1. I started my first proper grown-up job. Tried not to refer to it in that way at work and instead look professional and seasoned... well, perhaps not, but contrary to all expectations I did not get horribly nervous. I did not make horrible mistakes. I'm slipping into the work much quicker than I (and they) expected. I'm learning lots. I'm feeling quite privileged to get paid to do something that seems actually important and to work in something so closely associated with Canterbury earthquake recovery - pretty cool, really. Take that, all the people who said But what are you going to DO with a BA/MA? Future Arts grads, don't listen to them!
2. I bought my first car. !!! Rockin it in a Mazda Demio... okay, so it doesn't have that kind of a ring to it, but I'm pretty excited! I'm not actually picking it up until my birthday, as in NZ you pay less insurance after you're 25, so it made sense to wait a week.
3. It was my niece's first day at school on the same day I started work. She's five and very excited!
4. This week the buses started going through the city again, instead of around it, for the first time since the February earthquake. This may not seem that significant but the city has been like this big black hole in Christchurch where only people with hard hats and orange hi-visibility vests are allowed to go. The buses have been stopping on opposite sides of the CBD. This leads on...
5. The shopping district of Cashel Mall has all but disappeared. As you can see in the photo above, so much has been demolished while it's been cordoned off that it's barely recognisable. This goes for much of the city.
BUT! For the first time since February 22nd, they're opening up Cashel Mall to the public for shopping in shipping containers! See below.
Behold: the "pop-up mall".
It's not quite finished in the photo, but it's finished in reality, and tomorrow afternoon we'll be allowed into this part of the CBD once more to shop in this pop-up mall, eat and drink in pop-up cafés, et cetera.
I was a little sceptical until I saw the report on TV tonight about it, and it just looks so cool. It's very exciting to see the central city opening up for the first time, even if it's only a little bit, and in such a creative and fun way. Hurrah!
I will also be able to wander down in my lunch breaks on work days, as I work right on the edge of the CBD. Eating options have been limited, so this is also exciting.
It's SO GOOD to see Christchurch recovering little by little. There's a very long way to go. This has been something I've learnt even more this week as I've started my new job. It's easy to forget that things are crazy when you live in a fairly unaffected suburb and no longer visit the CBD. Now I'm there again, my work station reflects the buildings that are destined for demolition in its glass, and it seems ghostly. But life is returning slowly.