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Seismic Auckland

Oh ye living beaudy, oh ye country of fluctuation!

In New Zealand seismic movements can be geological or cultural: As different tectonic plates form the country’s natural scenery, various ethnic groups (sometimes also colliding) shape the country’s cultural landscape.

Auckland is the perfect place to observe these two creational forces. New Zealand’s biggest city (population: 1.2 million) is the country’s most multicultural city. Besides Maoris and Pakehas it has a big Asian community and the largest Polynesian population of any city worldwide. Furthermore, it is built on 50 (!) volcanoes of which some are still active (the last eruption was 600 years ago).

Flo and I arrived in the city on Friday evening with a hole in our stomachs. At a food-hall I ate a spicy Indian curry chicken; Flo had something even spicier which made it impossible to taste the seafood and vegetables. We had to choose between Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Indonesian, and plenty of other cuisines.

Auckland has a harbor on both the west and the east coast. The land’s east-west range is very small in Auckland; to the north and the south it gets wider. By the waterfront we drank some coffee (to wake up) and I ate some licorice ice cream (to be daring).

At a pub we got to know some Aussies working for a circus, Magdalena from Chile, and Linda with a Russian-German background. Oh yeah, and we got to know some Irish pints of Guinness.

On Saturday Flo and I headed through a park to the Auckland Museum which is located in an awesome neo-classicistic building. On the ground-floor there is a comprehensive exhibition of Maori artifacts. I would advise anybody going to Auckland to check it out.

Welcome to the Volcano Gallery on the Museum’s first floor! One room looked like a living room of a private house in Auckland. Through the window I could see the city and the sea. The TV went on. News: A volcanic eruption warning; motorways blocked because everybody tried to leave the city. Then the TV went off; power cut. Through the window I could see steam emerging from the sea, lava followed. The floor started shaking. A gigantic powerful black cloud came racing towards the house…

The bus back to Hamilton left from the Sky Tower (the futuristic looking highest building in the southern hemisphere). In contrast to Auckland, Hamilton appeared a bit monotonous - less seismic friction?

9.8.09 13:49


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9.8.09 13:46


27.7.09 13:07


Nga Maori me Aotearoa

Hello again,

The Maoris refer to New Zealand as Aotearoa. That means “Land of the long white cloud”. A very suiting name. Above you can see a fotocollage of the surrounding area of Hamilton, the Waikato region. I just realized though that there is no such long-cloud-prototypes on it… but they are more than a myth! Thanks Denise, for taking me along with the car.

I started another page: Nga Maori. On it I wrote some things down about the Maori. You can use the link on the left side, if you are interested.

Farewell
27.7.09 13:03


19.7.09 02:01


Raglan: A Day by the Sea

The city of Hamilton is okay. One can live here for a while, but it does not seem to have something special or interesting to it (no sea, hills, pedestrian pricing, etc.). A local told me, that nobody really knows why Hamilton is there. It is not by the sea and no major thing is produced here. Surely the river Waikato may have been a reason for an early settlement. Though I have not seen any ships on the river and I don not think that there is a port here either. “If the University closed down,” The Kiwi theorized.  “Not much would keep the people here.”

 

Yesterday, on Saturday, I left the Hamilton area for the second time since my arrival. I actually wanted to ask Fabiani, if she and Anna (both are from my home University) wanted to join me in town, instead they asked me to come along to Raglan, located one hour west of Hamilton. Anna’s flat mate Denise has a friend’s car at her disposal and was willing to take us along. It turned out to be a good chance to do something exciting on a Saturday. Boy, did that feel good!

 

We drove through downtown Hamilton and left the commercial outskirts behind us. After a few more kilometers we were suddenly in a green rural area. A winding road lead between rolling hills which reminded me strongly of those in Ireland. Eventually we reached the coast of the Tasman See by Raglan. We drove a bit south and parked the car.

 

Wow, the coast is really awesome: It has a long and wide sand beach. But don’t ask me how the body of the dead sheep came there. The wind made streams of sand rush over the beach, creating a second ocean in motion besides the sea. Light and shadow patterned the landscape. It was very windy. We saw a lot of surfers and even someone racing in a small wagon over the beach. The wagon was moved by the wind, as it had a big sail attached to it. Raglan is an internationally renown place among surfers. Above you can see a collage of fotos I took.

 

It’s great to know, that there is more to New Zealand than Hamilton, though I do still enjoy studying here. I am now thinking about buying an inexpensive used car to be able to make such trips more often - and for the time when Caroline comes here in November and December and we will tour around the islands.

19.7.09 01:12


17.7.09 13:11


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