My Māori experience

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March 24th 2010
Published: April 3rd 2010
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Woke up at Gareth and Sarah's. They'd taken me back to theirs after Franks last night and we'd collected cheeseburgers on the way. Gareth made me a cheese toastie and made me laugh all morning. My new nickname is Manchester thanks to Sarah. She continued to call me this all morning as well as last night and I started to wonder if she could actually remember my real name or if she'd been too sozzled, ha ha.
She was cringing about getting up on stage last night but was really pleased with her 400dollar tattoo prize! Sarah's friend Ellie came over and the first thing out of her mouth was "Holly Fak, your gorgeous". W..what?! She joked that she was jealous of Gareth and grabbed my bum when we hugged goodbye. Gareth gave me a lift back to the hostel at lunchtime (in Sexy Ronda the Honda).
Spent the day at the hostel chatting to the people I'd been out with last night, then at 4pm I headed out to a "Māori experience" at Willowbank Wildlife Park. Māori's are the native people of New Zealand and arrived from Hawaiki over 1000 years ago. They make up 14% of the population of New Zealand and their language and culture still has a massive impact in New Zealand and plays a big part in the tourism industry.
Willowbank have a purpose built village where actors, dressed in Māori outfits, put on a performance to teach visitors about the traditional ways of life. They showed us that the houses they built were very small so they could keep the heat in due to the cold New Zealand climate. They gathered food and kept it in a wooden box high off the floor so rodents couldn't get to it. We watched them tribal dancing and they got members of the audience on stage which was all a bit cringey but quite entertaining, especially when the boys had to slap their legs, grunt and stick their tongues out - they looked like a bunch of lunatics.
Unfortunately some of the actors didn't really look like traditional Māori's as they were either fair skinned or had bleached hair. They weren't all that good at singing either - there were a couple of times when I winced as they tried to hit the high notes.
Had Raviolli and a skinny latte in the cafe afterwards while I waited for the free bus back to the city. Everyone that works there are really friendly and one of the staff took me outside to feed the deer which was great as we could get really close to them.
I got back to the city about 8pm and went to an internet cafe before bed time.

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