Tuesday, September 15, 2009

E iti noa ana, na te aroha

Second day in Auckland, and I woke up at 0445. This was partly because of jetlag, and partly because of the fact that I had three beers with the mussels yesterday. After two and a half months without a drop of alcohol, I felt those three beers quite a bit when we got home last night. I always have trouble going back to sleep the day after I've consumed alcohol. I gave up trying to sleep at 0630, got up and spent a little more than an hour on the couch, reading John Ajvide Lindkvist's "Människohamn" (great stuff) until my hosts woke up.

I took the bus with my brother's fiancee this morning. She was off to work, and I rode along to go to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which is less warlike than it sounds. Sure, they had some stuff about both World Wars and a lot of Maori weapons on display, but on the whole it was focused on Maori culture and arts, with a lot of side exhibits, including the unavoidable natural history museum dinosaurs. A nice mix.

The best part was the Maori Cultural Experience, which is a fancy way of saying we got to see some traditional Maori rituals, performed live. Lots of singing and dancing, various games involving sticks and staffs, and of course the haka. Very impressive, even though it was only three warriors performing with four women supporting. I wouldn't want to try and stand my ground against say a dozen or so Maori warriors. According to the guide, a well performed haka before a battle sometimes meant there was no battle, because the enemy were so scared of the Maori they just left the field.

Bob was so embarrassed by his friends, that he did his best to escape
But no matter how hard he flapped his arms, he couldn't take off

After the museum I walked around downtown Auckland for a few hours, did some shopping and just enjoyed the fact that I'm on vacation. Found some gifts for Mah Girl. On the way back to the apartment I went to Eve's, a sort of café that has all sorts of interesting cakes and pastries, and bought some stuff for dessert for tonight. Mmmm, unnecessary...

I've seen quite a few street racing cars here in Auckland. You know the type, monstrosities that are just as much about making the right sound as being able to go fast. Often with a twenty-something man behind the wheel, who is just as much about looking just so as being able to drive the car. My brother told me that a law has been passed whereby the police can stop someone if they have a street racey car and they either race the engine so it sounds loud, or if they do basically anything to draw attention to the fact that they're not a normal driver in a normal car. The owner of the car, regardless of if he was driving or not, gets a warning when this happens. The second time it happens, the police seize the car and crush it. That's right. Crush it.

That's one of the funniest things I've heard, ever. Can you imagine how one of those twenty-somethings would feel when he gets his pride and joy back as a one ton metal cube, where you can just make out the remnants of the chromed rims and a warped outline of a flame pattern? Hilarious.

And as a further side note. There's a wireless connection in the apartment complex here called Die Eier von Satan. Me thinkest there liveth a TOOL fan here.


Sashimi said...

I have seen this in the US though - "If you park your car here, it'll be crushed - at your expense" or words to that effect.

beardonaut said...

Ah, there we go. Not so strange then after all. And welcome! At least as a commentator.