Ride to Auckland, Wendy’s for Dinner, Got Fourth at the Poker Tournament, Toga Party, Crazy Hectic Night at Globe Bar – Auckland, New Zealand (Day 36) (September 21, 2009)

Today began like many of the days before it: waking up in a room full of strangers, packing a bag, and waiting for the bus to go to a new place. Today we were heading to Auckland and Auckland meant it was time to find a job, a place to stay, and start settling in. The bus stop was a little bit of a hike from the hostel, so I got up early, got to the stop, sat down, and waited. I saw our driver from the beginning of the trip, Lauren, and said hi. It was good to see a familiar face. Eventually the bus arrived and we were on our way. I think we played some card games on the bus, but we might have just rested.

We hit some traffic coming into Auckland, but eventually we made it to Base. Base Auckland is the kind of hostel that grinds people into the ground and leaves them wondering where they are and how they got there. With 8 stories and 100′s of beds, Base Auckland is a beast of a hostel. It is filled with dysfunction and despair interspersed with intense revelry. If possible, avoid it. If not, stay only as long as necessary. There are a good amount of long timers there and you can see the struggle in their eyes.  We unpacked our bags and I headed out to grab a meal at Wendy’s. Australia doesn’t have Wendy’s and the only one I saw in New Zealand was in Auckland, so I decided to get some familiar food and walk around the city.

Eventually, I returned to take part in a poker tournament. Base has a poker tournament almost every night. There is a $100 bar tab on the line and the tourney helps get people in the bar and get the bar warmed up for the evenings. I ended up placing fourth and then headed up to the room. Up in the room, I was greeted by some roommates pre-partying. Tonight was a Toga Party night and there were free drinks for everyone wearing a Toga. Why not?

Auckland is a hopping off point for many people to head to another country or head back home. That makes an arrival in Auckland a special night for many. A last chance to get it all out before confronting a new challenge, a new place, or a life that was left behind. This was the case for a few on our bus and we did it big. The night started with wine in the room, then cocktails in the bar, then free drinks at the bar, then Jager Bombs, then more cocktails and absolute mayhem. Eventually we closed the bar down and headed out with a few locals to a bar on Vulcan lane. I think we made it home at around 5. Below are some pics from that night.

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What kind of establishment has a claw game that involves live lobsters?

Guy and Kate

Free Drink

Sloppy with evil eyes

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Man on a stripper pole. Do not like.

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At least Guy has pizzazz.

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Guy bought us a round of Jager Bombs

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so goofy

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closing the tab

perfectly normal

the bar had normal people in it too

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vdg is trouble

trying to steal a lobster

vdg being vdg

This was the end of my New Zealand tour. The rest of my time in New Zealand would be spent getting myself together, looking for a job, finding permanent accommodation, and trying to settle in New Zealand.

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