#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.