Classes and Tramping
Classes started last week. It’s pretty easy since I’m generally in freshman intro classes. Though it does make me feel old to see all the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshmen frivolously writing down everything the professors say. They clearly haven’t lost their souls or become jaded yet. Apparently I stick out as an American like a sore thumb according to several kiwi I have met. On several occasion I have been approached and asked if I was American just because of the way I dress. Apparently my wardrobe screams “I’m from Colorado.” Go figure. Oh well. I’m not finding the hostility that I expected towards American here though. In fact a lot of people really like us because we are polite and are interested to hear about America. Polite?! If you say so…
On Tuesday last week I checked out the Kings Arms (The local live indi venue) to see Okkervile River. I’ve wanted to see them for a while and its pretty cool to feed that old live music hunger while away. Met some interesting people while there. Man, kiwis are friendly.
NOTE: It’s socially acceptable to walk around barefoot in NZ. Lots of people go to class, ride the bus, and do any normal everyday things barefoot. I think its pretty cool and reflects on the laid back mentality that makes this place so open minded and fun.
Friday night a few of us took the trip outside of the city to attend the Pacifica Festival. It’s a cultural festival that celebrates the music and arts of the many Pacific Islanders that live in NZ. We sat in the grass into the evening and watched musical acts from all over the Pacific. I had a really good time and feel like I’m starting to learn a bit about the part of the world that seems to be neglected as important or interesting to East Coast Americans (since I can only speak for what I have seen). Its very foreign to me and interesting. I’m glad that I have enrolled in two classes that deal with Pacific anthropology and culture.
Saturday and Sunday I went backpacking with the Auckland Uni Tramping Club for an orientation trip. We split up into groups of experience to do a hike on Saturday in the northern end of the Waitakere Ranges. Naturally I went with the “F@%&-off hard” group. We did a 5-6 hour hike through the woods and met up with the other groups at the club hut (it’s like a lean-too with some bunks.) We had a feast and a party in the woods that night. The next day we hiked out to Piha beach. There was a surf competition there with music playing. The waves were huge. We were only there for a short while, but I had a blast. I met a lot of cool people over the weekend and saw some of the amazing wilderness NZ has to offer. I’ll try to post some pictures soon.