Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I arrived in Tauranga about a week and a half ago and will be leaving on Tuesday. So, I'm back in the Bay of Plenty but west of where I stayed when I first arrived in New Zealand. This place is absolutely gorgeous and much more of the coastal city/town/summer pad that I was hoping to find.

Below a little video of my first evening in Tauranga. A view of the bay/port from the roof/balcony of the Harbourside Backpackers. Not too shabby, eh?

There are tons of bars, cafes and restaurants on the Strand (what seems to be the common name in many coastal towns, for the street that's closest to the water, like the boardwalk). There are quite a few nightclubs too which is pretty cool after the one nightclub I had to contend with in Hastings for 2 1/2 months. Cafes also close later and the place that I'm sending this entry from is called Chaos, a definitive rock/metal head cafe which has the wonderful advantage of providing free internet if you purchase something as cheap as a coke. You can stay here for hours afterwards and no one bothers you. Definitely beats the $4/hour you find in other places! Only problem is, wireless is not as reliable as the cable internet...can't have it all, huh?

On my first weekend here, there was an international hydroplane competition literally across the street from the backpackers, so we had a bird's eye view of the show, and for free!!! But imagine, what it sounds like when a motorcycle is roaring down the street at 2am on a week night. These boats are 10 times louder than those damned motorcycles!

hydroplane being airlifted into the water
"showgrounds" with cranes and boats waiting for the race

Last Friday, I was sitting at a table and chairs next to the port minding my own business, having a coffee and a group of men in kilts were playing bagpipes. It was kind of strange, but cool at the same time. Thought you'd like to hear them practicing. (warning: I did say Irish bagpipes. I am aware of it now. I apologize. Wasn't thinking straight!)

Later on, some young Maori boys came up to me to ask for a cigarette. There were six of them. Two pairs of them were brothers and they were all first cousins, the sons of sisters. It was great to meet local boys, see what the modern Maori lifestyle is like. They were all born and raised in Tauranga and their ages ranged from 17 to 24. So once again, I'm the oldest in the group. I should be used to this by now! So a simple request for a cigarette turned into about 45 minutes of discussion and educational epiphanies. I learned a lot of new words from them.

Here they are:

loot: money

servo: service station, or gas station as we would say in North America

heiner: pretty girl (a compliment, not an insult)

smuck/darri: to smoke

Other words or expressions I've learned since I got to New Zealand:

sweet as: cool

push and play: exercise

dairy: convenience store/corner store

tea toatler(not sure of the spelling of this word): going around dry, without the influence of alcohol

Shout you a drink: treat you to a drink/offer you a drink; you can shout someone anything

Below, one of the boys, doing a modern-day haka for us. It was fun!

This is what traveling is all about!


masellirita said...

... liked the sounds of the bagpipes and the modern day haka, even though the moves he made and the sound of the language reminded me of another expereince but can't figure out which. ... seems like an idyllic kind of place, this little town. love M

L said...

The funny thing is that Shani saw this and told me that he was actually trying to hit on me and the type of haka he did was a reflection of his attraction. I find that so hilarious because I had absolutely no clue!

I think what you might be comparing it to is rap/hip hop. It's a mix between the haka (particularly the end with the tongue) and hip hop. Hence, my calling it the modern haka.