Sunday, July 03, 2005

Auckland, where the Orcs come from
(The recycling of crap jokes continues.)

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Customs St, Auckland, Friday July 1st, 2005. Yes, heres another photo essay. Heres Claire, not doing any work. Fun.
I got up on Friday at 5am, took my bro-in-law to work, and got my bad self to the airport in time to get a 7.40 am flight to Auckland that was full of business men in their posh suits, and a young woman I felt really sorry for. She was crying for most of the way, I think she was off somewhere and leaving her family behind. Poor wee lass. I fell asleep on the plane, and the steward woke me up to say we were landing, and I had been snoozing with my mouth wide open. Charming. So all those nice business men and crying girl got to check out my fillings and tongue piercing.
Lucky them.
So I got there and it was sunny and raining, and got on the bus with a very loud young man who was also on his way to the consulate for an interview. Once we had found the building (thanks to the nice bus driver who dispelled all myths about Auckland bus drivers by being not a bastard) Mr Shouty took off to get some food at McSatan, while I got a cuppa and a muffin and then took a wee walk. Where I saw the above cool buildings.
And these motorcycles, reading posters all in a row.

I'm the perfect tourist, I'll take a photo of anything.
I went to the Consulate, and stepping out of the lift on the third floor, I was confronted by about 10 people all squeezed into a small hallway, queuing up to get let in. We had to all wait in line, and leave our bags at the security desk, and go through a metal detector, which I ALWAYS set off. I wear a silver bracelet on my left wrist that doesn't really come off, and have done for years. I'm used to it, and I told the guy that it would be my bracelet that set the thing off, but I forgot my metal hair clip that I was using in my attempt to look A Little Respectable (tm). Anyway, they finally let me in, without a cavity search (any day without a cavity search is a good day, as far as I'm concerned) and I had to queue up again and talk to one man who was sitting behind a glass screen, I felt like I was visiting him in prison. So I talked to him, and gave him some of the bits of paper I had filled in, and as it turns out I had filled in one I wasn't supposed to. Form Dfs25975Ge89 (yeah ok, I made that up, but its close enough) was supposed to be filled in by all male applicants. While I may be the height of the average male, I am certainly very much a woman (emphasis on the WOAH!!!) so I looked a bit silly there. What a surprise.
So after I talked to him, I had to sit down and wait to talk to another man who was sitting behind a glass screen, and he looked at all my paperwork, and started asking me why I was going to Syracuse and what my course was all about and stuff, so I answered him, and said that I had some more documentation if he wanted to look at it, to which he replied "Oh no, don't worry about it, I just like learning about what people are doing its so interesting". So, he took my passport and assorted paperwork, and said that I would get it back on Tuesday.
However, I think my passport left Auckland before I did, because it was on the doorstep by 10am on Saturday. Complete with visa.
There is, however, a large envelope attached to it that says in big black letters "To be opened by immigration official at port of entry". My mum suggested that it may say "nah, just kidding, please send her back to New Zealand". To which I may or may not have responded "Yeah, fuck you very much".
So once I was finished with the Spanish Inquisition (which I did expect, actually) I went outside again, and this time it was cold and raining. I went to find my sister who was cutting things out of fishies' brains, and by the time I found her it was warm and sunny (about 20 minutes later).
We found my friend Katy and went to Rakinos for a wee nibble, and I had a yummy red fizzy orange juice thing.
Rakinos has the coolest windows ever.
Here they are.

Then Emma and I walked back to the lab where she cut up some more fish brains and I wrote some lectures. By this stage it had got cold and rainy again, and was getting back to warm and raining. Then it was warm and sunny and not raining, and then I went to get on a bus to the airport and it was cold and raining and grey again.
Once I was on the bus it got warm and sunny again, but only for about ten minutes before it went cold and grey again. I wandered round the airport for a while listening to my new favourite cd (Garden State soundtrack, buy it now or you're for The Bash) and then got on this plane
and went home and was very tired after my Big Day in the Big Smoke and had a glass of wine and watched a movie with my other sister and went to bed and had a big sleep and all was well the end.