after more than two months i had to say goodbye to asia and made my way to new zealand. for the first time the journey was pretty exhausting. although i already had a couple of overnight journeys, this one was the worst (only in matters of being tired). when i finally arrived in auckland i barely was able to stay awake. nonetheless i stayed up till after midnight, just to beat the jetlag (i was up for 36 hours).
although i really enjoyed my time exploring the asian culture, i am glad to be in a western country again. it couldn't be more different, as you can imagine.
first everything is "expensive" (european standard) again, whereas in asia i didn't have to think twice about buying stuff.
second no one is pestering me anymore - sweet!
third no excessive honking in the streets - my ears love it :)
fourth the hostels have kitchens - i finally can cook again or even just make a sandwich (you'll appreciate that once you haven't had a kitchen in a while and only ate out)
fifth of course everyone speaks english
sixth there are traffic rules - really need to stop crossing the street "vietnam style" (start crossing the street and just make your way across through the traffic)
seventh internet is not as easily available as in asia, at least not for free - even in the most remote location in asia (!!) you had free internet/wifi access
there are plenty of other differences of course, but those are the most prominent ones.
the weather here is like late middle european spring - about 18° and mostly sunny. hope it gets warmer soon, but latest in fiji (in about a month) i'll have plenty of sunshine and beach time. auckland seems pretty nice so far- relaxed, mellow city.
i'll start my kiwi experience tour of the north and south islands on thursday (exact route see here http://www.kiwiexperience.com/whole-kit-and-caboodle-nz-pass.aspx). along the route i will probably go bungee jumping, white and black water rafting, hiking, maybe sky diving and all sorts of other adventurous stuff. my first stop will bring me up to the bay of islands. hopefully get one beach day in there.
so much for now, i'm off cooking my first meal in months :)