Zzzzzzzzzzing!

Although I’m a pro at jaywalking in busy cities, Auckland has proved slightly more problematic. The whole driving on the left-hand side of the street makes me afraid that I’m not seeing where all the cars are driving. So I find myself using the crosswalk buttons more than usual.

The ones here are fantastic! Not only do they operate with the standard flashing lights but they come with sound! It makes this awesome video game laser sound. It totally sounds like old-school Mario Bros. The only problem is that because it makes the sound sometimes you start to cross the street when it’s actually the other side that has the green. Some poor asain tourists almost bit it yesterday!

Wedding: Part 2 & 3

The wedding continues! I tell you, these Indians are rock stars. They go for days with all this jazz. Day two consisted of the paste stage. The groom gets it applied to him 5 times that day, the last being with the whole family present.

Evidently it burns. Eek.

Once that part is concluded, the women sit around and cook rice bubbles. After each is created, they call a family member to the front and they pay to eat it. This money goes towards the bride and groom.

A wok on the front steps. Perfect place I think.

That night everyone at the party kept talking about how I could get a Sari for super cheap in town. They were super keen on the idea. Once one guy started talking about it they all joined in. So Chris and I decided why the hell not? The day we went out and shopped at the store where the wedding party had about their outfits. Dropping the groom’s name got us an amazing deal on our stuff. Otherwise, wowsers it would have been expensive.

My new friend! She was fabulous at explaining what was going on.

Yes I am wearing my sari with a tshirt. Normally you buy fabric that matches and have a shirt made, but we didn’t have the time. I bought a black one, knowing I had the gray tshirt to match.

No looking!

The groom starts off the ceremony alone on the stage. The bride then comes in but is hidden by a veil the family holds up. This one happened to be yellow. Crazy colorful wedding stuff.

Once they both are on the stage, they exchange flower garlands. Gorgeous!

After that, the wedding began. I can honestly tell you nothing about what went on as it was all in Hindi. But it was very pretty and the leader had an amazing singing voice. The entire close family is up there for the duration. They answer questions and are involved in the prayers that take place. The whole thing was bustling with people everywhere. Strange to see so much activity. They would move around the stage and sit in different places. Or circle the platform. It was pretty entertaining to watch even without knowing what was being said.

Afterwards, every family member or friend had their photo taken with the couple. I had thought that this was originally just for family, but they called everyone up to the stage. Even me! It was super spiffy.

It was a fantastic time, even if I learned I don’t like Indian food. :)

Out and About

First day in Auckland and I decided to do some roaming around. Not much on the agenda and that’s the way I like it! Made my first tourist stop at the Auckland Sky Tower. I could tell you how high it is but I can’t remember. it’s tall. Like really freakin tall and reminds me of the seattle space needle. Made the mistake of forgetting my map at home that day, but miraculously it’s really easy to find the tallest building in a downtown area. Who knew?

Here it is for the base. Note the mini cooper half-way up!

By passing the casino and hotel attached, you travel all the way to the basement to go up. Strange I know.

Glass-floored elevators. Spiffy!

Once at the top, you do get some pretty amazing views of the city and harbor.

You can even bungee jump from the top of the tower! No, I didn’t do it mom. You can calm down. But while up there I did get to see a couple of people jump. It looked fantastic!

Aim for the target and SPLAT!

I even managed to start a trend while up there. Not wanting to have a normal photo of me posing in front of the window, I chose something a little different.

AHHHHHHHHHH I'm falling!!!

Evidently everyone around me loved it, and from then on they all were lining up to have their photo taken on the floor. It made me giggle.

After the tower I toured around a bit and found an awesome used bookstore.

Tons of books to flip through.

I almost bought this book for my brother but sadly didn’t. Poor Drew, however will you learn?

Took my new book, bought some meat pies for lunch (just for you matt) and then found a perfect park to sit down and enjoy.

Day 1 of Hindu Wedding Madness

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff! I know you all have been dying to know how this wedding shindig has been going so far. Last night was the first of three events for the Hindu wedding.

We pull up to this very nice suburban house with a giant tent set up in the front drive. it’s a bit surprising that there aren’t more people around, but we take a seat by some of the older men of the family. Soon a drink called Kava is passed around. It looks like muddy water. It tastes like muddy water. Then eventually there’s this weird tingling sensation that starts in your mouth and it goes numb. After the first drink, I politely declined anymore afraid I wouldn’t be able to control my face.

Soon I begin to notice that I’m the only girl there and get nervous. It’s the groom’s side of the wedding, maybe girls aren’t supposed to come? Maybe they’re all at the bride’s house? A friend of Chris’s from work comes out of the house and we do introductions. He mentions that his wife is from Sacremento, CA and brings her over to meet me. And then I promptly get pulled into the house. Where it’s FULL of women. All in saris. All who are speaking Hindi. Never stuck out so much in my life! If I could have figured out how to take photos of this scene I would have. It was crazytown! All of these women sitting around watching Indian music videos. Crazy sexy music videos. Nice!

Then all the women filed out of the house and down the hill where some mysterious event occurred. As the poor white girl, I wasn’t invited. According to the guys present, they bury something and do some type of prayers. It’s an all girls thing.

After that they all collected on the stage set up on the front steps and collected money is a dish. On top of the aunt’s head.

It really made all of the weddings I’ve been to lately seem dull in comparison.

My new obsession

On my walks into the town of Manurewa (pronounced Man-you-ree-wa incase you were wondering) I’ve become fascinated by the mailboxes! It’s quite frightening how many times I stop to take photos of them. I get awesome looks from all the cars driving by. Here’s some so you can understand where I’m coming from:

Houston, we have drama

Alright, we have an update on the wedding outfits. Yes! Get excited. I have been told that the sari may be too complicated to get into, so now I’m providing my measurements/dress size for an indian dress/top. That’s a direct quote by the way. Confused? Me too!

So this morning has been sent googling how to convert American dress sizes to New Zealand sizes. Which is not too complicated evidently. I suppose I will take measurements as well? Maybe? I feel as though I’m getting sucked into being part of this wedding. Last time I had to send someone my size I was IN the damn thing.

The funny part about all of this? The fact that a boy, who obviously has even less idea what’s going on, is my go-between. It kinda makes me giggle.

Now I have no idea what a “indian dress/top” should look like. Maybe like so?

It’s clothes, right? I should be able to figure them out. Cross your fingers!

Drinks all around!

I love weddings! Or at least, I love the open bar. And the getting dressed up. Although that might be slightly more complicated this time.

My first weekend in New Zealand will be spent encompassed in a Hindu wedding. Never been to a Hindu wedding before. I’m going with Chris, a guy I’m staying with in Auckland. It’s his friend’s wedding and he thought it would be pretty sweet to take me along. I completely agreed! However this is how the convo went down:

Me: Hey that’s awesome, thanks. A random question, what’s the dress code for this shindig?

Chris: I’m not sure. Prob casual dress. Standard wedding attire.

Me: Fabulous! I was worried that it would be traditional dress and I would need a sari or something.

Chris: Damn, you’re a mind reader! It is traditional dress!

[pullquote right]Good to know that boys, no matter where they are from, never think about what a girl has to wear.[/pullquote]

Eek! Now I don’t have a sari nor do I have any idea how to tie one on. Thankfully, he’s in listing a girl friend of his to help with the loaning and the dressing.

I’m hoping it looks something like this:

Don't you love my fabulous hair? And gorgeous skin?

And not something like this:

Eek!

Pray to the wedding gods for me. Pretty please. My belly begs you.

A friendly downtown reminder

All of those who live, and more importantly, park downtown would like to share this photo with you.

This is NOT an acceptable parallel parking job. If you do not know how to parallel park, please do not come downtown. You annoy the rest of us.

Lions and tigers and giraffes!

It’s free zoo day! Normally I would avoid going anywhere near the zoo on free days. It’s a complete madhouse. Children everywhere. Insane chaos. But this weekend when Stacey called, we all thought,”Why the hell not?” It was freezing and we thought it would keep the crowds to a minimum. Obviously, several other people thought that as well. But all in all, it wasn’t too bad.

Look! Elephants!

And baby white-butts!

This poster seriously creeped me out. Look at the red monkey!

ooooooooo monkeys

and tinier monkeys!

Eventually I switched to try out my new Hipstamatic app on the iPhone. Some shots worked out better than others.

mmmmmmm hot chocolate time

Jay couldn’t resist the gas…. naturally.

sleepin zebras

lovin the 70’s vibe here

Baby giraffes! Seriously the cutest thing ever!!

And baby tigers, 4 of them. I wanted to bring them all home to play with Gus.

Finally the weather turned and the temp dropped super fast, and we decided to leave. Check out Stacey’s Post to see some great photos and video of the new zoo babies!

This is…… TORTURE!

I’m a movie addict. Seriously, it’s insane. I finally stopped having all my movies in their original boxes and now just store them in a huge binder. Which is full. And exploding. My friend Stacey just comes over and rents movies from us. It’s ridiculous!

Now comes the problem, I can only take about 10 movies with me! Argggghhhhhhh! That’s all my iPhone will hold along with songs and games. I honestly have no idea how to whittle that list down to 7. Maybe 10 if I’m lucky. Currently on my list are the following:

#1. The Boondock Saints: Blood, guts and hot guys. Can’t ask for much more. Il Duce is amazing!

#2. Star Trek: Let me state, I am NOT a trekkie. But this movie is pretty kick-ass. And I can watch it over and over again.

#3.  Sliding Doors: Love, love, LOVE Gwyneth Paltrow in this movie.

#4. Princess Bride: This really doesn’t need an explanation does it? Inconceivable!

#5. Oceans 11: 11 hot guys. Robbing Vegas. I’m totally in.

#6. National Treasure: Ok this is nerdy. But Justin Bartha is adorable!

#7. Iron Man: It’s Iron Man!! I wanted to be him after this movie. So fabulous.

#8. Indiana Jones: The original. Not the new one. Ugh to the new one.

#9. The Hangover: I have never laughed as hard as I did, watching this movie in the theatre.

#10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Bring me a shrubbery! Easily my most quoted movie.

#11. The Firefly Series: I adore Joss Whedon. End of story.

[pullquote right]PS. Yes that is the Firefly cast in LEGO form. I now want one.[/pullquote]

So that’s what I have so far. And there’s plenty more to this list. Has to be something I can watch over and over and over again, since I won’t be able to update my movie list. Sad sad movie panda. I can’t stand leaving any of them behind!

Big Frakkin Nerd

COD: Black Ops Commercial Link

Can’t decide if I love Jimmy Kimmel or the little girl in purple more. Think it might be the girl. Who doesn’t love kickin ass like that?!?!

PS. I am a big frakkin nerd. I accept this.