Who knows, I might only get to visit this beautiful country once… so why not book a random trip to go skiing? Monday was hands down one of my favorite days of the entire trip. After moving the schedule around to accommodate a free day in Christchurch to study for our exam or for some last minute fun, a group of 7 of us decided skiing in New Zealand was a necessity. So we got up early, caught a shuttle to Mount Hutt, and headed to the mountain for it’s second day open for ski season. It turns out it had just snowed the night before so the slopes were nice and fresh! After getting fitted for skis and snowboards, helmets, poles, and everything else, we headed out to the slopes for a day of fun. To preface my story, I should tell you that I’ve only skied once in my life and that was like 8 years ago. Moving on… I somehow managed to get on and off the ski lift without falling which was a miracle in itself and then followed the group to the start of a slope. I didn’t see any signs saying what level of difficulty it was, but it looked relatively simple from the start off point so I went ahead and pushed off. Little did I know it was a death trap of epic proportions and I ended up trying to practically kill myself 6 times. Not even kidding I made it out in one piece by a stroke of God. It’s all kind of a blur (for obvious reasons to soon be understood) but at one point I was flying through the air with no skis on the ground. So that happened. I got back up, checked that all my ligaments were still attached, and continued down the mountain because I didn’t exactly have a choice. 100 feet later I find myself whizzing down the mountain going 60mph with absolutely no control despite the fact I was attempting to zigzag and pizza my skis to slow down. Next thing I know I’m on my back with one ski on and the other 20 feet up the slope along with one of my poles. Hmm. It was about at that point where I decided that skiing was in fact not as much fun as I had remembered. But I was wrong, it is fun- but only when you know how to actually control where you’re going. After that, I stayed on the green trails and actually got pretty good yahoo can’t wait until when I attempt skiing again in a few years and fail all over! Overall, I only fell 6 times and the first 5 were on that first slope which I think is pretty darn impressive. I have a black and blue bruise the size of a cantaloupe on the back of my leg to prove it. But guess what? Now I can say I skied at the top of a mountain in New Zealand!
After such a long and tiring day of alpine air, a few of us walked to a restaurant in Christchurch called C1 (AKA most fantastically fascinating genius business to exist). It’s impossible to try to explain… but there are tubes coming from the kitchen, along the ceiling, and down to the tables which carry your food that is neatly packaged in little bank teller cylinder containers. Probably doesn’t make sense but your food goes through a tube in the ceiling to get to you I mean come on can it get any more awesome? Why yes, it can- because the water came out of a sewing machine and the door to the bathroom was a giant bookshelf that automatically slid open and then once in the bathroom there was an audio reading of Harry Potter. Wow. Just wow.
Tuesday was a day set aside for school, but we still managed to make the most of it! A set of essay responses was due in the morning, and then after breakfast we had a 3 hour written exam over all of the material we’ve studied the past 3 weeks. After the test and a quick lunch of ramen (yum), we had another group debate about rising oil prices and sustainable tourism in New Zealand. As celebration for the end of our school studies, my group of friends and I hopped a shuttle to the edge of Christchurch to catch a ride on the gondola up to the top of a mountain. The views were absolutely stunning and we had an hour left in the day to run around on the hilltop and try to sneak up on sheep and frolic through the meadow grass. I probably looked ridiculous, but who cares I was so incredibly happy that my last full day in New Zealand could be spent on the top of a mountain looking over the whole city and ocean beyond.
Last night in New Zealand? Definitely deserves an A+. After returning home, we all got together to walk to our last meal together as a group. Once full of tasty Indian food, some of us stopped by an outdoor dance area that’s part of the Christchurch rebuild project. So imagine a place in the middle of torn down buildings, and there is a dance floor with a random washer machine sitting next to it. In order to plug in your phone to listen to music as well as turn on the studio lights, you just had to pay $2 for a half hour of electricity. So we put on a playlist and started dancing. In the middle of a city. In the middle of the night. It was one of the most fun and random things I think I have ever done. Why aren’t these makeshift dance floors everywhere?