So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen goodbye! Wellington was a fun little town, windy and quaint and packed in to a few blocks of action. I ended up just fitting all of my stuff into my bags, bursting as usual as I fled downstairs to load everything up. After a final hearty breakfast of multigrain toast, nutella and peanut butter we all piled into the car to drop me and okaa-san off. But first we went driving around a bit for some nostalgic sightseeing. Let me explain; Sophia’s family lived in a different neighborhood when okaa-san stayed with them, so while her being with them for the night was lovely I’m sure, it wasn’t the home she was used to. So we drove past their old house, the park they always went to with their dog and a couple other hotspots. It was so sweet of them to do, and fun for me to get a glimpse of the Wellington okaa-san had gotten to know years ago. Then we did drop her off at the airport, and while I did cry it was probably the least I’ve ever cried seeing someone off. I think it’s because I’m so determined to make it back to Japan that this doesn’t feel too heartbreakingly final or anything (or so I hope).
Next was my turn, and not only was I dropped off, Sophia and her mom even walked me to the door. And proceeded to take pictures of me and Sophia and her mom (each on their own) in the backpacking place, and I just couldn’t believe how lucky I’d been. They left after that, with me and Sophia promising to meet up afterwards for a final chill and peace out.
Here’s a picture, crappy or not, of the unique Wellington ped-x green light! It’s the famous woman with the bust in the Beehive whose name I still don’t know; they made the light her silhouette maybe 5 years ago, if I remember correctly? They even have a different than usual male silhouette for the stop person, but I didn’t snap him.
I ended up meeting Sophia around 1, although I had paused to watch a street performer when she’d messaged me. We ended up sticking around for 15 minutes after finding each other to watch this guy stick a sharp sword down his throat, then escape from a chained straitjacket in ~2 minutes. I know they’re cheesy sometimes, but I love watching these things. We wandered around some cool stores after that, with cool finds including a Drake on a dolphin card and cactus string lights. Also saw the Wellington fountain, which despite being pretty is also crazy splashy, so beware passerbys.
We settled down in a tea shop after that to have taro punch no.4 bowls, where they make semi-tapioca balls out of taro? It was tasty, and mine ended up basically being zenzai with azuki, taro, tapioca and something else yummy.
After that I walked her to the train station, passing some cool monuments in the meantime before our final parting. I was sad to see her go, but I hope we can connect again soon! I backtracked to where I was to check out some monuments (see below) and the Saturday street market! They had a lot of the stuff I’d seen the day before, but it was still hard to narrow down between a Moroccan wrap, a Chinese meat burger thing, mie goreng, a bunch of different homemade dumplings and more. I settled on the lamb Moroccan wrap, feeling the classic New Zealand vibe, and it was so tasty I didn’t even mind the olives. That’s what I call good food. Also followed it up with a cardamom chai and a vegan ginger candy thing, which wasn’t as good as I expected but still a worthy end to my meal. I ate the meal on the bridge pictured below, and it was just a nice peaceful end to my time in the city.
I waited outside of a McDonald’s for 2 hours after that because I was too cheap to just buy a drink to sit inside, and too tired to figure out how to maneuver my luggage into the place anyways. Lucky me, I was still able to mooch off of their wifi from the bench in front. It’s the little things. Bus came, I updated my facebook with a final farewell out of uncertainty and away I went. It’s been nice, Welly!