Apr 30, 2015

Dunedin

My aunt Ella left to Christchurch from Dunedin and I got left alone. Somehow I was really sad, my travel company was gone but at the same time the city was smiling to me. It was nice weather, people were nice and happy. Somehow I felt really comfortable that I will be fine. So I went to the library and started to look for jobs.

For the first few nights I stayed in Pavlova Palace Backpackers which is really nice lodge quite close to Speight's Brewery. We stayed there for one night on our last trip to Dunedin with May, so I actually got the same room. Backpackers was really nice, they have perfect facilities and kitchen areas, a spa pool and free pavlova every night! I really liked the place, but at the same time I had to think about saving money. I started to ask hostels around if they would have a place to work for accommodation. I called few places and either they were full or they didn't take workers for accommodation. The third place I called had so happy woman answering yes, that I asked can I come and see the place immediately. On that time I didn't know it would be my new home and also my future good friend 'Mamma Jo' who I was talking to.

I went to see the place which was awesome. The whole hostel is built to a rooftop and it has a beautiful view to the hills. It's right in the middle of the city and it has a really cool pool bar downstairs. I absolutely got really excited about the place and Jo promised I could start working after few days. So the next morning I packed my stuff from Pavlova Palace and moved all of them to On Top Backpackers dorm.

I still kept looking for jobs for the next week. I started working with my roommates at the hostel, who were at that time Rika, Lisa, Dennis, Audrayy and Andy. Basically work hours were from 10am until 1pm and we were cleaning all the rooms, toilets, showers and kitchen. There were lot of different tasks to do and everyone was changing jobs every day. I dropped 15 CV's every day and got a phone call one day from a restaurant nearby. I got asked to do a trial shift and after it I got a call that I got the job! So now I had two jobs, 3 hours per day at the hostel and 3 to 7 hours per day at the restaurant.

People at the hostel changed every day and workmates left as well. After few days upon my arrival Andy left (I got his bottom bunk!!) and new workers started to come. I got a pleasure to make friends with Lisa and Rika from Germany, Audrayy from France, Dennis from Germany, Andy from Northern Ireland, Wiebke from Germany (actually who I met earlier at Pavlova Palace), Bri from United States, Maria from Switzerland, Rebecca and Rachel from Canada, Anna-Marie (IS IT RIGHT?!) from Ireland and of course my favorite people Jo from Scotland and Thor from Sweden. These people were only the people I worked with at the hostel. There were amazing people around me all the time, I made such a good friends all the time with everyone who were staying just for few nights.

At the restaurant I had a great boss, Sam and such a nice, lovely co-manager Sharon. My workmates were from everywhere, I got to know Nelly, Mabel, Leo and Jem from Philippines, Jennifer from England (although she's almost a true kiwi I guess), Jun from Korea, Kit from Hong Kong, locals Kat, Malcolm, Connor and Krystal and lot of other people working and visiting there. I also had great customers, I got a love letter, asked out and met some soy sauce drinking dudes.. Sometimes I had to be a nurse and save someones hand! I really loved my job, it was nice and relaxed. And of course I had so AWESOME workmates. Thank you guys.

I stayed in Dunedin from the beginning of March until late April and I was basically just working and making new friends. I have to say that time in Dunedin was really so unique and special time for me. I got most awesome workmates at BOTH working places. They were just amazing. At the hostel our crew quickly grew together as a family and I couldn't say anything bad about the restaurant crew either. All those names I just listed they were such a good people. All of them has a unique personal story and all of them mean so much to me. I got my best friends from there and I got people who I'll stay contact with hopefully for long.

I picked up my car Molly from Cromwell where it broke down! Well, at least I tried. The mechanic who was fixing it said they don't really find any faults anymore. On Monday after it break-down they tried it, it started up perfectly and there was nothing wrong with it. I was happy to hear that and me and my friend Hasan left to pick it up. It was beautiful day to make a roadtrip, we stopped to buy fresh fruits from the stalls next to the road and got a speeding ticket as well. When we got to Cromwell, Steven the Mechanic gave my keys and told Molly works fine. Although when we started to drive back and had driven about 20 kilometres towards Dunedin, Molly just turned off and didn't start up again. We were lucky to be in town called Alexandra, so we left the car there and Steven's friend promised to look at it. Finally after a week or two they got it fixed (if anyone is interested, they changed the distributor and few spark plugs) and I hitchhiked to Alexandra to pick it up. This time it worked all the way back to Dunedin and I had my car again.

All the time spent at the hostel, all the family trips, bar nights, rugby nights, movie nights, pool games, dinners, lunches, cheeses, games, all the moments at work, all those good meals at the restaurant, all those McDonalds bags delivered to my front door, all those laughs and hospital trips. All those runs in Botanic Gardens. All those people. Time in this place was just incredible. There's no way I can tell all these stories what happened but this city is gonna stay in my heart forever.

I guess I really have to write a book about these times. I still have so much to tell.

I miss you Dunedin, I miss you all my dears <3

"Too much time
Too much space
Looking for the truth
Mountains you have had to climb
Valleys you've been through
I don't know about where you've been or where you going to
I will get lost with you
We all get lonely
Trying to find a place where we should be
Trying to find someone to set us free
There are times a friend is all you need
We all get lonely
So stick with me"

Olly Murs - Stick with me  
 
xx
Liisa
 
Some of the best people and moments below!

Rika, Audrayy, Lisa and Wiebke

Me and Audrayy

Me, Rika, Lisa and Thor

Me and Dennis

Maria, Jo and Andy

Jo and Andy

Jo, me, Andy and Thor

Rey, Mabel, me, Leo, Kat and Jennifer (the guys standing, can't remember their name)

Jen and me


My family, Jo is only missing :( Thor, Andy, Rachel, Anna-Marie, Rebekka and me

Mikko, Shams and Lama

Sarah and me

Me, Rebecca, Rachel, Jo and Thor

My family on the day we left!
Me and Andy