Bit of NZ history and environmental movements
Weekend 2-3 June
Friday night I was invited by two friends at Abbey to go watch a movie hosted by an environmental group on campus. The movie is called “Tomorrow”. It is a documentary about local communities doing their part to save the environment; for example, urban farming in Detroit, wind farms in Iceland, schooling done exceptionally well in Denmark, and so on. Watch it, it’s wonderful and mostly happy.
After that we went to a package store (with passports in hand, as only NZ driver’s license/18+ card or passport is legal to verify age). I grabbed some delicious cider. From a quick scan, some beers are more expensive and I hardly recognized any, except Corona. We hung out for the rest of the night.
The following morning I was invited by two friends (one from the night before) to go to the Otago Farmer’s Market. It’s held ever Saturday near the train station, actually almost on the platform. Vendors from all around come to display fruit, vegetables, honey, meat, dips and spreads, baked goods, and other similar things. It was so cool. I got a coffee, and we just meandered through the isles. Everything looked fresh and homegrown, very appropriate after the documentary!
My friends suggested we go to the Settler’s museum, just a minute walk away. I heard excellent things about it, and we checked it out. It’s bigger than I expected. It goes pretty chronologically from when the Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) came from Polynesia around 1250. New Zealand became a colony of England in 1841, but Dunedin was really developed by the Scottish settlers who arrived in 1848 (Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh). The Settler’s Museum displays portraits from most of the eary Scottish who made Dunedin their home. It also talks about transportation and the movement into the 20th and 21st centuries. It was very impressive and I would love to go explore some more.
I found this hilarious, iPod and CD and other gadgets already in a museum!
We took a quick detour to St. Clair beach (my friend was driving). It is the most popular beach (and one of the only beaches) in Dunedin. It was stunning. Unfortunately it was too cold to explore, and we had to make it home for lunch. I relaxed the rest of the afternoon, watched a few movies.
Sunday was not too eventful. I slept in and around 1 pm I went to the grocery store. If you picture Abbey college, south is the University and the Octagon and city center but north is north Dunedin, the botanical gardens, and my nearest grocery store. To get to the store, it’s actually best to go through the gardens. I had done this once before but because it was the weekend, and a beautiful day, there were quite a few people around. I found my favorite part in the city (so far). There is a pond right in the center, and holy cow, so many ducks! They are your typical Mallards, but they REALLY like people. The gardens offer free seeds that you can feed them with. Apparently seagulls won’t eat them, they don’t like them, so it keeps them away! Little kids were feeding about 50 ducks, out of their hands. Ducks pretty much walked over your feet, no big deal. There were a few pigeons there as well. There is also a duck called the Paradise duck. They are bigger and males and females are easy to tell apart. I like them too!! It was so nice just sitting there being in nature.
The grocery trip went fine. I am surprised at all the American brands available. They weren’t in England, but they are here! The import section made me laugh, especially for the “American” food items they have. Some of them I don’t even recognize! It was a great weekend! X