A landslide in New Zealand is called a slip. Not a slide, but a slip. The word kind of baffles me as it makes this occurrence seem so common and whoopsie-daisy. Tons of rock and dirt slide down a hillside taking out a road and filling up houses at the bottom, wrecking them beyond recognition and someone says there was a slip. The worst rains in decades have hit otherwise sunny Abel Tasman this December, bringing floods, slips and the necessary evacuations in areas prone to be devastated by these events. One community nearby has had the main point of access – a road – swept down the hillside in a slip leaving them mostly isolated. They can still be reached by water. Other communities are under water and mud. But this community – lovely Motueka – is carrying on as normal. Shops are open. People are walking in what seems to be eternal rain going about their Christmas business. Christmas is only ten days away and it is nowhere near my radar. All I can think about is the rain and how I have only worked three days since I got here two weeks ago.
On a plus, however, I have moved. It’s amazing how removing yourself from a toxic situation can brighten even the greyest of days. My new flatmate is a tiny 60-year-old woman who is recently divorced. Also, I’m living next door to two other SAT employees. I reckon the summer will be uncharted chaos; that is if the rain ever stops and we can actually do anything outside.
Tomorrow I visit the dentist and may actually also stop in to see a doctor about the ruptured distal joint in my finger. These days I have so much tape on my body I think it’s the only thing holding me together. And I’m thinking, as it’s my day off, I may go and scour the shops for some Christmas booty – for myself. Chocolates and Baileys. Cookies and vodka. Gingerbread and beer. Just the day-to-day things required to have a happy holiday, especially since I’ve only got Christmas Day off and work straight through the new year – if the rain ever stops.