Monthly Archives: June 2010

GO BLACKS

Day 134- 12 June 2010

This Saturday I when to my first ever All Blacks rugby game, and it was, as the kiwis say, O for awesome. Myself, my friend Amanda, two guys from the eastern US and a girl from Holland drove all the way to New Plymouth and although it took 5 hours, it was such a fun ride that it didn’t seem long at all. Because we got to New Plymouth a couple hours before the game was supposed to start, we decided to get some snacks and chill by the beach. We found this amazing spot where giant waves were crashing on the rocks in front of us, just as the sun was setting. We didn’t end up ‘chilling’ much, instead, we scrambled around on the rocks and I ended up climbing up too high on a muddy slope and had to slide down the mud on my butt to get down. Just as we were about to trek back up to the car, it began to rain SO HARD. Even though we sprinted all the way up that slope, we were still soaked by the time we got back to the car so we made a stop at McDonalds on our way to the game and huddled under the hand dryers in a feeble attempt to dry off before standing outside for 3 hours. When we finally made it to the game, I was surprised at how many Ireland fans there were, including one of the guys we drove down with who we threatened to tie to the top of the car if Ireland won. I learned many things at this game, first being that although the Haka is always awesome and intimidating, when an entire team of rugby players do it, its spine tingling. Also, by using Amanda’s telephoto camera to see most of the game I have concluded that rugby players are indestructible, way more hard core than any American football player, and that numbers 18, 15 and 8 on the All Blacks are really good looking. After the game we tried to get some food but every fast food place was packed with rugby fans. We ended up at burger king, waiting in a line that went out the door, listening to drunken Ireland fans argue, and trying to figure out if they sold milkshakes or not. The ride home was much more relaxed, I spent most of it looking out the window at the milky way until we got back to Auckland at 4am. good day.

The Haka

Day 125- 3 June 2010

Tonight I attended a performance by my friends who are in the Kapa Haka class at school. The Haka is the traditional dance that Maori do only on special occasions for special people…or that the All Blacks do before every rubgy match. The class taught them this and several other dances which we got to watch at the university’s Marae (sacred Maori site). Technically only the boys do the Haka and they take off their shirts and stomp on the ground and slap their chests and stick their tongues out and its actually quite scary. The girls get to lead the mellower songs by singing and dancing with a Poi which is a ball on the end of a decorated rope. It was awesome because I saw just about every person I know that goes to Auckland Uni there tonight: people I met in class, at alumni dinners, friends of friends, roommates of friends of friends, EVERYONE.  And there were some people from I House that I didn’t know were in the class but I told them I came just to watch them.  After they performed, there were several other performances and just when I thought my bladder would explode, it was over and there was FREE FOOD. Luckily I stuck with my crafty friend Jeff and he somehow worked us to the front of the line and we dominated that Maori inspired buffet. I realized also that today had been my last day of classes for first semester and that a cultural performance, free food and a chance to meet up with just about everyone I know here was a good way to end it.