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!)
Here they are:
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!