Sunday, May 2, 2010

Christchurch, New Zealand.

Where you should either a) like extreme sports or b) like to hike.
Good thing I love to hike - walking is a strong point with me, I could endlessly walk. We took two day hikes along Arthur's Pass and Mildred's Valley.

Or there's option c) love The Lord of the Rings with all of your heart.
Which fortunately my Aunt Barb does. It kinda felt like I was with a 12-year-old boy sometimes when she'd pester all the guides in a voice of giddy excitement: Now is this where Gandolph fell? Is this where Treebeard lived? Wow, I remember this from that scene with Golem and Sam and the Queen of the fairies and...
She also happens to be a foremost expert on C.S. Lewis. Not kidding, she leads conferences in England. So the fact that those movies were shot there as well have her over the edge.

Where sunsets and mist and boulders and golden meadows and peaks and sheep and moss take on a magical form.

Where little boys and girls walk around in their adorable school uniforms like something straight out of Harry Potter.

Where I had the best tuna ever - despite it being a country of meat pie fanatics. Gross.

Where the great explorers find a last respite of civilization before heading off to the South Pole to perish.

So Aunt Barb and I are in a taxi headed out for a romantic gondola ride, when all of a sudden Barb practically screams at the poor, unaware Bangladeshi cab driver to turn up the radio. We then here some BBC foreign correspondent tell us that health care had passed and we begin to freak out, doing dance moves in the backseat.
Later, this adorable old man dressed to the nines approached us after overhearing us in conversation. "Excuse me, are you Americans?" Yes. "So health care passed did it now?" Yes! "Ah, I'm so relieved the most powerful country in the world has a heart." And then he proceeded to hug us.
Even later, I went to a tiny bar with some people from our hiking group and everyone bought my drinks in celebration.
So in conclusion, judging from the facebook status updates, it's best to be in foreign countries when progressive things that you're really excited about happen.