2013 Spring External Programs Jacob Innis New Zealand

Life in a Flat

Hey ya!

I have officially been living in my flat for two weeks.  It’s still in one piece, as are the people living in it, which is more than many other flats on campus can say – this week was the annual event referred to locally as O-Week, or Orientation week. It’s an exciting time, as most students are moving back into the town (Dunedin), and the school organized some awesome and diverse events, featuring anything from professional rugby matches (which I will write about in my next blog), to hypnotists, concerts (this year featured Macklemore – I didn’t go because I don’t know any of his music), and food festivals. Needless to say, it’s a time of celebration for the student body. With that in consideration, many students over-indulge in the festivities, and things like this result:


Apparently this couch did something so irreconcilably heinous that this was the only form in which justice could be served.

As a tea-totaler, or non-drinker, I’ve seen lots of things like this in the past week, as well as back home, and reached a conclusion: I don’t understand people my own age.

This is my flat:


There are six of us living in it, five Americans (Myself, Sam, Kelsey, Danyelle, and Alex) and one New Zealander (Lydia). We all get along quite well, I think (no one has told me differently!). We’re all fairly mellow, and everyone is considerate of one another. Lydia (our Kiwi host) is a huge help, as she’s lived here for quite some time, and has been able to field just about every question we’ve thrown at her.

It’s a newer building, particularly in comparison the other flats in the area (remember, I go to the oldest University in New Zealand!). Our little slice of heaven has three floors. Most people enter the flat via the first floor, which holds a bathroom (or water closet, if you’re a native), Sam’s bedroom, my bedroom, and the laundry closet (it’s literally a closet with a washing machine on the ground and a dryer bolted to the ceiling).


The second floor is the place to be, as it’s home to our kitchen/dining/communal area. Everyone in our flat, save for Alex, loves to cook, and we’ve cranked out some excellent food here so far, including quesadillas, French Onion Soup, pot roast, honey-crusted-chicken stir fry, and Shepherd’s Pie to name a few. The kitchen is a bit small for so many people, but we make it work. Our communal area has a few couches and a television that has the charming touch of a coat hanger sticking out of it to act as an antennae. There’s also a bathroom and Kelsey’s room on this floor.


Technology at its finest.

The most interesting part about floor number three is that the water-heater is there. Aside from that, there’s a bathroom and three bedrooms. Yippee!

The flat sits on top of a large hill, surrounded by nothing except other flats. This is actually enormously beneficial for us in a number of ways:

  • Peace – As you have seen from the image above, things can get pretty rowdy, especially around campus. Since I like to think of myself as an old-soul, this is not particularly appealing to me. The distance from campus allows me to retreat from the… eccentric activities… whenever I choose.
  • Exercise – When I say that the flat is on top of a large hill, I’m not talking about a little bump in the road. What I’m referring to is an incline so steep that one misplaced step when descending it could lead to your untimely end. On the up-side, it’s a great workout for your calf-muscles. I should think that the intensity of the hill also prevents the intoxicated hooligans from ever reaching the summit, which is just fine with me.

In short, my new place is the cat’s pajamas, and so are the people who live in it.

Take care!


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