Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eyes as Candles

I'm back in Auckland.
My day in Taupo was fairly interesting, but more not interesting.
It was raining the day I left and during the bus ride it was difficult to take pictures because of the water-stained windows. The interesting thing was that for about half the trip, it was practically a one-lane road and windy as hell. Then it was raining really hard, started hailing, on a windy, hilly, one-lane road. It was awesome. The landscape is beautiful though and really reminded me of California, which was comforting.

Taupo is a beautiful town lakeside to a giant lake in the middle of New Zealand. I got picked up by a woman who worked at the hostel I was staying at and the hostel was actually about the size of a somewhat large house. I shared a room with two Israeli girls who didn't say a word to me except 'is it okay?' (to turn on the heater) one girl was really pretty though.
On my first half-day there my lovely, sexy and wonderful girlfriend Jess B-block came down to visit me and took me around Taupo (there wasn't much of it). We kicked it in the classy McDonald's for about 2 hours with her friends Jake and Ellen (I might be remembering these names wrong) which was entertaining. We walked around to look at food places and little trinket stores and Jess totally shouted me a scone, which was DELICIOUS. She made me devour every thing they gave me though (in terms of all the jam and cream) because it was a 6 dollar scone.
I went back to my hostel and studied te reo Maori like a true gangster.

Woke up the next day and got a ride to town at 10am. I found out about huka falls and arranged for a shuttle pick up at 11:45, so I walked around a bit and purchased a wool sweater from a thrift store because it was so unbelievably cold. Went to huka falls, which was a part of the Waikato river which condenses really tightly for a bit which leaves roaring rapids. It was quite beautiful to look at. Afterwards, I went back to town and sat by the lake for about 2 hours, because I'm the type of person who can sit and do nothing for hours and never get bored.

Caught the bus, took a lovely trip up to Auckland with a beautiful sunset against a beautiful landscape and came into nite-lite Auckland, which gave me the same feeling of driving into SF at night. Love! So now I'm enjoying Auckland at Stefan's house because his parents are so kind to take me in for a few nights... Getting tattooed tomorrow!

Monday, April 5, 2010


#1 I've been hanging out with a lot of people younger than me, which has not happened since Junior year in high school. And by younger, I mean a year - 3 years younger. Even just a year younger is weird for me. I'm so used to my 25 - 35 year old friends... But, it's working out. Age is just a number, after all. But being able to say things like 'I'm older than you' is really not a sentence I'm used to.

#2 Had a mean Māori weekend. Watched River Queen and Whale Rider one night (well, and Whale Rider like 4 times in one day). River Queen was a movie about the Taranaki land wars (I think) and how a pakeha woman was caught between supporting her colonial 'family' and the Māori she was beginning to respect and love. It was really poorly directed & edited. Whale Rider was as nice as ever.

Went to a Māori family party on Saturday night which was really interesting. A pitbull chained to a car parked in the front lawn, tons of family members everywhere -- some sleeping, some eating, chatting, drinking -- and hangi! Hangi, if I haven't mentioned it before, is traditional food cooked in the ground. Truly delicious. Walking room to room meeting family members and hearing them talk about the events of the day and night before was particularly great. One particular event was when random "FOB" islander guy came strolling up to the party, naked save for a blanket he wore around himself, and partaking in it like he was a part of the family. The house was small, but cozy with old wallpaper and high cielings. A single hallway led through the center of the home to a small kitchen at the end, with about 3 rooms on either side of the hallway. Mattresses were strewn across the floors of nearly every room as all the family members would occassionally pass out or lay together to watch television. It was especially warming to see all the children huddled around the television with the elderly members behind dozing on the couch. I played some boxing game with my friend Jerrau, his brother and cousin.

Afterwards, I watched Once Were Warriors, which was intensely intense. For those who have not heard of it, this movie was about domestic abuse and problems with urban Māoris. It was bloody, violent and depressing... but a rather good film, I'd say. Next day (today), watched Boy. Boy was another film about Māoris and it was both quirky/humorous as well as poignant and emotional. If anyone saw Eagle vs. Shark, it was the same director. It was REALLY good and I hope at some point it shows up in America because friends back home should definitely see it. Very good!

Tomorrow I'm off to Taupo then to Auckland where I'll be getting my Horse of Rohan tattoo, and then to Tonga for 5 days! Will update then.