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Jon’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

MapThe past week has been a busy one. On Wednesday night the 17th of May we celebrated Norwegian day with my good friend Anna who is half Kiwi and the other half Norwegian. Anna was a good sport and wore her national costume which apparently everyone wears on their national holiday. I learned a few things from sitting around and drinking wine with the Norwegians. To do a toast you raise your glass and say "skoal", touch each other glasses and then (most important thing to remember) you have to make eye contact with the people you just knocked glasses with. It is a sign of respect but I found it more like a staring contest I use to have with my brother. It was a good night of fun and entertainment.

Today I just arrived in from the Leith Bike Race. It's a race I will remember for a long time. It wasn't so much riding your bike as it was running with a piece off of your bike (I ran with a wheel) and swimming in parts of the Leith river. I really didn't know what to expect but I didn't think that there would only be 10 participants taking part. This is a traditional event that has been going on since the university opened in the 1800's. Though there wasn't a shortage of spectators. People flooded around to watch us as we ran/swam past throwing whatever they could at us. My friends (or who I thought were my friends aka Taka) decided that they would throw condoms that were filled with flour and water (at least I hope they were only filled with that) targeted for only poor little Canadian man who had already taken the lead for last. Other things that were hurled at us were eggs, fruit, and flour. I have two good size welts, one on my back and the other one on my neck which looks like a giant hiki. The race in total was probably 1 km long and we were racing for a mountain bike that was donated from a local sports shop (R&R). I came 10th (which is last) and recieved a cup of juice and a dry towel for my efforts. I would do it again though. My bike BOB unfortunately is possibly on his way to bike heaven as we can't seem to put all the pieces back together.

Tonight there is a super 14 semi final match going on that I will watch on the telee. Tomorrow morning a bunch of people from my hall will be going to a Moarii. I really don't know what to expect but we should be in for a cultural experience.

Jim and Lauren get married Friday, and Irnie and Lynita get married on Saturday. I'm gutted that I will not be there. Some of the things I sacrificed coming here I guess.

Anyway I hope the summer time weather is on it's way. Today it was 8 *C and sunny. 2 weeks of classes, 5 weeks until I'm done school, and 10 weeks until I'm back home. I look forward to it!