From there, we went to the university where we finally got our Canterbury Cards and our on-campus internet working...mostly. We now have email addresses (two!) for the school as well as access to various places on campus. Kara got all her scholarship stuff worked out, though the scholarship lady must be one of the most awkward people we've ever met. The smile never left her face even as she proclaimed her utter lack of knowledge regarding anything.
On the way home, we decided to get Pizza Hut. Yeah, judge us. We wanted something cheap and tasty. Pepperoni Lovers was the only option with pepperonis (extra toppings cost $3, which is the same price as the special pizzas. Dumb.). We'll probably stick with extra large cheese pizzas from now on, though, since everything else is quite expensive and large pizzas are somewhere between small- and medium-sized US pizzas. We're hoping extra larges are decent upgrades. The pizza was excellent but they didn't provide napkins and parmesan topping was considered a topping (peppers not an option). We got home and our host made some additional food from leftovers, which wasn't at all tasty (chicken bits in a vegetable stew) but supplemented the small-sized pizza dinner.
29 August: Friday involved us finally being able to have bank accounts, two shared checking and savings accounts. That means we can finally actually get monies! Before we took care of that, Kara went to Subway to pick up a sandwich. We then ventured to Pak 'N Save, the bulk grocery chain that has the lowest prices in town. We picked up quite a bit of food to last us a few days including some pre-packaged pasta, some Mexican food ingredients (they have everything we need to make our own refried beans. Mmmm.), and some other bits. Overall it was quite a bit of food for a decent price, though we certainly don't have much variety in our diet right now. It's too expensive to diversify and we don't really need to make meals currently since our host covers that more or less. I went to KFC for my (late) lunch and was happy to find that the chicken tastes just the same as in the US. The mashed potatoes are a bit more flavorless but the more disappointing thing is that it always comes with gravy, which I don't really enjoy, and that there is at least as much gravy as potatoes served in rather small portion containers.
From there we went to the university where Kara failed to meet her advisor. His office was open but nobody was at home! We did pass a bloke on the way out who we decided not to follow to see where he went. We got Metro passes and a few other items from the Student Association then ventured back home after picking up milk from the New World. Overall, Thursday was a pretty straightforward day, though not as successful as we had hoped.
|Niko at the Canterbury Quarantine Center.|
|The summer town of Sumner as viewed from atop Port Hills.|
Santa Cruz is 6,925mi (11,145km) northeast of here across the Pacific Ocean.
Back at the house, Kara and I tried some pre-packaged pasta we had purchased at Pak 'n Save the day before. It was decidedly not as good as Pasta Roni. Kara won't be having hers again while I will have it sparingly. I think we'll have more success making our own mac 'n cheese and other pastas. Too bad tomato-based products cost so much here. In the afternoon, we scurried over to check out an apartment to rent only to discover dozens of people already there. Not only was the place unimpressive, but it was expensive for its unimpressiveness. And people were praising it! That didn't give us much confidence in finding housing. Kara doesn't really want the place at this point while I'd take it but prefer something else. Housing is not looking good.
We went to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner where I got lemon chicken. It's basically orange chicken but yellower. I didn't mind; it tasted great. Everyone else got more traditional Chinese fair. Blah. That pretty much ended Saturday for us. I'm finally working on my book again and have set goals, so let's see how well I keep them. Cheers!
- All pre-pay cell phone plans charge 20¢ to check voicemail. This was not told to us in advance because it is so common knowledge here.
- Rental properties must include a washing machine and refrigerator and new tenants are required to sign a federally-backed rental agreement.
- Dinner is often called "Evening Tea", even if they don't serve tea at it.
- Dairy cows have their tails removed to make milking easier.