Last weekend I went the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington is known for its extreme winds and higher paying job market. Many political elites and businessmen bustle through the downtown area. The downtown area reminded me of a larger city in America. Everyone had places to go and people to see. During working hours people would practically run you over if you stopped on the sidewalk and give you the “how dare you disrupt the flow of traffic” look. Yup, sounds like America. The feel of the city was refreshing in a way, since I love the city life.
I was in Wellington to visit Parliament. While most students my age thinks this sounds really boring, I was quite excited. I was acting like a little kid that was getting to go see the newest exhibition at the Henry Doorly Zoo. I ran up the drive of Parliament, ooo-ing and awing. I think my friends were even laughing at my bizarre excitement. But I can’t help my interest in government and politics. Plus the government buildings were really pretty. I’m a sucker for old architecture.
I sat in on the government official’s voting session, which would be similar to America’s Senate voting on a bill. It was quite a lot like Nebraska’s Senate actually; except NZ representatives shout out their votes instead of entering them electronically. The leader asks the representatives who is in favour, and all who are say I (in their awesome accents). If reps disagree they shout no. It was pretty entertaining. I also took a tour and learned a lot about NZ government.
After going to Parliament, I found a Borders bookstore and just about had a heart attack.
I have been looking for the Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama since the day I arrived in NZ, but all of the local bookstores don’t have it. When I ask the local stores if they sell it, they laugh at me and I’m sure they say “stupid American” after I walk out of the store. But I did find the book in Borders and this enhanced my already gleaming political spirit.
Oh, and I found an Italian restaurant in Wellington. This was huge because NZ doesn’t know anything about a good Italian pasta dish — they don’t even have alfredo sauce (NZ pizza sucks too.) My Kiwi friend, Hayley, took one bite of the pasta dish she ordered and said, “I now understand why you are always talking about how much you miss Italian food. This is amazing.”
On Sunday evening I ate dinner with a Kiwi family. They are originally from Troy, NY but moved to NZ last year for the husband’s work. They have two sons about the same age as my brother Tanner and sister Taya. The boys were quite entertaining. The family lives up in the hills overlooking the city. Their house was gorgeous and had huge bay windows surrounding the house. Rachel, the mom, made two of my favorite appetizers, bruschetta and artichoke dip and we had shrimp and chicken kebabs for dinner. It was fabulous and so nice to take a break from my typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich traveling meal. Rachel seems to love NZ but is a bit homesick. We chatted with her about what we miss about the states that we never realized we would miss. Like grape jelly, pizza and alfredo sauce. Rachel had Dr. Pepper and A&W rootbeer soda, which doesn’t exist in NZ. We all started to laugh because she was really excited to have American soda for us. Rachel was a blast and I am so glad I met her.
Everything else is still going well in NZ. Final exams start in June. Most of my final exams weigh 50 percent or more of my final grade and last three hours... so I am a wee nervous.