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Red scooter on a gravel road

by Haadi 

Posted: 30 August 2007
Word Count: 401
Summary: I'm not a backpacker anymore, but an official person in a place I hadn't expected to stay. It's a trickier process than I expected, logistically and psychologically.

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Today I find myself navigating some of the hillier lanes in and around the Bay of Islands. It's my first day riding an under-powered scooter and I thought my asphalt-free days were behind me in Mongolia, but I was wrong. A swift learning curve: scooters and gravel are not well-matched. Still, I've learnt it's possible to transport a beaker of coffee on the footplate without spillage (no, not on the hilly gravelly roads, just up the high street). The scootering is to aid my new job as a freelance, commission-only salesperson for Paihia's solitary marketing and print company. If I think too hard about the job itself I want to weep (full-time since last Thursday, not a penny earned yet) but the means of doing the job is kind of fun - trucking it up to Kerikeri via farms, holiday parks, paintball people and waterfalls; scootering over to Te Haumi under a brilliant blue sky with scarf billowing Isadora Duncan style; pottering through Paihia in the rain (ok, that day wasn't so fun...). I must have spoken to a couple of hundred people by now - there aren't that many people here, I'll know them all soon.


I have a bank account, I have a job of sorts, I'm waiting on my medical to be ticked off and posted to Auckland (my blood results came back, the receptionist told me brightly "nothing major" ... nothing major?? you can't say that and not tell me anything else!). Then I should receive my visa and start earning money providing I find a proper paying job or get better at the one I'm doing. I'm an official person again, even though I can still fit all my possessions in my minuscule 30-litre day pack and I continue to live on the site of a backpackers (manager, darling, not resident).

Nearly everyday I wonder "what on earth are you doing here, girl?" - I haven't found an answer yet. I miss good journalism, interesting art, my music, my duvet, normal TV, good pubs. God how I miss good pubs! Here I enjoy more sun, good wine, a view of the ocean, beautiful hills. I'm living with a set of scales in my head with weights changing daily; I know I don't have to choose, but it feels like every moment I stay, I'm making a decision that will be harder and harder to un-knit.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 22:29 on 30 August 2007  Report this post
Haadi, loved the ending here. True of all of us all the time.
it feels like every moment I stay, I'm making a decision that will be harder and harder to un-knit.

Haadi at 22:40 on 30 August 2007  Report this post
Isn't it?! Although, most of the time you don't notice it, whereas at the moment in this new country I'm painfully aware that every move has consequences.

little monkey at 11:27 on 05 September 2007  Report this post
Hi Haadi,

It's good to see you back here. What a lovely piece, i really enjoyed this and felt transported.


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