For a while I have been wanting to embrace the kiwi lifestyle and experience walking a day around the city without shoes on. In honor of my last day, and the nice weather, I thought this would be the perfect, and my last, opportunity to do so. I got a later start to my day than I had hoped because I had a lot more last minute packing than I anticipated. At 11:30am I headed out. My first stop was the ANZ branch in Parnell to close my bank account. Down Parnell Road, across the Strand and down Beach Street I made my way for Queen Street. On Queen I had a couple of more errands to run. First, to the 2 degrees store to cancel my phone service, and then to Noel Leeming to return my computer charger. This weekend, 36 hours before my Anthropology exam, my outlet decided to go on a frenzy and lit my computer charger on flames. And yes, I mean flames- my curtain is burned and my outlet is unusable. Luckily, they were small flames and after a couple of seconds the fire went out. I had just woken up from a nap and was walking towards my desk when this happened, so I am upset that it happened but at least I was awake and I only have a few days left here. Backtracking, I was forced to buy a very expensive “all port” charger and the woman at the store was aware that I would be returning to the US and promised I would be refunded if I came to return the charger. I bought this charger in Newmarket, and wanted to return it on Queen and it turned into a very big ordeal. After 45 minutes, I was refunded and relieved. My next stop was to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki next to Albert Park but as I walked along Queen and saw all of the Winter Sales 30-50% off signs, I was very tempted and had to take a detour. Trying on a little here, buying a little something there, I knew I had to get back to schedule.Before the gallery, I met up with Amanda at No.1 Pancake (my Korean pancake place) and I enjoyed my last chicken and cheese pancake. This will be one of my most missed foods in Auckland and I hope I can find a place that makes these pancakes in NYC. After we finished, Amanda and I said our goodbyes and I crossed the street to the entrance of the gallery.I was very hesitant about touring the Art Gallery barefoot and when I entered and saw two dozen people in business suites and heels, I decided I should put my shoes on. This was a minor set back, yes a little cheating but to be respectful, I felt it was necessary. The Art Gallery is only two floors but has lots of nooks and crannies with all different types of art: Maori portraits, landscape, abstract, sculptures and more. My favorite exhibit was the 3D area on the second floor. The pictures were mostly in black and white and looked very old fashioned. Clothes from decades ago, hairstyles that look foreign and pottery that showed the effort that was put into constructing it. The pictures hanging throughout the entire room came alive and were mesmerizing. I walked around a little more after this exhibit but then decided to go to Unilodge to hang out with everyone before I had to catch my shuttle to the airport. I went to Meghan and Caroline’s room and soon after Dan and Chris came busting through the doors ecstatic that the Chicago Hawks won the Stanley Cup. Gemma, Rachel, Joe, Lyssa and Jannik trickled in and then when 5pm hit it was time to say goodbye. It was very sad saying goodbye to everyone but I know distance will not affect the friendships I have made here. Lyssa decided to walk me back to Parnell and we stopped at the Chocolate Boutique on the way, Marjie met us there. We did not have much time because at 5:50 I had to run back to Parnell to lug all of my stuff up the hill before the shuttle arrived.
It took me 12,266 barefoot steps, equating to 7.55 miles to take me everywhere I wanted to go today and I am very happy I spent almost the entire time barefoot. It was exciting walking around barefoot and I only wish I had done this earlier; maybe I would have spent more days barefoot!