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Day 9: Settling in Christchurch

This afternoon I rode the bus south to a supermarket, where I filled a basket with breakfast and lunch staples to tide me over for a while. Walking back from the bus stop, braced against the wind, I laughed a little to myself. This sort of weather would normally put me in a sour mood, but the image of me and my little grocery bag being nearly knocked over by the wind just made me smile. It was only about a block until I reached the doorstep of my temporary home.

a new friend, viewed from my window

I took some time to unpack the groceries and organize them in the tiny space occupied by kitchen items (note that I do not call it a kitchen, because although it has a small fridge and toaster and a few dishes, it simply cannot be considered its own room). Next I turned to my suitcase, hanging a few shirts on hangers in the squat closet, and arranging everything else on the shelf. I found nooks to tuck away items I thought I wouldn’t need soon, and added a couple of things to the bathroom. As a final touch, I spread out the few rocks I brought with me and shells I collected at the beach the other day (I couldn’t resist) on the windowsill next to the bed.

I probably won’t be here for longer than a week, two at most, but it still feels nice to take time to make this space organized and cozy. As I’ve fallen into nomadic life over the last couple of years, I’ve learned how important this is. Whether it’s making the bed every day–in the car or a tent or my room or on someone’s couch–or keeping small keepsakes around to make things feel like home, taking time to cultivate a space has become a necessary part of maintaining my mental health. Usually it takes such little time, but the benefits are obvious to me.

After settling in a little, I feel refreshed and more prepared for tomorrow. Now that I know where everything is, I can get into my morning routine without feeling scattered like I did today. I’ve got a full day ahead of me tomorrow: it will be my fourth day in Christchurch and my second day of job training; I’ll need to go to the bank and then meet someone at the post office so we can transfer car registration and I can purchase the used car I test-drove today (third one’s the charm, it seems). If all that’s finished by the afternoon and the weather cooperates, I’ll visit a beach nearby. Someone told me that the waves will be very big tomorrow, so the surfers will be out. The last time I was in California I spent long hours lazing on the beach with a book, alternating reading with watching surfers ride waves and crash and swim and repeat, over and over and over.


Additional notes: yes, I’ve left Auckland and arrived in Christchurch, and have found a job! It doesn’t start until the first week of December so that gives me time to explore the south island a bit. I haven’t got anything planned yet but in the meantime I’m getting through some of the to-do list items like setting up my phone properly, opening a bank account, getting an IRD number, etc. Once I’ve set myself up properly, I’m sure I’ll be eager to set out exploring again!

Thanks as always, dear readers.


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