Te Papa

I spent my last two nights (from MONDAY to WEDNESDAY) in Wellington at the Cambridge Hotel. I was spoilt by the YHA and I had to experience some cheaper backpacker life reality. The room was stinky and someone opened my milk, even though it was labelled. Oh, and they finished my muesli I saved for my last breakfast. Luckily, I had bought a scone just in case that person decided to finish my milk, but I guess muesli had to go first.

TUESDAY, 11th October was my last full day in the capital. I wasn’t sure about the weather. It was warm, but cloudy and I could smell the rain in the air. I decided to finish exploring Te Papa.
From 9th to 14th Oct., you could see The Webb Ellis Cup in the museum. Not sure if it was the real one, because I thought it would be behind the glass and better protected.

My favourite level at Te Papa was level 4. There was a large exhibition of Treaty of Waitangi…

…a lot of Maori artifacts, like stuff which belonged to Te Rauparehu (the guy who created Ka Mate)…

..funnels used to feed men who were being tattooed.

And I felt very warm at heart when I saw this there

In the afternoon I had to do some planning and booking, so I went to the library again to use the Internet. I didn’t want to leave Wellington. I started feeling settled there. The photographers were the same at almost every concert so thanks to my camera, they remembered me. I became friends with one homeless guy called Pete. The longer I stayed, the longer I wanted to stay, probably, because I wanted to keep the memories from last weekend fresh, but time is running out and there’s still so much to see in New Zealand, that there had to be one day when I hit the road again.

After supper at the hotel, I went for my last walk along Courtenay Place and Cuba Street. On Courtenay Place I went to the Library Bar, had a Rum Hot Chocolate, listened to live Spanish music. Going back to the hotel I saw a group of young people playing rugby on the streets and having a laugh every time the ball hit a parked car, which wasn’t very cool, but no one seemed to care.

The Woolshed Sessions and The Yoots

SUNDAY, 9th October

The intoxication continues.

Another late night resulted with another late morning. I was really deep in my work on my blog when I realized it was already time to go and see The Woolshed Sessions. Walking closer to the stage in Courtenay Place, I heard their first chords.

In half an hour there were the Yoots to play (recommended by Mike Fabulous), so J.&R. and me waited in one of the cafes near the stage. I ordered kumara chilli fries. Yum!

Soon we saw the band taking the stage. I saw again a couple familiar faces, like Dan from WIUO and Will from The Phoenix Foundation.

Their songs were singalongs, so there was a board with lyrics to help the audience with the singing.

Or sometimes there were songs with motions

They finished before 6 p.m. I caught Dan to sign my WIUO EP, because I didn’t meet him on Thursday. He was better now and he told me he always wanted to visit Poland. I was surprised and honoured! 😀

I wanted to see The Nudge and thought they would be playing later, but then I found the schedule and they had already played at 1 a.m. Maybe another time I’ll be more lucky.

At 6 p.m. the streets of Wellington got empty and quiet. The capital and 25,000 visitors were watching rugby, Springboks being beaten by the Wallabies. I watched the match back at home. Dan recommended me another jazz band playing that evening at Happy, but when I got home, I felt comfortable and lazy and didn’t want to go outside anymore. Besides, I had to watch the All Blacks and Piri Weepu being awesome.

Right, I finally caught up with my blog. It’s Monday. I’m still at my hosts who are at work now and I just have to shut the door behind me. It’s already afternoon. My bags are packed and I’ve decided to stay two more nights in Wellington. The YHA was too expensive for me now ($37.50 per night!), so I booked at the Cambridge Hotel using my new BBH card ($22 per night).

You’ve got a lot to listen to before my next post, so enjoy them all!

Hollie Smith and DJ Fabulous

SATURDAY, 8th October

The nights on Mt Cook were very quiet and peaceful. I had sleep in and went down for breakfast at about 11 a.m. After lazy early afternoon, I left the house at about 2:30 p.m. to listen to Hollie Smith playing live in Courtenay Place. The street was closed, just like it was during the big premieres of The Lord of The Rings or Lovely Bones. In front of the Embassy Theatre there was a stage and Hollie had already started her performance when I arrived.

After the concert I had some time before I was to meet J.&R. at Green Man Pub to watch a rugby match, so I went to buy a BBH Club Card ($45). Their hostels are usually cheaper than the YHA ones (with the card even cheaper and I get $20 for phone calls with the card) and still pretty good. I couldn’t buy the card at the Visitor Centre, but only at the Wellington Downtown Backpackers, which is opposite the Railway Station near the Stadium. I end up following the crowd going to the Ireland v Wales match, with mostly the Irish supporters.

The Green Man was very crowded and there was no room to even stand without being pushed around all the time. When J.&R. came, we decided to go to a less busy pub. On the way they had noticed the Tap House, a new pub, and there was a lot more space. It was actually pretty nice and we could sit by the bar and watch the Wales winning over Ireland. I think we were the only ones who were happy about that. I wanted them to win, because I was sorry they lost with South Africa.

When the match was over, we went to Havana Bar for dinner. It was a very cool restaurant owned by the same people who have Fidel’s café and very close to Cuba Street but in a such place that you’d never expect to find a restaurant there. And it’s very cosy. I met J.&R.’s friends. He was from Austria and she was American, so at one table there were five nationalities sitting. Each one of us ordered at least two dishes and we shared them. All of them were so delicious. When we finished and the waitress brought us the bill, we saw that there were less dishes than we had ordered. Some of us said we shouldn’t say anything and pay less, others wanted to tell the waitress to add the missing dishes. We finally decided to give a big tip without saying anything.

Then we went for a walk along the Courtenay Place. The atmosphere was amazing, people were singing, celebrating (while we were having dinner England lost with France, which I wasn’t happy about). One Kiwi offered me his arm, so I was walking for a while holding him and we were talking about his friend who was a great guy but pretty ugly and he didn’t like rugby (I may or may have not mentioned him that I’m looking for a Kiwi boyfriend to stay in New Zealand 😉 ). The guy I was talking to had been already taken and his fiancé was walking before us.

We listened to Tommy and the Fallen Horses. They were good, but it was getting cold, so we went back to Cuba Street. On the way I found $10 lying on the street, which was great, because I had just paid for quite expensive dinner. (My pen run out and I found another one on the street the other day. I think I’d survive on the street with my good eyes 😀 ).

The night was still young. My new friends suggested to go to Matterhorn. When we got in, I thought the music was very good and when I saw the DJ, I understood why. It was no one else but the one and only Mike Fabulous! I just had to talk to him about the previous night at the Mighty Mighty and how I enjoyed his music. He was very happy to hear that. He told me he’s a DJ here like once or twice a month. How cool was that to meet him there?! He asked me what I was doing in New Zealand etc. and recommended to check out The Yoots who were to play on Sunday. He was a really lovely guy. Oh! And he left a message for you!

R. said that I’ll have to go on some kind of detox, when I come back from New Zealand. At the moment I don’t want to think about it.