I cannot believe I've been here for 37 days! I know it has only been a month, but I am paranoid about making sure I get to see and experience everything I want to while I am here.Time is already flying and I know it will be November before I know it. I love and miss you all at home, but I already know I'll miss the good friends I've made here so far and all the little things (don't worry, I'm bringing Marmite home with me so you can all try it and I won't go through withdrawals).
Speaking of the little things one misses while in a distant land... what I wouldn't give for a authentic Mexican burrito, decent ice cream, a Red Robin hamburger, and of course, Mom's home cookin' ;) (haha obviously food is very important to me).
To all those on "the plat"/"quah" in the "WA" (you know this is for you if you understood that last bit) - I am envious of your chance at a real Washington summer, including blackberry season and lounging by the lake with your best buds from elementary school - I realized I have not been home for that in two years. Mom - I owe you many days of sun tanning and reading on the deck and Dad - this is a promise for some bike lessons in the near future.
To all those basking in the sunshine of the golden state - I wish I could pop back for a weekend to enjoy some Cherry on Top and a Corona session with my favorite people :).
But, since teleportation sadly has not been invented yet (oh please let that happen in my life time.. and lets throw in time machines as well).. here's an update from lovely New Zealand!
This past weekend we had the Hall Ball. All the Waikato residents from the three halls on campus got gussied up and, after a lengthy pre-party in our respective halls, danced over to the venue (performance/theatre building) for two dance floors full of shakin' it and a buffet of "nibbles." It was a fun night, but it was the excellent company that did the trick, not just the dancing (although I must say, I was excited to re-live my middle school years for a moment when the Macarena came on). With the right group of people, a good night becomes a great night!
Highlights of the evening include: Sam and Erika's choreographed dance and Gabe trying to describe some small monkeys he had seen at the zoo - "They live in a glass house and had such manly faces; they looked like little tiny men!"
Everyone on my floor (Y2):
The guy in the front with the sick as dreads, mask on his head, and bow tie is Weka, my R.A.
From left to right - Te Rangi (a fellow Y2-er), Amy (my next door neighbor), Me, Sacha (lives downstairs on Y1), and Erika (fellow American, neighbor, NZ other half):
Oh don't we look classy and classic in black and white (boredom induced snazzy picture editing by Erika)...
Erika and I posing with Gabe (far right), Sam (second from the right), and Nina (Gabe's girlfriend):
After an eventful night, we decided not to continue into town after the Ball ended (curse high heels for being so pretty, yet so painful!). This week has been the same ol' same ol' - classes, off and on drizzle, and random laughs at meal times with the Bryant Hall crowd. Sam showed Erika and I a classic New Zealand movie called Boy on Sunday night. You don't even know how many times someone has asked us here if we've seen Boy or Once Were Warriors (the two NZ films, that chances are every person you ask here will have seen) - now that's one down, one to go! It was excellent - a coming of age story in which a young Maori boy deals with his dead-end father coming in and out of his life. It was very funny and set in the '80s, complete with outfits mirroring Michael Jackson, as the main boy (nicknamed "Boy," thus the title) is an MJ fanatic. A word of caution: apparently Once Were Warriors has some fairly violent/upsetting scenes.. so if you're looking for a feel-good movie, go for Boy instead. I'll let you know my take on the film, once I see it.
The other night we also watched an episode of the TV show Summer Heights High, a mock-u-mentary type show, set in an Australian public high school. It is slightly crude and has some hilarious characters, with the three main roles - a silly/pretentious girl, a troublemaker/punk boy, and flamboyantly gay theatre teacher - all played by the same male actor.
In other news, I finished the book I've been reading. A fabulous recommendation (thank you Grandma Rosemary!), it chronicles the life of a 21-year-old Kansas native and Princeton student, as he takes time off school to travel half-way around the world, eventually arriving in the secluded, rustic town of Shaolin in central China to study kungfu and Zen Buddhism at the monastery where both legends originated. How could this book not sound fascinating - its title is American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of the Iron Crotch. The author is hysterical, it gives remarkable insight into Chinese tradition and the country's culture of the 1990s, and there is a shocking section that explains the latter part of the title - lets just say there is iron fist kungfu (that whole breaking plywood or river stones with your hand thing) and iron head kungfu (breaking bricks over your head), so you can image what part of the body gains inhuman strength for that type of iron kungfu (ouch!). I hope you will check out this fantastic read!
Well now it is almost biscuit time and the stomach is growling... I will save the academic updates for another day. Kia ora!