My two nights in Auckland before heading to Coromandel were less busy and drier than the previous week in Australia. But I was still recovering from the sunburn at Bondi, and getting over losing my iphone. The costs of electronics in NZ is ridiculous. A new ipod touch cost about $650, while a new iphone without a contract would be something like $1200 to $1400. The Kiwi currency being about two thirds the value of US dollars helps cushion the blow, but not by much. If I get an ipod any time soon, I'll likely ask my parents to mail me one purchased from eBay, as there's no way to justify $650 for a fancy music player.
I ate at a really good Indian restaurant called Satya which I had tried back in July, and picked up a Kebab the following day. The food prices in NZ are a little shocking at first, but when you realize that both tax and tip are included in the price, it's not so bad. The Indian was actually cheaper than back in the States, but sadly I'll likely never find cheap Mexican down here (or real barbecue).
My first night turned out to be pretty awesome. My roomates were two Brazilian guys who had
been in NZ for a year studying English. They were heading home the next day and invited me out to party with their friends for their last night. We headed over to their friends' flat and gathered a group of about 15 or so to get nice an toasty before heading to a local club. About half the group were Brazilians while the rest were from various European countries and two from Japan. I hadn't really talked to that many Brazilians before, but I really enjoyed my time with them and their friends. They were overly gracious and concerned how I was enjoying the evening. Overall quite pleasant and friendly people.
We went to a club on Queen Street, ironically called Brooklyn, as the place was playing Brazilian party music all night long. There were tons of people there, mostly foreigners, and close to no other Americans. Everyone was in a festive mood and there was lots of dancing. Carnival was starting in a couple days back home, and that particular night was Brazilian night at the club. We stayed out till 4am when the bar closed and took our time heading back to the backpacker. I felt particularly bad in the morning as I had let them use my alarm clock, so they'd have time to pack their bags before checking out of the hostel. However, I had forgotten to change the time from Sydney to Auckland, so the clock was two hours behind. The backpacker staff woke them up late, and they had to rush to get everything out the door. But true to their character, they were not upset and told me not to worry, and were happy we had a good time the night before.
My second day was rather uneventful. I slept in (staying up till 5am will do that to you), bought a new cell phone and a couple DVDs, and packed my bags for the early morning ferry ride across the bay to Coromandel.