to it gently. Sometimes watching the most emotional X Factor auditions on youtube. Some nights it sleeps in bed next to me, and I fancy I can hear it whisper “goodnight” as we drift off to sleep.

In short, I think we need a break from each other.

I don’t want to spend my whole trip looking at a screen. The part of me that’s used to living that way does, but I think when I actually give not doing it a try, I’ll like it. After all, I used to do other things besides text, type, and stream television. I just can't remember exactly what.

I wrote by hand in a notebook today, and it was weird, but it reminded me that there was actually a time before I had a laptop. Also it made my hand hurt.

I can do this. I sort of believe in myself a little.

I’m posting this now from a friend’s computer. And then I’m gonna go see if his building has a laundry facility for my jeans. And I’m not going to think about my laptop, because I AM FINE WITHOUT YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME? I AM MY OWN PERSON. I DON’T EVEN PARTICULARLY LIKE THE WAY YOUR SEARCH FUNCTIONS ARE SET UP.

Also, um, I'm kind of cheating, because the lovely Lori Toland lent me an iPhone to use on the trip, despite my thorough and repeated warnings that the odds are very much in favor of me 1) not being able to figure out how it works and 2) dropping it. So when I get fierce urges to see if anything has happened on the Internet without me, I'll probably just whip that out.

Baby steps.


  1. Have fun in NZ! It's okay, they sell pants there too.

    1. Yeah, but they'll probably be measured in sizes I don't understand. Your numbers are all wrong down in that hemisphere. I'm already distraught enough about celsius.

  2. Being a New Zealander (and an Aucklander *grin*) I hope you have a wonderful time in NZ!

    1. And the Celsius thing is totally easier. (I never get Fahrenheit...or any imperial measure for that matter :) Water freezes at 0, boils at 100. Temperatures of 20-30 degrees are lovely - we're just inching towards highs of 20 degrees ATM.

      And, yes, our sizes aren't like your sizes. I'd say you get to try lots of things on and grin inanely, but I hate trying things on so am unsure whether that will be a comfort :)

    2. See, you said 20 degrees and I panicked and imagined freezing to death! But yes, I suspect that some of my resistance to Celsius is that I know it's easier but don't want to admit it. I just always have trouble figuring out at what temperature to bake things.

      I'm so excited to see your city! If you have any recommendations for things to do in Auckland, fire away. I'm not even taking a guide book--mostly because I'm that disorganized that I don't have one, but also because I like finding out from other people what's fun to do in a new place :)