December 25th, 2009 – by: soletraveller
I was excited first time travel to Auckland on special Christmas Day by myself. Catching Airbus head to downtown Auckland, it's not hard to find my hostel Nomads Fat Camel. Just a bit surprised that it is not as big as what I imagined. After check in, I took the lift which says maximum 6 people(there's a warning note saying you'll responsible for the $2000 callout if lift incur any problem because of exceeding maximum) The reception girl told me that my room is #3. When I walked in, there's a small kitchen, one toilet, 2 shower room in the communal area shared by 7 rooms' people. Most of the room have number marked on door, but 2 rooms have number missing include#3.
I figured the one near the toilet would be #3, and I tried my card. Bingo, it worked! There're 6 beds in the room, it looks like nobody lived there, window's closed. There's a strange smell, and I felt my throat a fit funny. It's like having been walked in a 100yo house. I opened window straight away to get some fresh air. Most of the bed sheet have stain, I was the only one in the room, so "lucky" enough to choose a slightly clean one. They've advertised free meal everyday, but they failed to put notice that no free meal on Xmas Day and the bar attached was closed. The reception girl gave me a hand written "free meal" note, asked me to go to the sister hostel Fusion to get free meal. When I walked there asked about the free meal, the reception girl was slow motion and unwilling to say hello, finally gave me a coupon at Camel bar which was already closed.
Well, what can I say. It's Christmas Day, Kiwis don't like working on holiday. Just like later on the bus driver says Kiwi people just like the Kiwi bird, hard to turn on. I walked around downtown area, get myself formiliarised with the surrounding area. Most shops and restaurant are closed. Auckland downtown was a bit quiet on X'mas Day. Only some 24hr open coffee shops, convenient stores nearby were open. I kept walking, found some restaurants at Viaduct harbour were open. There're quite some people enjoying themselves there. I figured those restaurants are not cheap, located in such harbour area plus 15% holiday service surcharge, it is definitely not for backpacker like me. Later on I fixed my stomach at a Chinese restaurant, where they don't have holiday surcharge and a pretty filling meal.
Santa at Wellesley St, Auckland
Took some picture around then head back to the hostel, where I met my 1st roommate. We had a brief chat, and found out he's been Auckland for more than a month already, enjoying himselves and met lots of friends there. He asked me if I would like to have a drink with his friends. We went to first floor common area, where people were like having a party-chatting, watching TV, playing football, dancing, drinking and smoking. They brought their music. It was 1am already, for me it was quite late, after the flight and walk around the city. For them, it's just started. I felt myself quite old already, cannot compare with those kids. I had some chat with the Brittish girl and my roommate, then I went back to sleep. After all, I have to save some energy for the following days.