For the first time I saw a new icon on my weather app, and learned that it meant we would meet The Wellington Wind! I thought it had to do with the tail end of “Former-Cyclone-Gita,” but later learned that this is a usual, normal occurrence. On and off it blew, all day and all night, at times tremendously hard. Then, just like that, it was gone.
17 in Celsius translates to the low 60’s in Fahrenheit…
Maybe a better snapshot of our time here in the Te Aro neighborhood of the Central Business District of Wellington can be had from a poem I was inspired to write this week:
Sleepless Mess, Downtown Wellington Claire Adalyn Wright Our travel throw-blankets and pajamas too light though our host's comforter not quite light enough for summer nights in Te Aro's coastal community. Dear Mr. Sandman, where, and why, do you hide? Sounds ricochet off pavement onto building walls, echoing around a pillared concrete carpark below - a barrel of bottles clink into a recycling bin, a din of voices resonate throughout the dark. Groups drift by, bound for nearby dormitory halls. Hoots and yells, an occasional shout, or laughter. A woman’s voice, clearly, “How do you know that?” His deep response, “I know because,” fading away. Tires mimic waves on oft rain-wet tarmac - as if rushing to crush it to granules. Unlike unending ebb and flow, delightful sweet silence descends! Emergency sirens soon startle, wailing a while. Intense winds arise, rattling windows and framing, howling, as Mom would say, “To beat the band.” Crinkled papers and plastics sail about the skies settling on pipes, wires, rooftops, and sidewalks. Skateboards click, clack and smack; scooters purr, motorbikes whine; then street-cleaning squadron and rubbish removal add choruses of motor and machine. A lone street walker’s singsong heralds coming dawn. Yet my thoughts and ideas, worries and fears, tinnitus ringing off the hook, loud, in my ears, lurk behind reverberations of a city’s cacophony. Lie as I try I lie not, these and more thrive at night. Finally, a piercing metal blade slicing the asphalt, and a subsequent deafening pitch of the jackhammer - allow earplugs - dratted devices, for once, to actually block out the racket. Or was I simply that dead tired?
We have had more routine appointments and goings-on this week, including Loren seeing the dental hygienist and both of us visiting a dermatologist. I took the offer to teach another Bikram Yoga class, and, had my hair cut. We also had repairs made to the straps on our backpacks, then ate a meal at another Mexican restaurant in town. All these experiences were good ones, affording us chances to meet nice and interesting people, while attending to important aspects of our lives. One evening we enjoyed a delightful time out for drinks with our dermatologist and his wonderful staff.
This week too Loren and I appreciated FaceTiming with special family members. Loren especially recognizes a fortune in having such technology, as there was no similar ability forty years ago when traveling on his bicycle. We also took evening walks, particularly on the waterfront promenade where parts of the city can be seen across the harbor.
Being immersed in a big city of a Commonwealth country on a day to day basis, we are learning more about what it means to be part of its Realm. It is fun to read about the Royal family lineage and relationships, as they are often a source of headlines or featured in magazines that one finds in Doctor’s offices. However we are also at times reminded of important or infamous people at home as well.
If I were to sum up in a word, Te Aro seems most oriented in the arts. We have seen lots, even blocks, of street art. I will let some of what has appealed to me introduce itself to conclude this week’s post. Thank you again, dear family and friends, for following along!