Yesterday morning, after dropping Tom off at work, I decided to drive out to Muriwai which is my favorite beach in Auckland. It’s a surf beach and always has great big crashing waves. And there are beautiful tall cliffs and a gannet colony. The gannet colony is cool to watch, especially on a blustery day when they ride the wind currents and seem to just be hovering in the air. I didn’t walk the path up the cliff to the gannets yesterday though because it’s been pretty rainy here the last few days and I was wearing flip-flops (these Kiwi weirdos call them jandals). Plus, as lovely as they are to see, those birds are really musky smelling and I didn’t feel like getting nature all stuck up in my nose at 8am.
I took this picture yesterday. Doesn’t it look all surreal? Almost like an oil painting? I think it’s a mix of the ocean spray and poor pixelation on my camera phone. Then I wandered around on the beach a bit. And suddenly I got the great idea to spell words with seashells. There were only broken bits of seashells so I spent about thirty minutes wandering about collecting a giant pile of them and then I created this…..
Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? I may have missed my calling in the public relations/marketing field.
And then I got caught totally off guard.
This woman in her 50’s walked by with her dog and I felt all embarrassed about my shoddy attempt at self-promotion so I stood in front of my lovely seashell letters. Because this promotional seashell bit was meant for Facebook and Instagram and I absolutely wasn’t ready to talk to a REAL person in REAL life about it. So I stood there, trying to cover up the writing, and pretending like I was staring thoughtfully out at the ocean.
But it was too late. She’d already seen it.
She stopped and smiled and said, “Read my blog. Is that your blog?”
I smiled back and just said, “Yup” because sometimes I can just be absolutely terrified by the unexpected interaction with a stranger.
She said, “What does that part say?” talking about the barely legible chicken scratch in the sand.
“It says Leahfavela(dot)com. It’s my name.”
“Oh, okay. Can I take a picture? Otherwise I’ll forget. And I can look you up later!”
She reached into her hoodie pocket and pulled out her phone and said, “So what’s your blog about?”
I said, “Me”.
In my head I was thinking “Say more! Say more! Stop being a weirdo!” but I just didn’t know what the hell else to say.
She just looked at me with an encouraging smile, waiting for me to say something else.
“Um…I’m an American and I just moved here last December. My blog is all about my experiences here.”
“Oh..huh…neat” she said, and then because she probably just felt stuck in the moment and didn’t want to be rude by shoving her phone back into her pocket, she took the picture and then looked around for her dog who was happily prancing around in the water some ways off.
“I better go get my dog, she’s not supposed to be off leash. Good luck with your blog!”
God, I felt so dumb. I really, really need to learn how to promote myself better. I wonder if they offer any online social skills classes. Although that in itself seems like somewhat of an oxymoron.
Nice lady from the beach, if you’re reading this post, I’m sorry I was so weird. But I promise you I’m way more eloquent and funny in my writing than I am in real life….with strangers who approach me on a beach at 8am that is.
I’m perfectly normal with people I know….I think.
On the drive home it was sunny and beautiful outside. Turning down the road into my neighborhood I stopped to take this picture….
And then I noticed that little bit of green in the middle there down by the water which is Luckens Reserve Park. And I thought that since it was such a nice morning I’d go walk about that park and see if there were any good views down by the water.
The park itself was pretty boring…a big expanse of grass with some paved paths winding about. And I couldn’t see the water or the city skyline because of trees. But then I found this path.
And I though that path looked kind of nature-y but not tooooo nature-y and it was past 9am so I felt ready for a citified little hike, flip-flops and all. And plus, I was pretty sure there’d be something beautiful at the end of the path. So off I went.
See? There I am. Braving the wilds of urban nature. Looking for beautiful things at the end of unknown paths.
And this is what I found….
Oh well. As Confucius says…some roads lead to shit endings.
I did hear a really unique sounding bird up in the trees. I was hoping to catch sight of it but the shrubbery was a bit too dense. It sounded like a very grumbly cross between a pig and a pissed off cat. I tried to record its weird sound with my phone, but every time I hit record it stopped making its noise. I imitated its call in the hopes of prompting it to continue but I was met with only silence. I was surprised by this because I feel like I’m an aficionado with nature calls….cows believe me. And birds are dumber than cows right?
Anyway, that was one crazy sounding bird. It didn’t even really sound like a bird. And if I didn’ t know that New Zealand doesn’t have any mammals that are awake during the day besides rats and stoats (which I feel like I can punt pretty far if they try to mess with me) then I might have been a bit nervous about whatever it was in those trees. Because it was moving around and I think it was following me.
I got home and Googled “weird sounding pig cat bird” but I got nothing back. Go figure. I’m really not great at knowing how to search for things on the Internet.
The other day I put “Why are Maori men so huge” into the search bar. I don’t know why exactly. I just did it without thinking.
In hindsight, the results weren’t actually as X-rated as you’d think they’d be.
I did find myself studying a map of the world according to penis-size. Sometimes your day just doesn’t go as you’d expect.
I learned that New Zealand men are about 1 centimeter larger than Australian men. A fact I had to promptly text to Tom since Kiwis and Aussies have a bit of a friendly/not-so-friendly rivalry. going on. I felt that he could use this as ammunition in the future if he ever gets into an argument with an Australian. All he has to do is yell, “Statistics say there’s a good chance my penis is probably about a centimeter longer than yours!”
I also learned that the smallest average size is in North Korea. I’m curious as to how they learned this about a country which does not let its citizens leave and barely even lets any foreigners in. “Excuse me, I know you’re busy trying to repress your people and all, but do you mind if I just whip out this ruler for a sec?”
Take that, Kim Jong-un.
On the other hand…to the men of the Democratic Republic of the Congo….I bow to you. Congratulations.
On that high note, I will take my leave.