Thursday, November 18, 2010

The People You Meet (part 1): Janine, England's Finest

One of the best things about my time here are all of the great people.  It’s hard to convey who they are so I asked my flatmates to be guest bloggers.  I wanted their impressions of New Zealand, and a bit about their past and future plans. 

Part 1:  Janine, England's Finest
Janine (our English flatmate) fits the stereotypes I have for the proper English woman.  She speaks the Queen’s English so well that I occasionally have trouble understanding her (Meagan, the other American, and I trade off as the translator into our own bastardized American English for each other).  She has her tea and eats typical English fare.  She never goes out with out making sure she looks presentable, fully made up and wearing nice clothes, even for archery.

Janine is our entertainment guru in the house and is constantly finding events around the area to attend.  She also has an uncanny knack for finding the ones that are affordable on a traveller’s budget.  Although she was keen to put together something for my blog, with true English modesty she wanted me to write it.  So here’s a bit more about Janine (basically in her words):

I've always had the travel bug.  I have lived around the world as a nanny in places like Texas, USA, Sydney, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland.  Now I’ve also lived in Auckland, New Zealand and Darlington, England (which is where I grew up).  I've travelled around most of Europe, South East Asia, China, Australia, USA, Mexico, Africa and India.  A few other bits:
  • I was featured in a newspaper article in 2001 for all of my travelling
  • I have been an extra in a Bollywood movie
  • Met the Dalai Lama
  • Gone cage diving with great white sharks
  • Completed one of the world’s highest bungee jumps in South Africa, it was terrifying
  • Sky dived a couple of times, been hang gliding, done the world’s highest commercial abseil
  • I just finished my first half marathon, which is a real accomplishment for me as I am not a runner, I got the fitness bug from Jess.
  • And I’ve booked my trip to South America and Antarctica for February
My biggest change since I’ve been here was to start eating meat.  I was a vegetarian for 20 years and after backpacking through Asia, where it was so hard to find vegetarian food that I lived on fried rice and veges and fried noodles and veges for 5 months, I decided I would start to eat meat again. I cannot believe what I have been missing out on and how versatile mince is!

There are a few other things I want to complete before I leave New Zealand:
  • Survive any earthquakes or volcano eruptions that there may be.
  • Climb Franz Josef
  • Go camping
  • Do woofing
  • Eat a possum pie when I'm in the South Island
  • Surf successfully
  • Tongariro Crossing – one of the world’s top ten day walks
 Living with Jess, I’ve realised she is: Sparkly, has sass (but I’m not sure where it comes from), and surprises me every now and again.  And she has very white teeth (but not Ross white like on Friends).  I think it must be an American thing.

Editor's Note: Friday is her last night in the house before she starts travelling around New Zealand over the next few months.  Her quiet sarcasm and sense of humour will be missed.  Good luck, Janine!!

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