Like the title of the new Noah and the Whale single states: life goes on. I’ve been here some weeks, and while there is always plenty to surprise me (Wellington has a zoo [I found it when I got lost running last week]), and much to see (planning my semester break trip to the south island next month), the fact remains that life goes on.
Essays need written and books need read. The flat needs cleaned. The cupboards need stocked. The laundry needs done. The usual stuff still exists. This realization has been expected, and it has been gradual, but now that these very ordinary tasks are present, it is a reminder that these seemingly menial activities are what make life go. I would rather write incredibly exciting accounts of adventure and mysteries unfurling all around me, but to be honest, that is not the reality. It has taken being in this place for more than the length of a typical, or even extended, vacation to realize that life has parts that are necessary, if uneventful.
Having said that, I am still having a changing, forming, new, wonderfully fantastic time here. The intangibles are hitting me right now, the “You had to be there” moments, and I think that is where the gold is. Whew! Just some introspection.
One cool thing about Stafford is its proximity to Parliament. The hub of NZ’s government, the beehive (the building looks live a beehive), is just another site on my way to the supermarket, the rugby stadium, and the church I’ve been attending, Capital Vineyard. It is a block away and open for tours daily. A friend of mine always very awkwardly and obviously gawks at passersby near Parliament on the chance that they are important politico. She’s working on scaling down the obtuseness of her stares and audible identificatory inquiries. They offer free tours daily, with walk-ins welcome. Our tour featured thirteen people from seven countries: Philippines, Germany, France, Denmark, Canada, NZ and USA. “It’s a small world, for the win, please.” How cool. While I might not always remember that the Prime Minister’s office is on the 9th floor, or that the designated duration of the bell toll signaling the opening of debate was decided by the length of time it took for the oldest member of Parliament to walk from the farthest office to the farthest seat in the chamber, I will remember sticking around in the Legislative Chamber as the tour was ending and firing off a few quick cartwheels with the Filipino man next to me. Come on, anyone can say they’ve toured the beehive, but why not do something worth remembering?
Ohio State has made it to Wellington: I watched the Buckeyes smash UTSA in their first tournament game. A kiwi initiated OH-IO when I said I was from Ohio. I met a man wearing a Buckeyes ballcap on the street who was visiting Wellington for six weeks on vacation from sunny Columbus, OH. Ohio, hiyo!
For those wondering about the cave tunnel from my previous post, I ventured in. I took a torch (a flashlight [some might know it as foxfire]) and a buddy, and in we went. The ceiling was low, maybe four feet high, the perfect height for noggin smashin’. The air was cool, the ground was wet. Light quickly disappeared as the opening shrank down to the size of a penny behind us. The tunnel did not pop out on the other side of the hill or turn and plunge into the depths, and there were, fortunately, no creatures of the deep lurking in wait. After two hundred feet or so, we reached a sudden, rocky wall coated in water droplets that shimmered like golden bits as the light from torch bounced off of them. Our breath was visible as our warm exhales hit the cool cave air. Who knows what created the cave or what had gone before us into that place. We may never know, but probably it was a proud old dwarf seeking to reclaim his youth when his loving dwarf wife found out what his “bowling league” entailed and discovered his little excavating adventure. Or maybe…Best leave it at that. Happy day!