This morning we woke up and took care of all the necessities we had been putting off. We have been sharing one half travel sized bottle of body wash and a bit of tooth paste and were running quite low. This brings us to one major downfall of this country (at least in Auckland, we will report more as we go!) This place is expensive!! The cheapest shampoo was five dollars and then it quickly jumps up to $8.00 or $10.00. Head and Shoulders brand was over $12.00! We were not at some specialty shop but the local chain grocery. Some things are relatively normal priced like bread or peanut butter, and then you get smacked in the face with a $4.19 bottle of throw away Diet Coke. Beer is even worse. There are no six packs under $14.99. The only way to survive here is to give up all of your vices. We will probably live longer but it has been a slow rough transition.
So anyways, while waiting for our scheduled job training with Robin, we took off to Western Park. This park is fabulous. A hidden jungle inside of the massive city of Auckland.
The first thing to notice about this park is the massive trees. We are still investigating what kind of trees they all were but each one was bigger than the next with roots that stretched the length of the park and tangled into their neighbors. Their roots were rivaled only by their massive branches that reached out and knocked into each other providing a webbed roof of shade over the sprawling hills.
Can you find Tracey or Alex in these pictures?
Around the park were several work out stations where Alex was quick to show off his skills.
And the highlight of the whole park? Sinking buildings. There was no explanation as to why, but four submerged building sculptures ringed the entrance to the park. One was marked with the inscription, “Birds used to sit here and watch people far below.” I’m sure it means something deep and mysterious. You’ll have to come and find out for yourself!
***************************NZ Insignificant Yet Fun Facts**********************************
Robin is our new French friend and contact for any problems we run into here. He had us label him under ICE Robin in our phones. This is not because he is a French rapper but because here you label your “in case of emergency” person with ICE up front so if people find your phone they can unlock the contacts and know who to call. Apparently this is promoted everywhere, just hasn’t gained popularity in the US.
In the major intersections of Auckland’s CBD ( Central Business District or “downtown”) the cross walks don’t work just horizontally or vertically but also diagonally. Basically, cars go, cars go, people go, and repeat. Genius!