making Queenstown a home

Posted from Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand.

After two weeks in Queenstown I have seen very little and gotten barely acquainted with the little town I have come to know as home. Work, as it’s turning out, has been consuming a lot of my time. I’m not terribly bothered by this, though. I need the money, especially after draining my bank account to within inches of its life from all the traveling I did this past year.

Queenstown is relatively expensive. When I was here four years ago I found it very easy to spend money in this town, which is why I’m rather happy to have found a room closer to Frankton, a suburb just ten minutes down the road. I’m hoping this distance will help me withstand the magnetic lure of the party life that QT offers. A very fun party life comparable to Pub Street in Siem Reap. Oh yes. It’s easy to spend money in Queenstown. And everyone knows I don’t mind a beer or two.


The view of Lake Wakatipu is stunning from the deck. The top deck there is where I enjoy a beer after work.

The view of Lake Wakatipu is stunning from the deck. The top deck there is where I enjoy a beer after work.

I’m sharing a three-bedroom flat with a Kiwi dude and his huge Rottweiler named Mana. The view is stunning. I think I moved into this place for just the view. Or it could have been the deck. I have a king-sized bed. And my rent is reasonable, though not as much as I would want to pay for a room in somewhere like Toronto. At $170/week (which includes bills) that’s $735/month. I had my own two-bedroom apartment in Port Colborne that was cheaper than this room. But the journey of house hunting here was frought with terror and disgust. People wanted extortion-ary amounts of money for shit holes. I mean dumps. Closets. Boarding houses that a sand-blaster couldn’t have helped. There was no love, care or regard for anything. Which I suppose is understandable when there’s nothing but transients making their way through town year after year. But most of these places were not homes. They were merely rundown shacks that will need to be gutted, sterilized or burnt to the ground in another 20 years. So when I rocked into my landlord’s pad I thought about it for five minutes and said I’d take it.

Buying a car in a foreign land is not as bold as buying a house. Both, however, come with their pitfalls.

Buying a car in a foreign land is not as bold as buying a house. Both, however, come with their pitfalls.

Next came the adventure of the car. Being that I live out of town and that work is out of town in two opposite directions, I needed to get a car. One of the tandem instructors at work, Olly, a Scottish fella who you can tell is the kind who needs to stay busy by piling project after project onto his plate (and he gets them completed!) helped me test drive a car that we decided was worthy. The guy wanted $1600 for the car, so I offered him $1400 on the spot and he took it. That car is currently in about 100 pieces on Olly’s lawn. It had a coolant leak that neither of us noticed, because I would have noticed something like this on a car (hahaha) and Olly needed a project. He found a burst hose. So sometimes next week I’ll get my vehicle back and hopefully have no more issues. It’s a good little shitbox. It’s my little shitbox – with the steering wheel on the wrong side.

The other day at work, four helicopter popped in. They just popped on in. Hello.

The other day at work, four helicopters popped in. They just popped on in. Hello.

But that’s about it for now. I’m hoping for a few weather days in the next few weeks – not because I don’t want to work, but because as staff we get access to some of the local attractions at a heartily discounted price. I kinda want to take advantage of this perk. In the meantime I’ll be working my 7-day week, trying to eat gluten-free, trying to stay away from excessive partying, and keep trying to talk myself into taking up a work-out regime. Some of these things are losing battles from the get-go.

9 Responses to making Queenstown a home

  1. Exciting to read about your arrival in a new home while I’m in the midst of organising the departure from my current one. 🙂

    tash November 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm Reply

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