Yes it is kinda odd, and my mind has trouble adjusting. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas when it’s warm and I’m going to the beach. It’s funny because New Zealand still has all the icons of a Northern Hemisphere Christmas: evergreens as Christmas trees, Santa wearing his fur coat (I feel sorry for the all the Santa’s that have to wear it down here), and songs playing in the malls about sleighs and snow.
I spent my Christmas/New Year’s with a friend and her family, plus exploring some random tourist attractions throughout the North Island. We drove up to her hometown, Matamata, which is a small rural town of about 7,000 people, but more importantly, the location of the Shire from Lord of the Rings. So we did the classic tourist thing of going on the tour. It’s the only location in which some of the original props are still up (the Hobbit homes built into the hills). The land is set on a farm owned by one family, who made a fortune off of the movie and the ongoing tours. Now if only I can get Hollywood to film a movie in my backyard so I can get rich too.
On Christmas Day, the family has a tradition of playing golf. So I played REAL golf for the first time ever, not miniature golf. It was definitely a lot more fun than I expected, since watching golf on TV is more boring than sitting on the toilet. I spent a lot of time in the trees and sand pits, but I enjoyed myself. We then road-tripped to various locations throughout the North Island with geo-thermal gases, waterfalls, beaches, rivers and such.
New Year’s was rather undramatic. A group of us were watching Harry Potter (out of a lack of other things to do, since we were camping out in someone’s back yard in this rural town in the middle of nowhere). Someone asked me what time it was, I looked at my watch and saw that it was midnight, uttered a weak “Happy New Year,” and we continued watching our movie. As life goes on and the years get shorter, New Year’s becomes less and less exciting and more of a realization of how fast life is passing me by. Kinda depressing.
Well on a lighter note, I bought a compact mirror today. I felt slightly awkward walking around in the make-up section and purchasing an item labeled “Woman’s Make-up Compact Mirror.” Why does it have to be so sexist? Guys need small mirrors too – I bought it for when I need to shave or cut my nose hairs during travel. But it was very nice and ergonomic. Small, black ,thin, and sleek, with two mirror magnifications. Fits right in your pocket. And I am totally confident in my masculinity to disclose such information.