When we landed in Auckland we were picked up by Jake M.  He’s a friend of a friend who has become a friend in his own right, if you follow. We had never met him before, but through the miracles of social networking we kinda knew him anyway.

He’s a tall guy, handsome, with a salt-and-pepper scruff.  He had been a successful advertising exec before chucking it all in and deciding to become a veterinarian. He’s in a similar competition semester to get into the full vet program at Massey, but he’s competing with other kiwis rather than with the international students whose asses Cece is going to beat (ref: rented mule*).

Jake dropped us off at a charming little hostel called Uenuku Lodge. We had never stayed at a hostel before, but we had seen the movie. I was really looking forward to being seduced by exotic foreign women, but not so much to the whole ‘tortured to death’ element, but luckily Cece saved my life by building an exotic-foreign-women-seduction-proof bubble around me.  (Thanks, honey.)

Our hostel, Uenuku Lodge

By that point we hadn’t really slept in about 30 hours, but Jake wisely advised us to fight through to nighttime, to help reduce the jet lag. We completely agreed, and only lied down for a moment to rest our eyes.

Five hours later, we awoke inside an oven.

(No, not actually, it just felt like it.  Remember, I had avoided the seductions that always must precede the tortures. (Thanks again, honey.))

I forgot to mention that it’s unseasonably hot in Auckland. Hot and wet.  And not in the good way that things can be hot and wet, like, say, coffee. And soup.

So we woke up like we were inside a sauna, not an oven, except if I had said sauna first I couldn’t have made the Hostel movie torture joke. Before we lied down to rest our eyes we had turned on a fan to cool down the room. The fan had stopped fanning, hence the sauna.

I immediately thought that I had broken something.  Maybe New Zealanders don’t leave their fans turned on for five hours, and I had blown a circuit? I tried plugging the fan into another socket – no good.  I tried turning on the lights – no good.

So I walked downstairs, ready to accept my punishment for being a spendthrift Yank who pops the circuits of his hostel room.

When I got to the front desk, I found the hostel’s manager (a very helpful guy named Peter) on the phone, telling someone that the power had gone out in the whole building.  Shiznit.  I was really going to be in trouble.

When Peter hung up he told me that much of the city of Auckland had lost power.

Damn, that must have been one powerful fan.

* Do veterinarians beat their rented mules?

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