Fact #1

Music makes you feel at home no matter where you are!

Playing hide and seek with seals @ Red Rocks

Did a little hike today with Michael Lankes and Moritz Strothmann. We went out to the Red Rocks
to see the seals that are spending there winter vacation there hanging out in sun.

Well was the first time I used my hiking boots for what they were made for but it seems like my
legs need more training. Two hours there and two hours back, the sun was shining. Perfect day!
As we arrived at the place where the seals should be we couldn’t spot one of them. But these
nasty bastards were hiding. Very good camouflage I have to say. They look exactly like the rocks
they were lying on. Check out the pictures and try to find them!

Was really nice and I have to admit that New Zealand has a lot to offer in terms of vistas. Almost
like they are competing with each other. Definitely there are uglier places on this planet!

Need to get my legs in shape so that they can carry me to more places like this.

The devious roads of Mount Hutt.

Today we (Michael Lankes and I ) went on a little tour with the goal to take a little hike in the woods.
Well we started with good intensions but got lost on the way.
Driving up A1 to Poriruar further up to Waikanae then turning right towards Mount Hutt and as we
thought a hiking trip. Well as it turns out we just found a tiny devious road passing over Mount Hutt
without any entrance to a hiking trail or anything like it. Luckily we had a small car cause it seemed
like we were just fitting on the small road but somehow it was intended for two cars. Let’s put it this way,
it was tricky passing a cyclist on that road. And totally against their nature of driving very slow Kiwis
seemed to discover their inner Rally driver on that road and were trying to break some sort of record.
It was an adventure without taking a step on a hiking trail. At least we had two nice views towards
Kaipiti Island and Waikanae. So in the end it was all good and worth the trip.

Afterwards back home we tried a Pizza at the place right underneath my apartment. It’s called Hell
and Satan was hiring said a sign at the front door. It wash’t the best Pizza ever but still good and
probably not the last time I got Pizza there.
So Satan and Hell exist! He runs a Pizza joint in Wellington right underneath my apartment.

Then we were invited for Kaffee und Kuchen with Joerg, Line, Josh and Rasmus which was the
perfect ending for the day.
Nice to have close friends around you at the end of the world.

Earthquakes II - The Return

Well it was an unexpected and heavy return. Friday afternoon mother earth woke up again and it seems like
she woke up from a really horrible nightmare and passed it straight on to me. 6.6 the first one and then a bunch
of aftershocks between 5 and 6. That was heavy!!!

Luckily no injuries or casualties, no heavy damage on buildings just my nerves were wrecked again. These
quakes always put me on edge. My senses seem to overreact and from that point on for one week or so I feel
every little tremor and even if it’s just my heart beating.

The scientists say that it was a doublet and the one in July was just a pre-quake for the main event today. Well
let’s hope so!!! Not really keen to feel something like this again. Just as a reminder one Magnitude point is
doubling the intensity! 5.0 is already shaky but 6.6 is close to ‘a tiny bit more and …’. Well statistics say that
this happens not that often and after a period of one or two weeks with some aftershocks that getting weaker
and weaker everything should be back to normal. Let’s just hope that mother earth knows about those statistics
and goes back to sleep now. Preferably for the rest of my stay! Friends of mine that are here for 10 years or so
said that they haven’t experienced anything like this in that time. Lucky me! Perfect timing!

Time will tell.

Kiwis and clothing ...

Something that is very strange here and hard to get used to is seeing Kiwis walking around in Flip Flops or
even barefoot while I’m wearing a winter jacket and a cap. Girls wearing short skirts and Flip Flops while
it’s raining at 8 degrees - that’s weird. I mean what are they wearing when it’s summer - nothing?

Also not unusual - wearing just socks for shopping in the supermarket.

I’ll keep my shoes on!

The Pacific Bratwurst Rim

Well the weather forecast said 99% possibility of rain and well they were not lying about it.
99% of the day it was raining!
So I did the best thing one can do when it’s raining … preparing all my documents for tax.
It’s about as much fun as doing it in Germany. Spent a few hours scanning and then I did
the second best thing one can do when it’s raining. Went for the movies!
Saw Pacific Rim for the second time, it’s a movie for grownups that aren’t grown up.
Giant Robots fighting Giant Monsters! … don’t need to add anything to that.

After the movie I bought some Bratwurst at the local supermarket.
Blackforest Gourmet Butchers - Thueringer Bratwurst.
(The font they used on the foil was Blackforest or something similar so it had that weird kinda
Nazi aura that probably only Germans feel when they see that kind of font anywhere.)
Well it wasn’t bad but not quite the same as in Germany but I guess it was as close as you
can get to a German Bratwurst in New Zealand. Tasted heaps better than anything else
that they call sausage here so this might not have been the last time I had them on my plate.

So I think there are still some papers left that need to be scanned and well it’s still raining.

Take care.

Earthquake retrospective.

Two weeks ago that major earthquake hit Wellington, there were no major injuries and no real damage.
Only thing damaged are my nerves. Took me a while to calm down again. What a paradise Germany
is when it comes to earthquakes, tsunamis, and huge thunderstorms.

We had more then 70 earthquakes over 4.0M in the last two weeks but these aftershocks are getting less
and less. So hopefully mother earth is going back to sleep for hopefully some years. The smaller quakes
are not that bad just a wobble for some seconds and then they are gone, something I can live with.
At least for the time I’m here but definitely not for ever. Can’t imagine to permanently live in an area where
the earth shakes that much!

Now I got an emergency kit at home and at least know how it feels and how to react when an earthquake hits.

Well let’s just hope that this is a once in a lifetime experience!