Sorry September Part 2: Week 14
Again, I am not paying September it‘s dues. I am sitting in a hostel lounge, listening to a homesick Irishman talk about flying home, typing on a borrowed computer with a German keyboard.
But on the very, very bright side, I made it to New Zealand! What a day (and a half) it has been. We arrived at the Melbourne airport late, my visa wasn‘t in the system at my check in gate, the flight was delayed, and I have walked over 30,000 steps (somewhere between eight and ten miles) all over Auckland. Did I mention I had only 2 hours of sleep and a quick power nap in on of Auckland‘s fine parks?
So it is barely 10:30 and I am exhausted. But despite all of that it has been incredible. I got to see, touch, and enjoy the stadium where the New Zealand National Rugby Team, the All Blacks, play and practice. Much to the envy of my entire team. And during my very extensive walk, got to see some gorgeous sights of this city.
Tomorrow Kristina, Alex, and I head out to Waiheke Island for a wine tour and general sight-seeing. Then we catch a bus to Rotorua 4 hours south. There we spend the night and get ready for a tour of Hobbiton. Excited doesn‘t begin to cover it. I can‘t wait.
This trip, as well as my time in Melbourne, has taught me so much about stress and letting things go. The Aussies in general are quite layed back and don‘t tend to let people bother them. And I can say that I have (somewhat – let‘s not get crazy) adopted this. My visa didn‘t show up in the system – well that gave me the chance to meet a very nice man from immigration; can find a bus – I got a tour of some of Auckland‘s wonderful residential neighbourhoods. And despite all of this I am surprisingly relaxed. After a hot shower of course.
And as promised I want to talk about “The L Word.” And how that show (recommended by my friend Courtney) has reflected somewhat and LGBTQ experience (sorry I can‘t find the plus button on here). Specifically with the character of Alice. She is one of the women in the clique and is a bisexual woman. Not that you‘d really know it. Her bisexuality, much like bisexuality in western society, is largely ignored. And that is what I‘ve found here. Sexuality in general is not really discussed among the students here (unless you‘re talking about gay marriage – and that‘s usually in reference to the Prime Minister). Not in a bad way per se, but in a very played back, Aussie fashion. It‘s like it doesn‘t really matter what your sexuality is, they just see the person. Which is in some ways refreshing – not having to be defined by a sexuality and many of the stereotypes that are associated with a non-heterosexual identity. But it does make me wonder, if Aussie students are so relaxed, can hinder change? In my experience, before the Supreme Court ruling, the talk of sexuality and LGBTQ equality was at the forefront in US college student populations. The college kids here didn‘t even mention the PM change. Not that anyone was mad Tony Abbot is no longer in office… This realization hit me hard after watching “The L Word” and identifying with the way bisexuality is silenced or stereotyped in a show that was supposed to be inclusive for all queer women. That here is isn‘t discussed in the one place I have found it to be the most prevalent in the States. Just something I‘ve been thinking about.