A Travellerspoint blog

August

This week I did some shopping for bedding and the like at “The Warehouse” downtown (its a bargain store located at the top floor of the Westfield Mall at the Warf), and I handed out dozens of CV’s at cafes on Ponsonby Rd (nicknamed Pompous Rd by me).

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I ended up getting a trial at the Bliss Cafe that weekend where I work for free in competition with other free labor to see who gets the job. The other guy couldn’t keep up with me, so I got the job! But I made coffee like an American, and so I wasn’t allowed near the machine until I could be taught how to do it right. I’d say they were being jerks, but then you see the way they make coffee, and you know that you are out of your league. Just the smoothness of their milk, no bubbles at all, yet still frothy delightfulness! And they poor the milk into the coffee, and with the flick of their wrists, they draw white milk ferns in the coffee as they poor! Yeah, I couldn’t do that, but I wanted to learn.

The view from the cafe:

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Church across the street:

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Ponsonby Rd:

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And this is my favorite park at the other end of Ponsonby from Bliss cafe, but almost right at where we do Acrobatics, which is just by the intersection with the "sex" rd, known as K-Rd, which I turn down towards the car dealerships to get back to my house. Check out this art, I love it!

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And this is the sidewalk on Ponsonby Rd infront of the park:

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Now we are on Great North Rd, what K-Rd becomes when you cross Ponsonby from the "sex" to the "cars," and this is Mt. Eden, a dorment volcano you can see from my house:

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Anna says on the full moon her and her friends go up there for fire dancing and drum circles! I can't wait!

Here is a look up K-Rd:

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Still alright at this section...

And here are the streets I look down on my way home. I stay mostly on Great North Rd, because as you can see, it gets really hilly off the main roads:

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That building is a cafe and bar, I know, because I dropped a CV off there.

Here are a series of close ups on the same location, so you can see that I can actually see the ocean! (Or the bay, whatever)

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This is Anna's street, see what I mean about the drop?

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The tile shop I pass on my way home:

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My street is just at the bend there:

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King St. (My street)

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Churches further down Great North Rd I pass on the way to the grocery store (I think the one on the left is evi)

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Bus stop with an All Black! (I found this out weeks into being in New Zealand, but the All Blacks are their pride and joy, their rugby team, it would be like going to Dalas and asking who the "Cowboys" were. I was very uncool when I asked why there was so much merchandise that said "All Blacks." They are so cute here, their soccer team is called the All Whites, and so on.

I started working at the Bliss Cafe only casual shifts, beginning at 7am, and ending around 9 or 10am during the week, then 11-4 weekends. It was crap hours, but they were the only ones interested since I could only work 6 months at any one job. This week was another play with one of Anna’s friends, but this one was a high school performance. It was basically Harry Potter, the Musical (I remember making one of those...) I was excited, but Joe wasn’t interested in going since the last play wasn’t work it. It was Amazing! So good! All the kids were fantastic! And the songs were really well thought out, and the visuals were well done, it was fantastic! And the Voldemort, Anna’s friend, was the best jail bait I have ever seen. He had this long leather trench coat with no shirt, and these pants reminiscent of David Bowie in Labyrinth, but this kid made it sexy. I later found out that this play was first made in England, and you can watch it on youtube:

Quite frankly though, these kids at this small high school play in Auckland New Zealand would whipe the floor with these English kids. They aren’t even close to as good as the play I saw (maybe thats because most of the cast were female?) But the Ron and Harry from my play really reminded me of the two girls doing the Harry Potter musical for HP7 part 2:

Very good, really talented, and the gay inuendos between Voldmort and Quirl were really quite sweet in the version I saw because Quril was this really talented Maori girl. And the Bellitrix they got! She was blond, with short boy cut hair, but oh my god was she brilliant! I told Joe he had to see the play, so I took him to their weekend show, and we almost couldn’t get seats it was so sold out! But we did, and Joe thought it was magnificent as well! Our favorite part (and I think this was Anna’s friend Arno’s favorite part too) was where he picks up a cane, and does a tap dance as Voldemort! It was great! Oh man, you had to be there I guess.

Soon after this Joe left for the top of New Zealand for a meditation retreat. This retreat would be absolute silence for 10 days, with strict meditation where you aren’t allowed to move. Really didn’t sound like fun, but then again, neither was spending every day looking for a second job. Just after he left Mathilde (my friend from France who was once Anna's couchsurfer whom was then initiated into her group), invited us all to Langham's got tallent. The Langham is New Zealand's only 5 Star hotel, and Mathilde works there as a masseuse. Every year they have a tallent competition for the employees for Christmas, and this year Mathilde was going to be doing her burlesque fan dance to Jack the Knife. The food was served as a large fancy buffet, and there were two hosts that joked around just like on England's got tallent. Some of the acts were pretty good, but nothing too amazing except for this one guy who was just a room cleaner who would sing while he worked and everyone made him sign up for the show... and wow, what pipes! He was really the only one I thought matched up to Mathilde's dance, but Mathilde was pretty blinded by the stage lights, and she dropped the fans at almost every toss : ( But in the end a woman won who did a hula type number. She was alright, but you could tell the audience was really rooting for her. I guess she has tried a few years now and has never won, but never really came out of her shell either, but she gave this dance her absolute all, and it was pretty wonderful when she won because you know she really needed the prize money by how she shook and cried. It was very sweet.

Now, I'm sure you've heard about Flash Mobs (at this point, I had not, but I am very removed from information as a dirty backpacker), but what I attended was not a Flash Mob, but a Subtle Mob. Steevie really wanted to go, but to attend this one you needed a partner, and his partner couldn't make it at the last minute, so I filled in. We had to either download or stream this audio bit for around 30 minutes at a Vulcan St. at 7:30pm to 8:00pm (part of the heart of Auckland CBD). Steevie downloaded part A, and I downloaded part B (hence needing a partner). So exactly at 7:30, you saw a bunch of random window shoppers hit play on their headphone devices, and we observed in pairs as we were all more or less listening to the same voice in our heads. We were instructed to not pay attention to anyone other than our partner, and to not take any kind of photo or video of the Subtle Mob because then it wouldn't be so subtle, would it? Then music began, and we listened to suggestions about the world around us as we followed the music like our own theme song, walking slowly around where we flet, noticing the rooftops we never noticed before, taking care to think about the different architectures, the different times the buildings around us must have been built, and to think on the different generations of people who built them. Then we would be given instructions, like to dance with our partner, and suddenly all these random people walking around Vulcan St. and the surrounding ones (such as Queen or High St.) began to have people dancing. Some of us slow danced, Steevie and I danced one side arms extended, the other on shoulder or waist. Then, we were instructed to break, and walk apart again. I was instructed to walk away and find a window to look into at merchandise. I began analyzing a shoe shop with several other people listening to part B. The part A people looked at us and wondered why we left, what we could be thinking, and the voice in their head gave them instructions on following different emotions. This half an hour became more and more intense, ending with the part A and B people looking deeply into each others eyes, contemplating the possibility of glimpsing the other's soul... All in all, it was a very good experience, but I was more often than not very uncomfortable with the amount of close touching we were instructed to do. I didn't really know Steevie, but he was always a very touchy feely kind of a guy, and you know me.

And now, for my big confession, the last weekend of the month I was talked into attending my first LARP convention! It was 3 days of all sorts of different games you could be in. I only signed up for the main game on Saturday night. We had over 100 people sign up for that event! Most of the other games ranged from about 6 – 12 people at a time, so this event was a really big deal. The whole convention is called Chimera, and the event I paid to join was A Town Called Refuge, set in the USA in the old west. Hahaha, me and one of my roommates Juliet would have the best southern accents (Kiwis have a really hard time mimicking American accents, but at the same time, I can’t do theirs either!) Juliet moved here when she was 7 from the states, so she is really more Kiwi than American, but you can still hear the Minnesota in her voice sometimes. She helped me figure out my costume, and I gave her my boots for her super hero LARP. A Town Called Refuge was being written my Vanya, Prema, and about 2 other people, and they made characters for every single person, with linked back stories and all. I was a farmers wife of a no good son of a bitch! I had one daughter who was getting involved with this woman gang in our town, so one of my goals for the night was to find out more information about what my daughter is up to, and try to keep her out of a life of crime. My other mission, was to make sure nobody discovered my secret identity. I moonlighted as the Masked Maiden at the local saloon (run by Anna). So to make money since my husband was letting our farm go to ruin, I was a hooker! So I had this awful farmer’s wife get up, and then I had this awesome corset and dress outfit with a mask, and to top it off, I hung black lace under the mask since it only covered my eyes, so you really really couldn’t tell it was me. To top it off, I tossed on a red curly wig. I even switched my accent from hick as the farmer, to southern bell as the hooker. It was great fun once I got into it! Then, Anna had this big speech she was giving to the town, and she asked me (on the night) to sing the national anthem!

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I always get stuck on that part about ramparts! I had the whole thing, but I couldn’t get that last part. I went around asking everyone who was taking a break in the “sex” rooms if they knew that time (out of character), and nobody did. Anna told me to just make it up, and none of them would know the difference, but I was so nervous, I couldn’t do it! Beth told me that she knew America the beautiful from Sesame street, and I said that was good enough for me. Her voice was going because she had a cold, but I asked if she could sing with me anyway, just incase I forgot the lyrics. So here we are, in front of a hundred LARPers, singing America the beautiful:

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At the end of the game we voted for best dressed, and best actor, and then we had a big whoha about the game, and everyone’s favorite parts. The game ended with 5 minutes to go, and the girl gang blew up the saloon, killing everyone in the main hall. I was in the “sex” rooms consoling my daughter that her momma really wasn’t missing, and that she told Anna’s character that she wasn’t feeling well, so she went home. We also were told what the smiley faces on our nametags were. Only the hookers had these different symbols on their nametags, and apparently a smiley face meant you didn’t have sipholous. A frowny face meant you did, and now so does everyone you slept with. I did not have sipholous I am happy to say.

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In LARP couples:

(My friend Mathilde and Prima's boyfriend Walter)
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Out of LARP couples:

(My friend Jack and his girlfriend, and finally Prima and Walter)
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My LARP groups:

My loving farm family:
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Saloon Girls:
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Everyone!!!
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Secret to finding me and my future bf Patrick:
Look at the back wall. See the gun being held up? Look at the girl in the straw hat in front of the guy holding up the gun (thats me). Now do you see the wall hanging? Look at the guy 2 to the left of the guy straight under that symbol.

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Posted by - Rain 16:24

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