It all comes down to time. The accident and injury, the delay between Indiana and applying for the next step, the decision to postpone things so I could get here at the start of the Southern Hemisphere's first semester - it all has its place in some way, at the end of the day. There was enough time for me to pick up badminton from my mom, learn my dad's recipe for mashed potatoes, which has earned the approval of my flatmates, and mahjong sessions with my sister and I competing with which stuffed animal provides a better aura over our chips. There was enough time to get a real feel for where the Penang music scene is and is going, and coincidentally, enough time to read a book whose title starts with the words "Time Enough".
And it's at the right time of my life, I realized after a week here in New Zealand. As accessible the city is (I can find anything from groceries to mahjong sets within a walking distance, though some things do carry city prices), and as friendly the people are, it's the right time to be here because I'm like the chicken that took time to bake. I now know how to get straight to cooking, or to know how to navigate myself around a town - and well, for that last point it helps that I also now own a GPS. That kind of thing.
The city really is what they say it is - all the amenities you'd expect of a city with the feel of a town - I read that months ago but I didn't really get what it meant until I was actually walking through the streets, feeling the pace of people and the size of the streets and the kind of shops and cafes and hotels. It has a small touch of the charm of Chicago, but more of the feel of a place like Melbourne. The people tend to have a - well I was going to say moderate, but I think the correct word is inclusive - attitude, are really quite friendly. At the same time they aren't afraid to speak their mind and are particularly eco-conscious:
The first week has been adventurous, sometimes out of necessity as I needed to find the best places to buy things, and to test both the walk and the bus routes to get between Massey and Victoria universities in order to choose where I want my office. I settled on Massey for real academic and pragmatic reasons, though I can't say it isn't helpful to have the best fruits and vegetables as well as the Asian food store next door. That, and even the most hard-core violist would find it difficult to get lost with Wellington's clearest landmark on Massey's doorstep, the War Memorial:
And other times it's actually voluntary, which somehow seems strange for my rather sedentary tendencies (i.e. find the curry chicken paste and the bok choy and go home coz you're all set for the next three years). The Te Papa national museum will take days to completely explore, and visiting the harbour is worthwhile.
All things said, an excellent start - and am looking forward to meeting more people, especially the fellow music students, when term starts on Monday.