Can't believe a week has already passed and I am leaving tomorrow for Palmerston North/Otaki.
My friend Oke and I went to the festival early in the morning when hardly anyone was there and I bought some Hangi (Maori food cooked in the ground) except it wasn't really Maori food.. haha just chicken, lamb, potatoes, sweet potato and stuffing.. it was still really delicious. Reggae bands dominated the festival as the day also falls on Bob Marley's birthday (plus reggae is just big here in NZ). I noticed a lot of 'gangsters' wearing LA Lakers jerseys and random city baseball caps. Love and HATE it. Another fashion I noticed was cut-off jeans (Tobias Funke would be proud). Men and women alike wore jeans that were cut, often just below the knee, and rolled up (Pictures will follow). The highlight band was 1814, which I suggest anyone who likes reggae to check out!
After the festival, Oke and I walked to Mission Bay, which was kindof a long walk, but it was a nice walk along the coast. We got to mission bay and immediately put our feet in the cool fountain. We walked to get Movenpick, which is STILL the best ice cream I've had in the whole of my existence. Watched Precious (WHICH WAS SO INTENSE) and then went to the beach again after we missed the last bus for an hour ... so the tide had gone out and the water was really shallow for a long ways out .. so we walked out to it (: and then decided to swim.. despite having no bathing suits. it was a super cool experience.. just swimming in the warm water in a city I don't live in with a girl I just met. Life.
After that, we went back to bus stop where we met two european kids who just turned 18 and were drunk.. they were trying to get back to auckland as well. Needless to say, it was an interesting time waiting for the bus.. Once we got to the hostel, we had Indian food made by some of the fellow hostelmates. Fabulous.
I have since hung out with friends Todd&Ariel, a kiwi/american couple who are two of the most fantastic people ever. todd is an animator and ariel can always make me laugh. it's good times with those two, since we watched Avatar and had Kapiti ice cream (not nearly as good as movenpick hahah). I have also played pool with two french guys named Fabian & Selim, both of which were cool guys but difficult to talk to... I mostly spoke to Selim and mostly in Spanish as he understood this better than english. I think I beat Selim once, and Selim&I played doubles against Oke&Akshay / Fabian&Suyog and we definitely won both games.. hahaha
I met Akshay and Suyog a day ago playing pool and I stole a bunch of music from Suyog. Akshay&Suyog and I then went to eat Turkish food which consisted of chicken, rice, ketchup and curds. Sounds gross? IT WAS AMAZING!
Today had chicken noodle soup with Oke, her boyfriend, Ariel&Todd in their room while watching Paranormal Activity. Afterwards went to a pub (my first time!) with Akshay&Suyog. Listened to rock music all night and watched the crazy people dance/make-out. Afterwards, we walked around the harbor a bit and found a cart with which to play with. The security guard did not like this and after me stepping off the cart, he shoved it as far away from me as possible and said to stop making the place look like South Auckland.
Best week ever. I can't guarantee that, but it was definitely one of the newest, most exciting experiences I've ever had.
Thank you, Auckland, for giving me such a pleasant welcome and such an intensely awesome new view on life. I think of Palmy now and fear it will not be nearly as great an experienec as I've had in Auckland... But, I'm sure it will be equally as intense and just as gratifying.