The other side of the world

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I spent a few days in Melbourne to see friends and have another good time with them. This was my last – and now I’m sure, or I guess –time visiting Melbourne. I took off to New Zealand with my sistah, who is actually not my sistah, but she still is.

Denise and I booked a last minute flight to New Zealand and applied for a car relocation. The plan: driving from Christchurch, South Island to Auckland, North Island and not having to pay a single dollar for the car rental. Check out Imoova.com for deals.

But, you might be confused. Is Denise my sister? No she is not. I mean, yes she is. Because Denise is Italian. And if you put your 5 fingertips of your right hand together and hold them in front of your face and say “Renzo” with a lot of passion I’m Italian too. With that same passion Denise basically started my Melbourne adventure in the beginning of this year, when she told the manager to call me back and hire me after I popped in to drop my CV. I’m sorry, I’m in a writing-long-sentence mood. Denise and I met in café 95 when she was hiding behind a coffee machine trying to speak English, while I thought she was speaking Italian, I couldn’t understand a word. Until this day, I sometimes jut nod and smile. We soon got shifts in the café together where she was surprisingly moody in the mornings and I was surprisingly not helping her with my energy overload. But it somehow created a great friendship.

Anyway, Denise is brave for stepping into a car with me after my driving experience in the Grampians. Or, maybe, am I the brave one here? And here could be why: Denise flew back to Italy 2 years ago to get a new driving licence after she had lost it. Just to note, she didn’t loose it because of being a very responsible driver on the road. Oh no! And just before she jumped behind the wheel she went: “hey Renzo, do you want to keep an eye open, I’ve never driven on the left side before…”. Just to note, she didn’t just arrive in Australia. Oh no! One second later she didn’t know how to drive an automatic. You read that right, an automatic! We nearly died with Denise driving. Like, 1000 times. At least. And I’m next to her having such a great time making fun of her. Until I was the one to actually hit something 30 seconds after  making fun of her and said “Ok, you can’t drive, let me show you”. Painful, very painful

But, Denise and I are actually a great team. Reason #1: we didn’t miss our flight, and that’s pretty impressive. Reason #2: The car broke down on the highway. The gearbox wasn’t gearing up anymore. We checked everything as far as our knowledge went. We checked under the hood, inside and outside the car. We bought a SIM-card to call for help. We asked the petrol station staff for help in the middle of the night. We ended up not driving that night and slept in one of the suburbs (which is illegal). Until… we finally got called back the next morning. A phone call from someone who was gonna help us out.
“What’s the matter?” He asked.
“Bla, bla, bla” I explained.
“Oh, crap! OK, this it what we’re gonna do … bla, bla … Is that OK?” He went on: “Oh before you hang up, it isn’t just the button on the dashboard, is it?”.
“Urgh, don’t think so…” I said while I checked the button.

Of course it was the fukkin’ button..

But let’s move on. Here’s some recommendation: the alpine cross.
I’ve travelled for a little while and during the trip I’ve seen some really cool things. But this one, my God! It’s a painting of mountains and volcanos from the Gods. It’s a photoshopped photo that isn’t photoshopped. Imagine that picture and imagine you’re going to take a big run up, jump, head first and  you’re inside. Imagine walking around for 9 hours. All you can see is sweet, tasty scenery. That’s the Alpine Crossing. Unreal!

New Zealand is amazing. It’s super green and lush everywhere you go. And sheeps. Mountains everywhere with beaches always close. Volcano’s, a lot of volcano’s! Don’t like the smell of sulphur? Better stay away. We watched a sunrise in a hot water beach pool. A what? Again, volcano’s. There’s some sort of volcanic activity going on under the sand. You simply take your spade and dig a hole in the sand. Et voilà, your private spa. Besides sitting in hot water pools we spent the week eating yoghurt, bananas, noodles, bread with hummus dips, a few beers, pizza and a lot of ice cream. Which was pretty good. Oh, and coffee, a lot of coffee. We had the most beautiful house under a sky full of stars and we slept on free campsites. Our lovely house had an awesome roof screen and was called Toyota Lucida. We took the amazing ferry from the South to North island with the companion of a playful dolphin. We taught each other languages. And not just the bad things! And the most important one: laughter until the muesli found another way out – Denise’s nose. Another important one: great power naps.

And here’s a photo of me with an under chin and a terrible haircut in front of a pool of volcanic water, or something

Thank you Denise for all the laughter. Not only in this week but for this whole year. You’ve added 10 more years to my life with all the fun we’ve had. Until we meet again! 

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What I share and write about only goes as far as I’ve expended my own mind, body and soul. You need to think about what is right and holds true for ya’self. I’m merely sharing what I’m seeing and experiencing through the lens of my eyes, shaped by my lessons, studies and experiences, along with the research and studies of professionals in the particular field. I’m here to share but have no means of taking others’ credit or claiming to provide you with ‘the truth’. 

Oh, and there will be some grammatical slips here and there. So here’s my apologies in advantage (that was a joke), but as long as I’m getting the point across I’m pretty stoked. 

I’m always open and interested to hear your perspective, even — or especially — if my content is not in alignment with yours. But more importantly, I’m here to reach out a hand — you can find me here, or you can visit the FAQ Page

*This article is written for educational and informational purposes only and not for medical advice. Always check in with your doctor for medical advice. You know the deal. And don’t forget to do your own research ;). 

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Renzo Kaashoek
About Renzo

We’re hiding behind fancy websites and a bunch of words and filters. I’d love to introduce myself with some stories to make the chaos on your screen a little more personal. Feel free to reach out and ask or say what you’ve got going on. See ya’ in the mailbox, on the road or, in da barrel.. 

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