The theme of this weeks Study Abroad post is getting lost. And yes there’s a reason.
When you come to a new anything you expect to get lost to a certain degree. I remember my first weeks in Limerick, wandering down corridors and into classes I had no business being in. But at least in UL the room numbering makes sense and the buildings have names instead of just more numbers.
In Unitec, there are no corridors really, you either get lucky with the right outside door or you walk through a series of classrooms to get where you need to go. Thankfully, because of my swapping from Photography I won’t have too much more to do with Building 1. Even the Product Design building, beautifully titled “76” has to put signs with arrows for all the rooms. I understand first years needing direction for a while, but if you require multiple signposts for the third year studios, something is wrong with your building. I’m liking this university, really I am, but Jesus, they don’t make it easy to get around.
Getting lost outside of college is more fun, or at least it should be. In my first week I took a wrong turn out of the supermarket and turned what should have been a half hour trip into an hour and a half, but that was a learning experience, I found a lot of shops and no harm was done. The same cannot be said for last weekends excursion to Waiheke Island.
It started out as a pretty grey day, but Auckland had fooled me into dressing warm before, then hitting 28° by 11am. It was rainy and foggy for the ferry ride over, but still I was sure it would turn around, and honestly, I kind of liked being cold for the first time all week. The held up when we arrived, so we made the art gallery our first stop. It was a quick stop because it was considerably more concentrated on the selling than the viewing side. With the weather still miserable we decided to give it until we walked around the village before we gave up and went home. Lo and behold just as we were trudging back to the ferry, defeated, there was a break. Not beach weather, but enough that a 5/6k hiking trail didn’t seem like an awful idea.
But it was. Waiheke Island is pretty, and from the top of a hill the views are great. However it was when we were at the top of this hill that the sun came out. Great! Lets finish the trail and find a beach! The trail never ended. We walked and walked, the signposts continued to lie to us. We started the trail at 11.30am, we crawled onto the ferry at 6pm. I got the worst sunburn of my life, the kind of sun burn that makes you think, “Yup, I’m going to get cancer”, and blister that looks set to last me a number of months.
Oh and it rained for the ferry ride back too, so there’s that.