Tauranga week 3 (or Never Flat With Ross J Riley)

Last Saturday the flatmate from the new house I’d met the week before, AF, arrived from his hometown of Waihi with his girlfriend, E. I was so glad to not be alone in the house anymore! One of the other rooms is spoken for, by returning flattie LZ, who should arrive in mid-Feb, and the other room – the one I looked at first and wasn’t impressed with – is still waiting for a tenant.

It was so nice to have someone to talk to, and although E warned me that AF has moved from his parents’ place to his brother’s place and so is effectively a first-time flatter, I have been relieved to realise that he has plenty of common sense, knows how to cook his own meals and clean up after himself, and is easy to talk to. We don’t have a great deal in common, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get on, and at least there are a few tv programmes we can agree on.

He’s been working during the days, and E left on Monday, so I’ve been alone again during the days, but that’s been okay, too. Since he spends most of his time at home in front of the tv though, I’ve picked up the habit, even when he’s not around, and have subsequently ended up watching a lot of rubbishy day-time reality shows. A lot. Of rubbish!

But I haven’t been a complete couch potato. I collected Clara from the bike shop, working like new, and have been for a few rides. I went to the third session of boot camp, but missed the fourth, because I was busy at the campus library trying to apply for more jobs. I joined the campus gym, which has a heated outdoor swimming pool, too. It’s lovely! I drove to Katikati and walked the Haiku Pathway. There was only one haiku that I really liked, but just the fact that it’s poetry in public makes me happy! I went to the cousins’ place for dinner again, shopped at SaveMart (yay, new vests!), and today I cycled around the Waikareao (“sparkling waters of the new day”) path – a 9km loop around estuarine wetland. At one point I saw a cheeky white face in the mangrove, then, as I cycled along the boardwalk, a dozen white-faced herons took off, flying gracefully over the low mangrove forest and taking my breath away.

And of course, the last instalment of the Maitland Street adventure: I went back on Friday to use the internet and collect the few bits and pieces I’d left there. As I drove in, I was pleased to see that Ross’ car wasn’t there. Again, a key had been left in the lock on the inside of the door, but a bit of a wiggle with my own key dislodged it and I was in. As I walked in, I was hit with a sinking feeling – what if he had locked my bedroom door? I no longer had a key and wouldn’t be able to get in. I approached the door and breathed a sigh of relief as it opened.

He’d been in there, even after I asked him not to. There was no sign of any of my things. Even the bed had been stripped. I felt a mix of panic and anger. I pulled open the closet and thank goodness my washing basket was in there with my pillow and the few other bits and pieces I’d left behind. But no sheets. And no blanket. My Brownie blanket was gone! I checked the washing machine, the linen cupboard, Ross’s room (as weird as that felt), the empty room that used to be Bruce’s. My sheets and blanket were gone! I admit I raged around the house for about 30 seconds looking for something to destroy. Then, outside, I found my sheets and blanket in a box. I can’t think of any reason for that. Ross is such a weirdo! I didn’t stick around, just gathered my things and left. So glad to be out of there! Goodbye Maitland Street. Word to the wise: if you’re ever looking for a place to live, and it turns out Ross J Riley lives there, run!

Week three in Tauranga over, and I definitely love it! Just the fact that I’m sitting outside at 8 in the evening, and the concrete steps are warm from the sun, and the air is warm, and the sun is glowing gold behind the trees across the road, and 5 year-old Kanye from next door is showing off his scooter skills, and he clearly hasn’t worn shoes in months, because the weather’s just so nice, makes me happy.

 

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