Pac-man and Surfing
So this weekend has been quite unique for Karl Johnson during his stay in New Zealand. On Friday, the university he attends threw a “Tea Party” where there was live music, free food, and more costumes than you could shake a stick at. The following Saturday was spent surfing at Sumner beach near Christchurch, and napping for three hours from physical exhaustion. All in all, it was a great finish to a week of two all-nighters to complete papers.
That’s enough in the third person. The Tea Party was CRAZY! I counted close to six LEGO dudes, some Crayola girls, two sets of Power Rangers, Captain Planet, Old Gregg, twenty Goku’s from Dragonball Z, and the Cat in the Hat. It was almost as bad as a game of ‘I Spy!’ Of course, I went as Shaggy from Scooby Doo, although I had to leave Scoob at the door. But my favorite costumes I saw at the concert was definitely the old school gamer group: four dudes had made legit Pac-man and ghost costumes, and the ghosts were appropriately chasing Pac-man around! Probably the funniest looking thing ever. Besides the blue avatars, the Avatar Airbender, and three Luigi’s, I think there were eight smurfs and some white guy dressed as an Arab carrying around a box with a cell phone and a detonator attached… Slightly disturbing. At any rate, the music was fun, the costumes even better, and the sun blistering hot. I have the tan lines to prove it. The day after, a Saturday, the other students in my program and I went to Sumner beach where we picked up rental gear that ‘our program’ had paid for. (p.s. I love how they trick you into thinking activities are free…)
The man who owned the gear showed us the basics of surfing, and twenty minutes later, we were out in the cold, cold ocean punching into waves to get further out. It confounds me how much balance surfers must have to get up, let alone ride the waves. I am neither physically coordinated or graceful, and unfortunately, that combination does not end well. Nevertheless, I had so much fun just trying to get the hang of it! I think I swallowed close to two gallons of sea water, and by the end of the day my lips were pruned, my throat parched, and face burnt even more. I’ll tell you, the ozone Down Under really is lacking. I can sit in the shade and get goose bumps or stand in the sun and sweat profusely in the same hour. Not that I’m complaining! It’s “sweet-as, bro!” I can’t believe I have less than a month left in this gorgeous country. On one hand, I don’t ever want to leave, but at the same time, I cannot WAIT to see my family and friends again. I’ve learned so so so much from studying abroad, and it’s gonna be great returning. New Zealand is fantastic. Until next time, -Karl Johnson, University of Canterbury, NZ