Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Kiwi Story

Day 9 (4 Oct’09). A New Zealand Experience.

Before I dwell on the jail bit, lets just chat about what happen on my Christchurch tram tour first. It started with us arriving at the Cathedral Square early in the morning. This is where the Anglican cathedral of Christ Church was built in the second half of the 19th century; the landmark of Christchurch. It was a wet weekend morning, thus no crowd around to fight with us for photography space. Hehhehee….
Our so called beautiful plan is to take the tram around the city, stop at every station (if possible) and ofcos (as usual) take loads and loads of pics (not realizing that the stop is noooot that far apart from each other - basically we can walk lar).

We stopped at Christchurch Art Gallery, we didn’t venture the galleries, but we saw a group of people taking ballroom class at the foyer. It was pretty interesting looking at their foot work, reminded me of those days when I took Latino dance class *awww….*

The next site the Arts Centre Market at Culture Precinct is about 100 meter form the gallery, we “thought” we should just walk over :P One thing I have to say is that I absolutely LOVE the buildings. It’s those old English type of building that you can feel the age, history and tale. They definitely maintains it very well, GO NZ!

I also did some googling and found out that the Arts Centre of Christchurch is housed in the Gothic Revival buildings of the University of Canterbury's former town site and that includes Canterbury's professional theatre company the Court Theatre, the Southern Ballet, the University Theatre, and the School for Young Writers. Impressive huh!

Paying the tram is such a waste as we continued walking down the street probably another 50 meter to the Botanic Gardens (luckily it's a 2 days pass). Andrea got really excited as she saw the lovely tulips, and yup! You guessed it! She with her super duper changgih DSLR snaps non-stop, as for me; my camera ran out of battery…sigh… I did recharge my spare battery BUT left it in the jail… apa lar… soooo tak pandai.

We then head back to the car as we need to buffer time to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to see the KIWI!!! I mean, that’s what one need to do if they’re in NZ, they must see the KIWI! Right?!?! And we did!

Next was the one thing I have been waiting for, they showed us the HAKKA DANCE! YEAY! They called up the men to join them do the Hakka dance where else the ladies did the Maori Poi dance (a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically). Pretty neat, Andrea got to try it as I would rather be sitting and taking pics.

Last but not least we were taken to go around the wildlife reserve to view the kiwi, crane, kea, pukeko and feed the eel (Yup! You heard me alright). I would say NZ experience was rather cool!

The jail suspense.

Credits : Wikipedia, Chrischurch Art Gallery, Cultural Precinct, Christchurch City Libraries, Willowbank, History NZ, Home Of Poi

Once the briefing is done she took us for the welcoming ritual whereby we thought the chief was good looking charismatic man. Really! The ritual was that “our” chief/leader need to accept the offering form the Maori, upon acceptance, they will sing and guide us to their “home ground”. The guide also explained on the tattooed on their faces and what it represents, I though it was really enlightening. For instance, The word "tattoo" comes from the Tahitian word "tatau". Captain James Cook used the word "tattow" when he witnessed tattooing for the first time in Tahiti, in 1769. The Moko is similar to an identity card, or passport. For men, the Moko showed their rank, their status and their ferocity, or virility. The wearer's position of power and authority could be instantly recognized in his Moko. Interesting neh…

We manage to get ourselves there with few wrong turns ofcos (thank goodness we buffered for that - phew!). We were 15mins early I think, made payment at the counter and ran out at the entrance to take pic - takut gelap gambar tak cantek, PERASAN! Then they called us for the briefing on the Maori tribe which is good as before that we know nuts on Maori except that I feel they look a little bit like us Asian.

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