February 19. I was grateful for an off day. I woke up at 10am and a good night’s rest recovered me from yesterday’s attitude. I was ready for another great day and I made it my mission to make up for what I had lost in yesterday’s sulking. There were fresh donuts and muffins waiting for me when I walked into the kitchen, and I ate them with content as I chatted with Erik about what our time will be like in China (he is my leader in my next month). I was the only one up until 12pm. Everyone else had gotten to bed at 5:30am (I knew this because they had barged into the room at that time, yelling about the night’s events). Until then I uploaded all the pictures of white water rafting, black water rafting, and freefalling skydive onto my web album. I had only just been able to do this because, until last night, nobody had given me their CDs of the events.
When everybody awoke, bleary eyed and stumbling, I handed them breakfast and started talking about what we could do today. Only one part of me had actually penetrated their hungover minds: the act of giving them breakfast. They ate slowly and distractedly, with their eyes unfocused. After they showered and changed, they were finally ready to discuss the day’s events.
We decided on going out to wander the town and stop along the shops. The city of Christchurch is plenty more hectic than Queenstown or even Auckland. There is so much to see (or maybe today was a special day) because people were playing scavenger hunts, dressed up in ridiculous costumes, and I even saw a portly old man with a monkey that would do tricks when given a dollar. We admired the shops and landmarks until about 5pm. We occasionally stopped for coffee or tea and at 4pm we had a late lunch.
When we finally came back to the hostel it was to find the rest of the group lying around the couch watching Monsters vs. Aliens. We played some more pool, which led into several games of president. This was one of the first card games (that I have played in) that escalated into physical injuries. Ben slammed his knee into the table, Andrew took my hat and chucked it at my groin, and Steran slammed his head against Caitie’s in their rush to play their cards.
Nursing our injuries, we all returned to our rooms for a quick change before we were off to dinner. We ate at an amazing Mexican place. A sign outside stated that people that had birthdays could get a free cake for the table. When we placed our orders Ariana stated, in passing, that it was my birthday. Everyone repeated the statement in earnest and the waitress, somewhat caught off guard, hastened to put balloons on our table for the false occasion. I know what you may be thinking and I can’t deny that it was wrong. Yet, it was necessary.
After our delicious meal and a savory chocolate cake we returned to our hostel. The group is playing a few more games of president before we set out for the town tonight. Some have agreed to stay with me throughout the night, no doubt because their livers are kicking them in revenge for the last 3 weeks. I look forward to my last night in New Zealand, but I’m still not ready to leave. I am, however, curious to see what Fiji will bring to conclude the last leg of this amazing month.