27 December 2011

New Zealand Chronicles | In The Rain

Sunday, 4 December 2011

It rained. I called shenanigans. When Angie came to visit me (1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6, fin), we had glorious weather. It wasn't entirely my doing, but I helped; we made the most of every day. On my third day in New Zealand, we woke to rain. Not quite a downpour, but much more than sprinkles. We could only think of one indoor activity. But first we had to eat. 


I think I took at least one food picture every day. This little stack was perfection. Starting at the top, you are seeing Marscapone, pineapple chutney, buttermilk pancakes and meyer lemon syrup. I could talk about this for at least 40 words. But I won't. I'll just say it wasn't as sweet as one might think. Meyer lemons and pineapple have tart potential you know. And the Marscapone (which always makes me think of Giada de Laurentiis) was a lovely offset. It was really, really good. We ate at the Takapuna Beach Cafe, which is right where you would expect, on Takapuna Beach. Afterward, got dessert (because we needed it) from the store next door. I had a passion fruit cupcake. It was the beginning of my passion fruit awareness. I would grow to love it, though not to understand its seeds, and their hollow crunch.
There's a kite surfer out there.



We ate our dessert in the car, whilst watching the windsurfers. It didn't seem windy enough, but they were certainly giving it a go, eh? Kiwis say "eh" all the time. In Spanish it's called a "muletilla." I honestly don't know if there's a word for it in English. It's a thing people say just to say. But they say it a lot. 

Yes you are.

Our rainy day adventure was a trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. I dislike war. But I like museums. So at worst the trip would have been a wash. Inside we saw a lot of Maori art and artifacts. I tried to wrap my brain around New Zealand's history. I knew nothing about it. I wondered how similar its native vs Caucasoid history was to ours. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything explaining it all. Angie didn't know either, which was perplexing as she had lived there for two years before I arrived. Ang isn't much into reading (or writing). It's not like she's a math person, she just doesn't like to waste time with words. Yeah I don't know how we work. We just do. 

A ship that carried 100 warriors.
He reminded us of our dead friend at Tawharanui.

Angela won this by playing "guess how many marbles."
We killed some time after the museum, and then went back to Chapel. Chapel Sundays is a thing. I would later describe it as a college atmosphere for 30 & 40 year olds (and me, at 29). There were two DJs, playing music I thought counter-intuitive to a bar. Think Queen + title tracks from several 1980's movies. There were heaps of people and a few acting like fools. And then there were celebrities. Fighters and other rugby sorts from Fight for Life showed up for an afternoon of drinking. I wish you all could have seen it. It was like a Friday night with the lights on. People kept asking me if I was alright, because I was just sitting in a corner frowning. I told them I was just trying to take it all in. Once I got it (or at least got close to getting it), I wanted it. I wanted this neighborhood thing where people met and became friends and made bad decisions, but didn't judge. Chapel Sundays represent a pointless good time with people seeking the same. It's brilliant. First item on the "When I Get Home" list, find a silly bar to make my own. It would not be like Chapel; America likes to forget the 80's and their title tracks. But it would be my own brand of silliness.  

Moonie. Ang met this classy gem like four years ago. He helped her decide to move there. He's... um... yeah.

One of the fighters who lost the previous night. I told him he should've kept his guard up.

I also met a builder named Dan. He was wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates cap & I asked him if he had ever been to Pittsburgh. Turns out he had. He went to Notre Dame, got a Masters in Architecture and worked in Baltimore for a few years. He said he lived on the "hard" side of town, which was a few houses down the beach from where we had brunch that morning. Must be rough. He gave me his card and invited me out on his boat before I left town. But the boat ride conflicted with my trip up north with Ang, so it never happened. Still, it was a pleasure to be asked. 

Just as Chapel Sundays come, Chapel Sundays go. People part ways and go home to get ready for Monday. I (playing the part of a local) went and did the same.