First day for real
Friday 25 May
After a bit of tossing and turning all night, I finally got up at 8. I went to have my first official meal at Abbey. They have a cereal machine and bread available all day, as well as apple and orange juice, coffee, tea, and water. They also put yogurts and fruit out for breakfast. They have rice crispies, frosted flakes, choco crispies (which for the record do NOT taste like ours), and some other grain cereals too. I then decided to stroll to the University and officially register at the International Office. Unfortunately, it was too early (9:15), so I had to make an appointment for 11 with one of the advisers. In the meantime i walked around the BEAUTIFUL campus. From Abbey to the main campus is a road called Castle Street which is were uniflats are located (apartments with undergrads). Once you pass that…unique area, you enter campus. There is a long walk where cute houses-turned-offices line each side. Then you get to a small square where the Water of Leith (small river), which travels right through campus, is on the left (along with the University Clocktower) and other buildings on the right. That early in the morning there wasn’t much happening on campus. I found a Westpac bank branch and had to make an appointment there as well in order to set up my account. No one here is really in a rush to do anything! I did some more wandering until my meeting, which was just really an introductory to the university and to get copies of my passport and visa. I went back to Abbey for lunch.
I then needed to get some bits from the store so I wandered downtown. It takes another 15ish minutes from uni and about 30 minutes from Abbey to get to the Octagon, which is, well, an octagon in central Dunedin. There are many bars and restaurants as well as the visitors center. On my way I stopped in to Spark in order to get a new SIM card and plan for my cell phone. Once I was again connected with the world, I went into a few shops, including KMART. Yep, they have a Kmart. Pretty much just like home, leaves you desiring more, but at least I was able to get towels and a few other things.
I booked a tour for Saturday with Elm Wildlife Tours at the Visitors Center because (1) I needed to see penguins, (2) I did not know where to go to see them, and (3) I do not have a car. I figured it would be a good way to get a bit more acquainted with the Otago Peninsula. By this time, I was exhausted and my feet hurt. I dragged myself home just in time for dinner and bed.