Summer is here, Summer is here! The first nice day of the season was so memorable, the town has been talking about Tuesday all week, as though it will now be a day to remember for all of time…to be fair, it was a magnificent day! It is a slight relief that the sun has finally come to play, and the blue skies are less clouded than when I first arrived – I was starting to worry that I really hard dragged the shitty Fall weather down to the underside of the World with me! I have yet to develop a good base tan (cue collective laugh, as that has never happened), so the greater Queenstown area has been spared the blinding shine of my still very pale self – I’m keeping myself wrapped up like a present under the tree.
|“The Tuesday” everyone’s talking about, as seen from my balcony.|
In a totally unrelated segue, I feel like I’m really settling in, as I have now earned my first free coffee from a local shop (buy five, get the sixth one free!) – of course I measure my success of “localizing” myself by how familiar I am with local baristas. I think building rapport with the people who serve your coffee and drive your bus route are the two most pragmatic and effective alliances one can build in a new place. A good cuppa and someone who knows why you’re chasing their bus will make sure your days run a little more smoothly, even when they’re not.
As mentioned previously, this town really is full of good-natured and nice people. The level of friendliness makes it incredibly easy to make friends if you’re willing to put yourself out there – a very high ROI for someone as sociable as I am. I attended a Birthday BBQ on Friday, only really knowing the person hosting, and left with a whole new social group. It is a great feeling to find a group of like-minded people with like-interests, who are also welcoming of new people; it was a hilarious evening and I’m certain there will be more shenanigans like that in the future. Keeping with the out-going nature of this adventure, I decided to go out on Saturday night as well. The first stop of the evening was to one of the local bars I prefer, a small spot called Atlas. It was here that myself and a bunch of individuals met, formed a small [loud] party, and made a night out of it. We closed out two different bars; We danced, we people-watched, we laughed – it couldn’t have been better scripted. The details aren’t so important, so much as the overall impression of the evening being one of renewed interest in getting out into the night life and learning to enjoy “going out” again!
After finally arrive home after 4am to a quiet house (flatmates were out of the weekend), I got to star-gaze off my balcony, mull over the night’s moments, and take a few minutes to remind myself that this trip is all about grabbing a hold of the spur-of-the-moment impulses and running with it. In one day I managed to: have the less-than-ideal experience of walking several miles to pick up a package that wouldn’t be redelivered; an afternoon of dusty bike park laps; my own personal pub crawl with people I met that evening. For me, this Second Summer, it’s all about writing a new story line, and making the most of an amazing opportunity. I’m in a large community of similar-aged and like-minded people doing the same thing, and it is without a doubt fostering an environment which allows for endless adventure potential!