Sep 28, 2011
Sep 17, 2011
Topic #1: thievery. After slaving away in the library and studio all dang day a fellow post grad asked if I wanted a ride home AND we could swing by the grocery store on the way. WHHHHHA-WH-WHAT?! Hells yes, let me get my coat! Let me tell ya, when you hoof your groceries from store to boarding house odd considerations come into play. For example...weight (mandarins are lighter than apples), packaging (a bag of cereal travels better than a box), priorities (I'd give up a cheese for coffee), alc/vol (wine=13% p/bottle and beer=5% p/can. mathematically wine wins.) Double this with - I'M BROKE BITCHES! and you can see how truly valued groceries are. So when someone offers you a ride, you stock up!
Having said this you'd probably understand the emotion that was felt when 10 min. after unloading my precious groceries I walk in to find Rm #13 lacin' his sammie with my newly bought mustard. Dude, it's literally American mustard asshole. It says so on the bottle and you are a resident of New Zealand but a goddamn Brit by birth - put some fuckin' HP sauce on that sandwich son, this condiment is reserved for me and my fellow countrymen!
Topic #2: new dude aka Rm #8. Now if you aren't aware, I'm Rm #7 so this is some next door shit. Infiltrating my life now is rugby full blast...tv-style coming through my closet. Apparently he wears cinder blocks for shoes as well and a big thank you for smoking in your room #8, not only does your screaming sport seep through my wall so does your smoke.
Topic #3: Sweet David and his door. I like this dude, Rm #6, but I'm 2 door slams away from removing said door from it's hinges and sacrificing it bon fire-style in the front yard. Maybe I'll have Rm #13 snake some h-dogs for a front yard cook out. Guess I need to buy some h-dogs...
Sep 13, 2011
Whew, that was a close one. Apparently the drainage issue is simply from doing dishes in the shower. Ashtray/toilet...resume.
Jun 15, 2011
Jun 5, 2011
May 26, 2011
Mount Victoria Tunnel Route. I like to say that this alternative is the "urban" route in comparison to above Forest Couch Route. It is a more direct path to reach campus but the tunnel provides pros and cons. Pros: 1. Shelter from the daily angry winter weather consisting of screaming wind and dumping rain. 2. Level ground. No goddamn sick inclined hills that make my heart explode from my chest. Cons: 2. It's a solid 10 min. walk within a cement artery of clogged cars. The walkway is elevated for pedestrian safety but also means being gassed with vehicle exhaust. But man, that first blast of fresh air upon exiting the tunnel is what I'd imagine a newborn baby's first breath to feel like.
May 22, 2011
I moved yesterday. I opened the windows and the dang french doors while I unpacked. You know what I can see from my room? Green grass and rose bushes. I did laundry. The dryer works. I bought hangers and hung my clothes in the CLOSET. The toilet flushes on command. I warmed the room with the portable HEATER.
I walked to the grocery store. Word on the street is that said g-store is the cheapest in Wellington and you know what? I believe it is true. You know what I saw on the way to the store? A shit ton of rugby players and the freakin' ocean. In that order.
I left this morning from my own private entrance. But I left a little deflated. Apparently none of the other tenants are fans of One Star Rentals. In fact they are all highly disgruntled and have given the rental co. 14 days to resolve some issues or they walk. One of the issues being that the entire lower floor flooded recently. Oh yeah, there is currently a dish washing stand off taking place as well. Everyone refuses to do the colossal mound of rotting dishes. The fantastic part is that there is a working dishwasher directly under the heaping dish mound. Oops. Do I spy some Skid Row Digs material?
One fellow Moxhamite was astonished when I said the new place was a fucking palace compared to The Adelaide. I hadn't yet divulged that The Adelaide was such a wicked experience that I currently write a blog about it. I'll let the wine tell him that one evening.
May 15, 2011
- I've been sick for the past week and look like it. It's hard to get over an illness involving lots of snot and the sensation of your lungs being squeezed when you basically live inside of a wet washcloth. I woke up at 3am this rainy morning to the water feature that is the plaster hole in the ceiling. The only thing I had to contain the leak was my cereal bowl. While I was up I thought it would be a good time to clean the black mold from my window. Hmmm...inhaling moldy spores. Is that conducive to good health? This leads me to bullet point number two...
- Mold. As I've mentioned before the dryer doesn't work here, so it takes a good three days for my clothes to get dryish. My room officially smells like mildew - not a surprise but what was surprising is that I smelled the exact stench of my room in my studio. And in the library. And the computer lab. It was me. My f-ing jeans reeked of mildew. I'm the stinky kid.
- My face has broken out. I look like I was bitch slapped with poison ivy.
- The Layla bangs are no more. They've even moved pass Beiber bangs and have to be held back with a bobby pin.
- I have two kinds of outfits. Painting clothes and hiking clothes. And they are exactly the same. My jeans are wearing thin and I fear a blowout soon...back pocket-style.
Oh Layla, you might say...you are over exaggerating. But oh no my friends, I am not. In the past three weeks I was mistaken for a squatter..."Oh, you're not squatting? You PAY to live at The Adelaide?" I know it's hard to believe that I'm paying to live here but I find it just as difficult to believe that I'd be categorized as a squatter. A squatter to me are the burnt-out junkies in Trainspotting.
A week before that I had my pack on the train and the carriage attendant asked if I was a hitchhiker. Now, since I'm on a train I can only translate this to mean..."Are you a hobo?". I wanted to say, "Not less than 3 minutes ago I paid you for a ticket, therefore I'm not a hobo". After I got off the train I realized that he never gave me back my change. That ended up being a goddamn $20 train ride and a blow to the ego.
Another benefit of heavy rains is that my toilet leaks and leaves an enormo puddle on the floor. I'm out of anything absorbent to wipe it up with so I had to venture across the hall to the dreaded communal bathroom and I swiped the only roll of toilet paper. Of course it couldn't be just an ordinary roll of toilet paper it had to be industrial size, you know the kind that they use in porto-potties? As I heaved that car tire size roll of tp to my room I felt defeated.
I cleaned up the mess as best I could and as I turned the knob to the toilet and waited for the tank to fill up (my toilet is broken and I have to do this every time I flush) I thought, okay God or MTV Punked-type show...you got me. I've become the silt on the bottom of the mosquito infested pond of life...will you please stop with the daily kick to the balls? The only sound to be heard was Frank digging in the rubbish.
May 8, 2011
May 7, 2011
May 3, 2011
Apr 26, 2011
I walked home from the train station on Monday night just hoping that The Adelaide was still standing. (My NZ worldly possessions are in #4 after all.) As I rounded the corner there she was...sagging with the posture of a beaten down ole hobo. God love her...she's put in her time - can't we just say our goodbyes and walk away to the sound of bagpipes and a 21-gun salute?
Today I came home after slaving away in the studio to the lease agreement I requested from the rental co. The sealed envelope that they gave me upon signing said lease only contained the bond info and general information that is completely unhelpful and downright false (ex. rubbish disposal, etc.). It was a very thick packet so I unscrewed the white wine (that tastes like grapefruits) and settled in to a good readin'.
Blah, blah, blah, words, rules, blah...rental period up Feb. 2012, more words, blah, WAIT, WHAT!!!!!!?? A 1 yr. lease!!!!! Dude, really? Really!? Don't panic. More grapefruit wine. Okay, put this down and start the laundry. Oh, the dryer is broken so my room looks like a yard sale heavy on the garments. In my mind I've replaced the damp clothes for oversized Tibetan prayer flags.
Laundry removal turned into an Adelaide tenant pow wow. Two fellow Adelaidians cruised in to heat up some dude food and the conversation began...
Room #9: Did you get your walking papers?
Me: Uh what? Did we receive another letter? I tried to get out of my lease and the fuckers won't let me.
Schneider: They've started calling people. I got a call today at 3pm. May 31st they board everything up and the notices will be posted on the building. If you don't have your shit out by then, you won't get it.
Me: I thought they were making us move to a hostel while they fix up this shithole to just below mediocre standards.
Room #9: It'll take 6-12 months for that kind of renovation.
Schneider: Yeah, after May 31st it's over.
Me: I guess I'll be last on that calling list. Why are they fucking with me?
Schneider: Don't take it personal. And yes. You will be last on the list.
Is this some kind of demented mind fuck? My brain instantly computes that if your building is condemned then you don't pay rent to that address anymore cuz you can't live there but all of the letters, passive aggressive emails, and unaccepted phone calls have me questioning myself. Is this part of the NZ experience? Is this like a frat initiation? Am I being elaborately punked?
Apr 20, 2011
So, should've guessed it. One Star will not allow me to end my lease early...even after receiving the lovely letter featured in yesterday's post.
According to the manager, if the building has not met code by May 30th then we will be moved to one of their hostel facilities. We will be receiving a letter within a week and a half outlining all of the details.
Let me set the scene...you know the part in Kill Bill...when Uma Thurman is about to go apeshit samurai-style and that crazy music starts to play and she has that look like the devil is trying to escape from her eyes...that is how I felt inside upon hearing this news. I'm trying to move into grownup mode and let these feelings subside a bit before I do something rash.
So you are telling me that we are supposed to be cool with a) the fact that we are currently living in a building that according to Wellington City Council is of unsound building quality to properly withstand an earthquake AND we live in a country that literally has hundreds of earthquakes every year? and b) packing up all of our shit to move to a hostel for god only knows how long and then move our shit back to that dump and feel safe?
I know I'm merely an immigrant to this country but is this how things fly? I'll hand it to ya, that's some hardcore shit...it's like wild west rules out here.
Having said all of this I'm confident that One Star will sue me for slander but will make me represent myself after going through law school on my own dime. Apparently that's how they roll.
Apr 19, 2011
He goes on to say that the Wellington City Council has deemed our abode as an Earthquake Prone Building and must be vacated by May 30th. (I'm no engineering wizard but I could have told them that). He adds that his side of the building is safe and my side, the street side, would and I quote, "fall like a deck of cards in an earthquake".
Apparently The Adelaide has had since 2004 to fix this prob. Lord knows I'm still learning how things work here in NZ but I'm pretty sure that if your building is no longer inhabitable that should free you up to find another place, eh? Here is the letter, I've pulled out some highlights below...
"If a territorial authority is satisfied that a building is dangerous (check), earthquake prone (they said it folks) or insanitary ("IN"sanitary? I totally agree), the territorial authority may attach blah blah blah (this is my favorite part)...a notice that warns people not to approach the building. On 30 May 2011 a notice in conjunction with section blah blah blah will be placed on the building, this will require the building to be vacated". It goes on to include a couple of usages of one of my fav words "demolition". Unfortunately not in the context of derby-style.
I skip the rest of the way home and meet a long term tenant at the top of the stairs. I feel like making conversation..."So, I hear our building is condemned". "It's not condemned, he says". Hmmm...I disagree. In the near future a sign on our disintegrating building will state that it needs to be vacated...that is the living definition of what condemned means.
So, I've been in NZ two months and I'm on to flat numero tres. Good god, I can only imagine...
Apr 18, 2011
Apr 10, 2011
Apr 8, 2011
Mar 31, 2011
Mar 20, 2011
This scenario filled my melon as a fellow tutor and I discussed our current living situations as a 1st yr. undergrad student listened in as she painted. Said tutor and I discussed the absence of dishwashers, minuscule square footage (meters?), and general lack of lavishness from our present lives. Young students says, "God, it sounds like you live in a garbage can."
Indeed young student, we do live in a garbage can of sorts. We are grownups with art degrees and this is what you have to look forward to...losing your grip and slowly slipping towards the bottom of the food chain. See ya in 10 yrs.
Mar 19, 2011
Mar 17, 2011
This is the building across the street. Interesting architecture don't you think? It's an office building of some sort...during the day. At night apparently drunken punks think it's a rooftop skate park. Hey, if I was 18 yrs. old and drunk on 8% nz beer and whip-its or whatever kids do around here for fun, I'd probably want to grab the nearest skateboard, climb on the awning, and attempt some ollies too but I'm not. No, I'm the 35 yr. woman trying to get some shut eye at 4am whose already stressed to the max about teaching 40 1st yr. undergrads how to look at color in regards to painting.
I had to close the curtains before witnessing one of them (probably one of my students by the way) eat shit and meet their maker in one of the ground floor planters. I've seen enough shit in my lifetime without having to worry about erasing that nightmare from my mind. But hey, you know what is better than being woken up by those jerks? How about The Adelaide smoke alarms going off at 6:30am? Apparently the alarms get fussy when it rains. Weird, cuz it rains like everyday. Seems like maintenance would have cracked that nut by now.
Mar 16, 2011
Send help...I'm turning into one of the men that I inhabit this building with. In my defense the kitchen/bathroom just makes sense. I didn't say it was sanitary but when you own a plate, a bowl, a spoon, & a fork and would rather wash your dishes in the b-room sink instead of facing the stench in the shared kitchen area then by god make use of your resources.