Returning to Wellington (22nd - 28th October 2007)

Monday, 22nd October 2007: Today's the day I'm leaving Chicago after spending 6 weeks in the States. My travels here have been wonderful and I'll miss the friends I've made along the way - everyone please keep in touch!

Maria, Dilsia and I had lunch and coffee for one more time (I'm not saying 'one last time' because I don't want it to be the last!) before I took off to NZ - I'm still here but miss you girls already!! I know, I know - the 3 Musketeers will be losing 1 Musketeer soon. We can't do coffee together in person but we can always do it via Skype...hehe...and I'll come visit again and you can come visit me too :) Photos taken at lunch in Medici and the girls showing off their bikes (Dilsia's looks tiny next to Maria's):

Went back to Antonio’s apartment after lunch to finish up my packing. My backpack looked as if it would explode anytime - I suspect that it's over 20kgs (how come, since I didn't buy anything during my travels here???). It's going to be a long way back, some 22 hours. It's Monday now and I'll only arrive on Wednesday in NZ!

Urgh, the weather is getting cold and wet. What a coincidence that it's bad weather everytime I had to fly to or from an airport in the States...

At 3pm, Antonio drove me to O'Hare International airport. It was sad to say goodbye - hey, we'll see each other again when you come to Wellington in December so it's just a temporary goodbye :) And thanks for housing me, showing me around, introducing me to new friends etc. – thanks for everything!

Guess how heavy my backpack was? 33 KILOS!!!! What on earth did I pack inside?!

You wouldn't believe this but my flight got delayed till 7.10pm and I didn't leave Chicago till 8pm (was supposed to have left at 6)!!!! I'm so afraid I'll miss my connecting flight. I really don't want to stay in LA for the night...

Somewhere in between time zones: I arrived in LA 15 minutes before my connecting flight took off and I could hear some lady paging me on the PA system to get to the boarding gate!!!! Run, Angel, run!!

Ok, I managed to board my plane and thank god I didn’t have to stay over in LA. Now I can finally breathe normally…

Hey, my Qantas in-flight entertainment control doesn’t work! After the staff tried ‘resetting the system’ (whatever they did) like 5 times in 2 hours and it still didn’t work, they swapped me to another seat. The control works but the seat in front of me was stuck in a reclined position, making the space between my seat and the screen rather cramped. Oh well, better than facing a blank screen for the whole 14-hour flight to Sydney.

Wednesday, 24th October 2007: Arrived in Sydney International Airport at 6am. This is the 4th time I’ve been here in the last 4 months! It’s rather annoying that there isn’t free wireless internet via personal laptops here and I’ve to use the PC at a stand-up kiosk. My flight to Wellington isn’t till 9.15am so I’ve got a couple of hours to kill.

I’m feeling alright, not too jetlagged but just a bit tired and have dry eyes. And feelings of anxiety knowing that I’m getting nearer and nearer to Wellington where I need to get serious and start my life over (again). I can’t describe how I’m feeling – it’s as if I’m going home but home is not there? I don’t know…strange feeling of emptiness…

You must be wondering why I’m going back in Wellington when I had planned to travel till the end of the year before deciding my next place of stay. Well, as I’ve said previously, plans keep changing in my life. During my travels, I found that I still miss having a permanent place where I could return to, a place where I can call my home, where I can relax, be myself. Wellington keeps popping up to mind. Besides, after my stay in the States, I’m strapped for cash and need to find a job fast. Wellington seems to be the easiest place to resettle and find work. I’m not sure how I’ll feel emotionally when I actually arrive in Wellington – will I still feel like ‘running away’ when back? Perhaps once I make NZ home base, I won’t feel so.

Sonja came to pick me up at 4pm from Wellington Airport. It was so nice to see her again! I will be staying in her flat (one of her flatmates is away and her flatmates were ok with me staying in the room) at Mt Cook for the week. Thanks so much for housing me! I hope to be able to find a place of my own before the week ends, otherwise move into Base Backpackers again for awhile until I find a suitable place.

We returned home to drop off my bags and headed out for a walk down the waterfront, making the most of the sunny day. And no doubt I’ve arrived in Wellington because it was so windy! Chicago is the Windy City but I doubt it can beat our Windy Wellington. If only the weather was better in Wellington…we all love the city but just dislike the weather here!

We went to Cuba Kebab for dinner. It was the first time I had falafel kebab and it was nice though I couldn’t finish the whole thing (had to take the other half home). We headed to Chow on Tory Street for a couple of cocktails. It was 2 for 1 house cocktail night (occurs every Wednesday). Woo…my head was spinning after having 2 drinks…must be the jetlag kicking in. I stayed up till 10.30pm and slept like a log till the next morning.

I’ve been having the same weird dreams the past week. I find myself in scenarios (in my dreams) where I could see people wearing nightgowns walking aimlessly down a long corridor that had many closed doors on either side, wondering what’s behind the doors, or me and a few other people peering down the balcony or window of a very tall building, wondering what’s it like to fall. Hmm…

Thursday, 25th October 2007 – Sunday, 28th October 2007: The rest of my week was spent resettling in Wellington, a place both familiar yet unfamiliar to me. It was great to catch up with many of my friends who are here, making me feel very welcomed back. Though I may be starting life over, at least I’ve got friends here and not starting from zero.

I had an appointment with a recruitment agency on Thursday and I was surprised at my typing test result – 87 words per minute! I think on average, one needs to type at least 40 words per minute. Given that I should be jetlagged, I was expecting to do pretty badly in the test. By the way, if you didn’t know, it’s rather common to look for work at a recruitment agency these days. Employers are too busy to spend time recruiting people so are leaving the task to the agency and I have to be registered with the agency to be able to submit an interest for the advertised position.

Made a brief visit to SIM on Friday morning to say hi to my former work colleagues (always a pleasure to see them) and had a cuppa with Kim and Shannon on Friday morning. Hey, we still need to organise a lunch together with Ruth!

Met up with Sonja and Erik later that night for a romantic Italian comedy titled ‘Christmas In Love’ at Paramount. It was one of the movies screened in the 12th Italian Film Festival held in Wellington from October 17th – 31st. I headed to Latinos after for some salsa dancing and caught up with my salsa buddies. Grupo Salson (the band is lead by Wellington Cuban dance teacher, Rafael Ferrer Noel aka Rafa) was playing that night with Auckland Cuban dance teacher Vivio – the Cubans really know how to have fun :P So many familiar faces of friends from the Wellington salsa scene, lots of hugs and kisses, and the many warm welcomes received. Some of my girlfriends weren’t there – they had taken off to Fiji Islands, without me!

The apartment I had a look at on Friday evening was a 1-bedroom unit located on top end of Abel Smith Street. Quite a nice, quiet but not brand new unit with its own bathroom, kitchen and lounge, partially furnished and good enough for a couple to live in. Comes with a car park too. There were so many people scheduled to view the place (including my friend, Vik, and his partner) but guess who was the lucky one who got offered the place? ME! The landlord rang me Saturday morning and told me that I would be able to move in on Thursday if I wanted the place. Why not? It’s near town and I don’t have to look for a place any further - yay! Next is to concentrate on finding myself a job. I’ll have to get a bed and some other stuff for the apartment but those can wait a bit.

Bianca and Paula had a party at Southern Cross Bar and Restaurant on Saturday night – Bianca was celebrating her birthday; Paula was going away for 2 months. It was great to catch up with our friends, most of whom I’ve not seen since I left in July, some even longer than that.

Josiane had a BBQ at her place on Sunday afternoon and had a few close friends over. This is the first BBQ I’ve had since the end of summer in February-March – yum! Helbert’s grilling of rump steak the Brazilian way (no need to marinade the meat, just sprinkled with rock salt) is still the best..hehe…Jo’s got a lovely back garden that’s covered from the wind. Hope she won’t find us BBQ regulars annoying when we turn up every weekend this summer at her place :P

Ramnish came to pick me up to Southern Cross for the year’s final Dine and Dance. I didn’t get many dances that night and it just further confirms that we need more men who can dance. Women in Wellington are getting too aggressive – not surprising to see 2 women walk up to the same man asking for a dance. I miss the salsa scene in the States – there are always more men and once you hit the dance floor, it’s quite hard for you to get off! I didn’t stay very long. Sitting and watching from the sidelines suddenly made me feel alone and teary. Sigh…


  1. Hi Angel!!! Glad to hear that you have found a nice place to call home! Hope to find the chance to visit you in Wellington.... cheers!



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