Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Kiwi Experience!: Christchurch (Day 1)

As promised, the photos of my trip. Luckily, I took notes of what I did. Some names of places are fuzzy but hey, what is Google for, eh?

Right, so, rewind the clock to this time three weeks ago. I was wandering at the airport waiting for time to pass. When you have an airport as small as Sydney International that is undergoing renovations, you'd be wandering around like a lost duckling, like me. Ok, I wasn't all that lost as I had a book but who wants to read amidst loud chattering of foreign languages and the rhythmic hammering of builders? To make things worse, when I finally arrived at my designated terminal, my flight was delayed due to the weather. Argh... the highlight of my wait at the lounge was this though: a couple doing everything they can to the vending machine that took their money but wouldn't let them have their packet of chocolates! They kicked, slammed, lifted and shook the machine. Even tried putting in more money for a second packet. And the result was? They raised their hands in triumph when BOTH fell out! Yes!

Pet had just arrived when I walked out of the arrival gates. Good timing. A very friendly cab driver took us back to her place. It was past midnight.

Pet lives on campus at Ilam Village. Including her, six people share a flat on the top floor.


Each have their own cosy room and they share the laundry, toilet and bathroom, kitchen, dining area and living room. She lives with a Kiwi, a Jamaican and three Germans. Made me miss life in DLC. Sigh.

Despite not sleeping, Pet still took me out. We ran some errands in uni. While she was in the pharmacy, I quickly took a picture of the cafeteria, which to me looks 10 times better than what we have in Macquarie and it is not the only one:


She had to return some books and videos to the library:


Don't you think their library is lovely? I mean, they may not have the green lawns that our uni has but hey, a water feature complete with a waterfall on one end and a fountain on the other? Pure coolness!

In the basement of the library, you'd find this:


According to Pet, University of Canterbury is planning to become a bicycle campus by erm.. I don't remember when. The uni is encouraging people to cycle instead of drive as it is better not only for the environment but also for the health of the cyclists.

Next stop: the Faculty of Law. *shudders* The walk there was lovely though:



Just imagine these trees exploding in pink in spring... aah...

They even have a creek running through campus! I was so in love with the clarity of the water:


No, that is not moss you are looking at. The greenish colour you see is actually the rocks at the bottom of the riverbed. Now, this is what I call crystal clear water. I don't blame the ducks for loving it here. If you think Macquarie has many ducks, think again. They have more here not only in numbers but also in variety.

We then walked out of campus onto Riccarton Road. Now, how do you pronounce that? When I first saw it, I pronounced it Ree-carton. The locals pronounce it differently. It actually is pronounce Ree-curtain, minus the 'r' in the curtain. Oh well, as long as you know where it is. We were to collect the key to our room at Ilam Motel. Along the way, I spotted this fancy letterbox:


We then took a bus into town where Pet returned some DVDs and rented more movies to watch. We ended the day having traditional food prepared by the Jamaican brothers and a friend of theirs from Trinidad and Tobago.

Oops, no, that was not how we ended the day! We had to go to the airport after that as Dor was arriving from Auckland. We brought Dor back to the motel where we had chocolate and wine and lots of yapping! As Dor and I shared a room, we talked till we heard birds chirping and decided, ok, think it's time to sleep.

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