Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Day in New Zealand

Went to dinner with Rashmi at the Bailey's in the city square. Had a moroccan chicken sandwich. It was pretty good. Had some New Zealand beer with it. It was a light pilsner, very refreshing, not much to it. Walked around Christchurch for a while. Nice city, but everything shuts down at 5 and they barely open on the weekends. It's just weird. Lots of sex shops too. That was mildly unexpected. Wacky Kiwis. Bought my standard New Zealand t-shirt with the All Blacks logo on it. Planned on taking a nap and then hitting the town, but I woke up from the nap at around 2 am and decided to just sleep through the night. Had a nice breakfast this morning at the hotel. They had a lot of fruit (tons of kiwis) and eggs and bacon (which was more like canadian bacon than the far superior american bacon) and sausage. I had Marmite, which was advertised as a yeast spread. It was a dark brown, almost molasses looking spread which tasted just about as bad as it smelled. It was bitter and sour and tasted like uncooked bitter dough. The waitress said it was to be eaten with margarine, so it's just a winning combination.

After breakfast, I went to the nearby botanical gardens which were fairly nice. It was funny, the most impressive trees were originally from california. Then I went to the museum right by the gardens. They had the history of the indigenous people, the Maori and the Moriari. They neglected to mention the slaughter of the non-violent Moriori by the aggressive and expansionist Maori. They had gems and meteors and mummies, and even a dinosaur or two. They also had a whole exhibit on antarctica and the early expeditions. It was cool. And it was all free!

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