Sunday, 22 June 2014

Palmerston North and a Childrens Menu

I've had a good weekend, thus far, with about 10 hours of Sunday left to go. On Friday my family and I took our much anticipated, suddenly thought out, long trip to Palmerston North to see Massey university.
It was originally intended that we (Mum, Dad and I) would catch a plane and go to the open day - in August. However, after looking and looking at flights, trying to find a cheap one and one at a suitable time was just too hard. It wasn't until my Uncle told us that we are actually able to have a personalised tour at any time, that we started looking for earlier flights. Then Dad said, "Why don't we just drive there?"

After arranging a good time with a liason person, we organised to drive down on the 20th, stay at a hotel and come back on the 21st. It was settled. At this, my brother decided that if we were driving, he too would come - just to see the wind turbines (lol). So Friday came around very quickly and we had to all be up at the crack of dawn (3:30am) to be leaving the house by 4am - it was an 8 hour drive and we had to be at the uni for 2 o'clock. Phew, tiring! Anyhow, we made excellent timing by leaving at 4 and stopped at our usual place for a quick coffee - for the parents - and hot chocolate - for my brother and I. We got there at 5:30, only to find they don't open until 6! Along to BP we went and got the drinks there, yum. You know those cafe things in BP, I would suggest getting a chocolate cookie - they're the best!
     We stopped in a town just after the Desert Road, I've no memory of what it is called,  for breakfast at 10. It was a sort of restaurant for travelers, you know, pies, hot chips etc., for a good price - just under $10 each for us all to have a big hot meal, and it was decent food too - if you count wedges, fish, nuggets and chips and the like as a decent meal. Filling, perhaps, is a better word!
     After that we were on the road again and arrived in Palmy at about 12:45, plotted in a Caltex in the GPS as we were rather low on fuel and then found and checked in at the hotel. There was a bit of drama there, when we arrived to find our payed for extra bed wasn't there, and the previous people had left KFC in the fridge and cleaners hadn't removed it. Lovely.
     1:30 we left in search of Massey - not hard to find considering there are signs everywhere pointing to it, and the fact it appears to be on the main road. I was expecting the uni to be about 10 minutes drive out of town - after looking at the map. But discovered that it's really just there on the outskirts, which surprised me. Again, a little bit of drama getting in, but we found our way to the correct place.

I think I was a little bit excited to finally be seeing my dream destination, we met the guy who was showing us around and off we went. First we went to the library - wow. Three stories high, a sort of cafe on the second floor, heaps of computers and study areas on the second floor, and we were told the top floor was just plain books - shelves and shelves of them. As we had an hour to spare before we saw a course adviser, we went into a little sectioned off office space that you can shut off and use for study groups. There, we were given a tonne of information about this, that and the other in relation to studying at uni. I already knew quite a bit, but it was good to be able to ask questions and confirm what I already knew, and then Mum and Dad were given the chance to gain a bit of uni insight too.
     At 3 o'clock we went to see the course adviser - who, quite honestly, was absolutely useless. Her first question was asking if I was a Massey student? umm no. Have you not been told who I am and why I'm here? I mean...
Anyhow, she told us nothing new, and seemed intent not to want to know what we had to say. After I told her that I was interested in a bachelor of science, she asked if I was any good at science? My gosh. After sitting in her office for about half and hour, we were all glad to get out and she seemed to be in a hurry to leave herself. (I don't think I'll like her all that much.)

From there, our "tour guide" drove us around the other side and showed us the food hall and the linguistics of that, and then we walked down to Mc Hardy Hall of residence. Unfortunately we couldn't see inside of it because nobody was around to let us in. As it was the last day of exams, many students had already left to go home, while others were in sitting their exams. It's a gorgeous two story building from the outside and has large park area with trees and grass - it's quite secluded and is just overall nice. I think it's the oldest building on campus. Only five minutes walk from the food hall, but a bit further away from the science towers and such that I would be using.
     Next we went up to Colombo hall of residence, and managed to catch some students to let us in, this is a three story building that holds about 60-70 students. We went to the second floor, and it's very bright. Every so often down the hallways there is another patch of bright colour on the walls. With the RA not around, one of the students there showed me his room. It's not big, but not small either, as it has a king single bed, wardrobe, desk, a large window, shelving/cubby holes. And somewhere in there I think should be a wall heater. It's got enough space to move around in, but you wouldn't want too much guff. The bathroom seems okay, and one of the kitchenettes we saw had two fridges and a table and chairs - and perhaps some cupboards but I can't remember.
     These two halls were not designed for self catering so you can only make yourself the most basic of food in there, they're also completely alcohol free but co-ed. Which is why I'm keen on these two halls. Apparently many of the vet students generally stay in these halls - they don't like to study together obviously because there is a lot of competition between them, but someone like myself, doing the same papers but not the same thing wouldn't be so much of a problem to them.
     Colombo is great because it is central to everything, the food hall is five minutes walk, the bus stop is right outside (free buses by the way), the science towers are also right there, and the recreation centre and main parking lot is also five minutes in the other direction. So I've really got two options here - quiet and secluded, park-like hall, or a hall that is in the middle of everything.

It was funny though, how we managed to go in there on the last day of exams, as there was nobody around. However during the normal semester times the whole place is said to be a bustle of activity - about 14,000 students (1000) of whom live on campus, plus about 1000 staff members and the like, plus added extra people coming and going. It's going to be crazy living there! The great thing is that there are free buses into the city centre and only a five-10 minute walk or bike ride into town. I'm so looking forward to it. Now the hard part is organising studylink - which is mostly done. Then I'll apply soon for accommodation once the applications are open. Then after October 1st, enrollments open. So I've got to figure in the next month or two what I definitely want to study, a double major or single and which papers and then which electives. Meanwhile finishing off NCEA, which is going to be easier said than done, as I'm so far behind.
     Having been to Palmerston North has just made it all seem more real, so it's given me an incentive to just push my schoolwork back into action. It's as if it's just occurred to me that, hey, this is my last year of school... o.O

We had dinner with my Aunty Karen, Uncle Wayne and cousins Samara and Jacob - none of whom I've met before. So we had a nice meal at the restaurant at the hotel, it was worth the money but I wish that I had gotten myself a different dish for main...Dessert was chocolate decadence, with chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup, berries and cream and chilli chocolate ice cream. It was divine, but I couldn't eat it all. The ice cream was interesting with the chilli too...The only part I didn't like was when the guy asked if, like my younger cousins, I would also like the childrens menu?



  1. Ah, you have been to my Palmerston North! You like, no? :D If I were still living there, I'd've tried to sort out a catch up.

    The little town you may have stopped at is Waiouru, where one of the NZ army training camps are. Did you see anyone in army gear trudging along the side of Desert Road? Or did you see the NZ Air Force base at Ohakea? Did you go through Un-Believe-a-Bull (Bulls)? Ooh, ooh, ooh, how about Taihape and it's famous congregated iron gumboot!?

    The city library and Youth Space are great places as well, so if you ever needed any other resources for your course, that's where you could go. Palmy is also really easy to navigate. If you had a map, you'd see that it was all designed in grids around the city Square (plus there is a lot of free wifi around the Square, as well as at the library and Youth Space).

  2. Waiouru, yep, that's where we stopped. One of my uncles reckoned we should've stopped at Taihape, but Mum and Dad have stopped in Waiouru since they were kids. Didn't see any army troops through the desert road - or anywhere really. Didn't see any wild horses either :P Yep, went through Taihape and unbelivabull Bulls. Love that place and making jokes out of it - the newest one Dad came up with when going past the police station was "constabull" hehe ;)
    And of course, Bull cemetery and School for Bulls.

    Unfortunately I didn't really see much of Palmy, we just drove through it when we went in and out, and the hotel was on Fitzherbert Ave quite close to massey, so not too much was seen...I was looking out for the library though and never saw it... :/ I do like the look of it though, it looks really easy to navigate, and I'm sure after not too long I'll have it all sorted out!

    Sweeeeet, me and Free WiFi will get along like a house on fire, Massey has free wifi around the campus, but the halls are blacked out so it means you HAVE to buy some broadband - pain really... :(