Monday, May 31, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Pretty/Ugly: the Bad

Ok, so it’s not all tuataras and pretty mountains, there are bad sides to New Zealand. Admittedly, there are many fewer bad things than good things, that having been said, here they are:

The weather:
Question: What’s worse than reading on your friend’s gchat statuses “OMG it’s so hot.” Or “90 degrees in Boston!”
Answer: Reading those statuses when you’re in two sweatshirts, under two blankets, in your bedroom, at noon and you can’t feel your feet but you can see your breath.

Turns out the Kiwis don’t believe in insulation. That’s all fine and good except I’m from Southern California and windy Wellington ain’t nicknamed that for nothing. Especially fun are the Southerlies which are winds (last week up to 90km/hr) that come straight off Antarctica. I’ve been sleeping in 2 hoodies, 2 pairs of socks, under 2 comforters and a sleeping bag every night. I’m usually still cold. I’m starting to understand why everyone’s got a partner here. It’s just plain economical – warmth and no increased heating bills!

The landlord: I know. I know. This isn’t unique to New Zealand, but New Zealand certainly is not the exception. Our landlord is a special type of flake. The kind of flake whom you can’t reach via any known methods of modern communication, (No, I haven’t tried carrier pigeon quite yet.) who shows up unannounced at 9am when you’re in the bathroom (yes, that’s illegal – he’s required to give 48 hours notice), who still hasn’t filled out the tenancy forms so we can pay the bond (yes the papers required to be completed before we take up residence and filed within 2 weeks of us moving in), who comes in, makes a mess and then leaves muttering to himself only to appear at 10pm, 6 hours after he left asking to hang your curtains. He’s the kind of landlord that has to be reminded by his tenants that he’s required to put up smoke detectors in the house, who needs his tenants to explain to him how to insert the battery in a smoke detector but insists he can turn off the water and fix the laundry machine by himself, the kind of guy who thinks telling people “You see, it just comes down to the fact that I’m lazy” is an excuse for not doing anything. That’s Stephen.

Vet school/ figuring out my future: Ok, also, not a New Zealand problem. This is all me. I’m going to try to apply to vet school this coming fall. The problem is I still don’t really know what I want to do. Everyone tells you that at 23 you should be confused about your future and excited about a number of different things. For some reason, these same people don’t really seem to grasp how hard that makes figuring out one’s future – where, what, how, etc. I’m currently thinking of applying to DVM/PhD programs (combined veterinary medicine and PhD) or just plain DVM programs. Barring that, I’ll just continue to lose my mind with indecision and join the circus. … better start stretching now.

Bioterrorism: I guess this is really good news. I won’t have to deal with figuring out my future because I won’t have one. I went to a lecture by a Fulbright senior scholar last week and he was talking about how vulnerable we (as godless Americans) are to bioterrorism attacks, especially from “non-state agents” aka those guys with no rules, whom we can’t deter, who just want to inflict mass casualties. He also talked about how easy it is to make this stuff. Turns out even I can weaponize ebola. Yippee!! Off to buy my gas mask…

- There’s really only one bad thing about New Zealand and it’s really only bad because I don’t have a boyfriend … or an electric blanket.
- Landlords are the same everywhere. I can’t wait for more life in the real world.
- My neuroses caught up with me. Apparently they caught a boat over the Pacific so it took them a little longer than the rest of me, but they’re definitely here.
- Stock up on heavy duty antibiotics and pray. Alternatively, kiss your butt goodbye.

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