Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gypsy Fair a la Kiwi

After leaving Taupo, I headed to Hastings (in Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of the North Island and supposedly the best weather in the country), the "fruitbowl" of New Zealand. This is supposedly the place in New Zealand where you can find the most orchard work. That's what I was after...working outdoors, working my muscles and enjoying some fresh air instead of some stuffy office. Freedom, you know?
So I arrived on an evening and decided to stay at the Rotten Apple, the only backpackers located directly downtown. They had a reputation for also helping people find work so I thought it was a good place to start. During the first week I just hung out with some really cool people and that weekend we went to a gypsy fair located in Havelock North, just a few minutes away from Hastings by car. I was curious to see what Kiwi gypsies were like. They were pretty cool, and best of all, they had really cool campervans!

They live and work out of these campervans

For the fun of it, I decided to do palm reading and tarot from Madame Feather. It was really interesting and she affirmed a lot of things about myself that I knew I did and what I needed to change in my life. You see, fortunetellers can come in so many shapes and sizes. I tend to shy away from people who are very cocky about themselves and tell you something and then that's it, no room for change. She was more like a counselor, and without me saying a thing, she said things that were very true about how I've lived my emotional life and how to approach it differently in order to avoid having the same things happen to me over and over again. And though, in the month since I had arrive in New Zealand, I knew this, it was good to get confirmation about this from a stranger, someone who had no reason to tell me otherwise.

Her office!

There were all sorts of little stands selling a variety of things and at one point this very odd couple got up and played some music. It was so great because it's totally the cliche of what gypsies would be like so I recorded it for your enjoyment. There were pretty good, actually!

Gypsy Music!

While at the fair, I found a man who was willing to pierce the piece of Jade that Kaianga had given me in Rotorua but he didn't have access to electricity in Havelock North and told me that I could come and see him in Napier the next weekend. Warren, a cool cat from South Africa, hadn't been able to come to the first fair and so accompanied me to the one in Napier. There I got my stone pierced and he bought tons of stuff for himself, a gypsy at heart.
The jade had to be pierced with a diamond bit because this stone is really hard.

Warren is from just outside Johannesburg, South Africa

As we walked along, we saw a really cool thing in progress. A man was basically sewing through wood to make different kinds of artsy things like keychains, or phonebook cases and other kitchy but cute things. I was more interested in the process than the result, so here he is!

We managed to get a ride to Napier, but didn't have a ride back to Hastings, so we decided to hitchhike back. I was kind of nervous because I've never done that kind of thing before, but felt a little better because I wasn't doing it alone and because it was still light out. So I asked a cafe for some cardboard and then wrote our destination on it.

We started walking along the main road that would take us back to Hastings. Warren was just carrying the sign down at his side and even before we tried to hitchhike, a nice older British couple stopped for us and took us right back to the hostel! They were really nice. They'd traveled all over Europe and had hitchhiked a lot of that way when they were younger and so wanted to return the favor. We had a nice conversation and then said our goodbyes and we were home!

A nice gypsy ending to a two-part gypsy day.


rita maselli said...

I have childhood memories of gypsies but they are tainted with the fact that I was told that they stole children; so I was fascinated by all the things they sold but afraid of them at the same time. These sound more like "hyppies" of the '60's.

L said...

It's a terrible thing how people will take something and make it so negative! Thanks to you guys, I never grew up with such notions, but you're right, they are quite the hippies. Perhaps they prefer the gypsy term to that of the hippy. Don't know!