Iqon's New Zealand Blog

Archive for 16 November 2009

Radio silence

by on 16 November 2009, under New Zealand

Do not fear for me, dear readers, just because the blog won’t be updated the next couple of weeks. I had my last exam Saturday and my summer holidays can thus begin with a four months’ delay. This, we need to exploit, and therefore we will be going to the South Island of New Zealand tomorrow. Therefore, since I am traveling the next month, I will probably not be able to update the blog before I come back to Auckland. Take care until then!

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My slow internet

by on 13 November 2009, under New Zealand

I apologize for this completely irrelevant blog post but I have to complain a bit more about my internet and you, dear reader, will have to suffer with me:

When I look at the tags I have started to put on my posts there is especially one that I seem to use for almost all of my posts: “Me complaining”. Especially, I have complained about my internet and now where I am at a point where I am about to give up completely on it since I am being disconnected every other second, and can’t download any of my beloved podcasts, I will try to illustrate what I am going through with some screenshots.

Evidence 1: First up is my “delta” which is some kind of measure on how good my internet connection is. It should be about 8-10 to have really “good” (in NZ terms) internet. My delta is at -3. I have no idea how it is possible to get minus on that scale, but my internet is nevertheless down there. Hooray!

Delta

Evidence 2: Back home I am used to having 20/20 Mbit/s internet. Here I have impressive 0.16/0.03 Mbit/s – not surprising that it takes me days to upload photos to Flickr. My internet in Denmark is 125 faster when downloading, 667 times faster when uploading.

Speedtest

Evidence 3: I really enjoy listening to and watching podcasts. They are the reason I somehow manage to download about 20 Gb of data. Woosh (my internet provider) claims their 20 GB plan is for big families who uses the internet a lot and downloads lots of stuff. They claim such a family will never have to think about their internet usage when they are on that plan. I almost hit the limit every month. That’s quite impressive, considering how slow my podcasts download:

http://www.iqon.dk/billeder/iTunes.jpg

The last screenshot was taken on a day where it was extremely bad, but it definitely gets my message through, I hope. 64 days to download a podcast.

I pay 44 USD each month for my “internet”.

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Exams

by on 12 November 2009, under New Zealand, UoA, Hiking

It has been a while since I last wrote on my blog. It is not because nothing is going on down here, though. The culprits are my exams which I have needed to focus on for the last couple of weeks.

Last time I wrote was the day (or night) before my birthday which went well. Not only did I receive some gifts, we also had a small party to celebrate my great accomplishment of having survived 23 years of life. The weather was terrible the most of the day but I guess that is because everything is acting the opposite way down here (the water in the toilet spins the wrong way when flushing, people drive in the wrong side of the road, it gets colder when you go south etc.). With that in mind, the bad weather on my birthday must mean that I have been behaving quite well this past year (this is one of the few cases where I can definitely agree with the weather). Now that we are talking about the weather (or rather, now that I am boring people with it) I can mention that it definitely starts to feel like summer now. We still have the occasional days with bad weather which makes me even more sad than normally since it can sometimes completely kill my beloved Internet. It seems so weird to have Internet which depends on the weather but that is at least my theory on how the speed can go from “modem like” (on the good days!) to “non-existing”.

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I got flowers from the two Americans Josh and TJ

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The rest of my gifts

Most days the weather has been pretty nice, though, and we have utilized that to have a few barbecues. The most recent of these was last weekend where David Ryan, the professor who has previously had us for dinner, had invited us for a late lunch barbecue at Waiheke Island, one of the small islands close to Auckland. Here Ryan owns a small summer cottage (or “badge” as I learned it is called in New Zealand) which is soon to be demolished in order for a proper house to be build on the ground. The idea is that he and his wife will move there when the new house has been constructed. That is quite understandable; the island was a lovely place with easy access to the beach and great views. Not a bad place to settle! Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera so you will have to take my word for it.

My biggest “adventure” took place a couple of weeks ago. Skott and a couple of my other friends down here have taken up surfing and had planned to go on a surf trip for a couple of days to celebrate the end of lectures. I have never managed to become excited about the prospect of surfing so I could instead look forward to some days all alone and sad (since no one wanted to go with me to Fiji or Tonga). At least that’s how it seemed until the night before Saturday (same day as my lectures ended) where I was offered to go on a trip to Tongariro the following day. The plan was to go down there Saturday and spend Sunday on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is known to be one of the very best one day hikes New Zealand has to offer. I can easily see how it has achieved this reputation: It was an amazing trip which went up active volcanoes, snow covered mountain tops, hot springs, beautiful lakes and ending in “rain forest” style surroundings. The highest point was Mt Tongariro at 1900 m above sea level and needless to say the view was fantastic from there. It was a long hike (approximately 9 hours, 23 km) but luckily I did not twist my ankle until after the steepest ascents. However, I did have to walk the last three hours with a somewhat sore ankle after having twisted it on my way down but that’s (my) life. I can also mention that Mt Tongariro along with e.g. Mt Ngauruhoe (an optional side trip of about three hours you can do if you think you have the time – we didn’t) were used as settings for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies.

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As I mentioned in the beginning I do spend most of my time studying for my exams at the moment. Today I have had my second one out of a total of three. I have done OK in both of them although I don’t think I have answered everything 100% correctly in any of them. My last exam is this Saturday which I am of course looking forward to. Afterwards I am going to the South Island for some weeks until I leave the country the 13th of December. I’ll spend a couple of days in New York and then return to the cold and dark Denmark.

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