Nov 22nd and 23rd
The first thing that I noticed about Christchurch itself is that the city is spread out… honestly, it reminds me more of one giant suburb than anything else. On Tuesday Mike and I woke up early and drove to the University of Canterbury’s main campus so that Mike could attend a wilderness first aid course. To be honest I was a bit jealous, since my WFA certification is currently running on fumes, but I took the chance to re-enact my visit in San Francisco and wander around the campus and the city itself for a bit.
I spent a while wandering around the main university of Canterbury campus, being completely floored by my surroundings. Seriously, this was one of the most beautiful campuses that I’ve ever seen, and the effort that they had put into the horticulture and the planning of the campus was evident in every part of it. There were streams! Seriously, full streams were running throughout the campus with fish and birds and frogs… it really gave the campus a nice “middle of the woods” feel. Don’t get me wrong though, while I love exploring a campus like this I actually prefer a campus like Northeastern’s where it’s obvious that you’re in a school… it would be a bit too easy for me to get lost in New Zealands campus from what I saw, hehe.
The rest of the day was split between visiting a friend of Mike’s that I had met at a party the night before (Ed note: See post on “Augmented Reality with Giles”) and exploring the main mall near the campus. Again I was hit with the relaxed and spread-out nature of Christchurch, and how even the malls were more open and low-level… this one didn’t even have a full second floor. While there I did try to get my cell phone set up on a New Zealand plan, but unfortunately it’s too old to actually have a true SIM card, and thus I’d need to use my international phone in order to use a cell network here. Meh. So instead of getting a cellphone working I stopped in at a pizza joint called “Hells Pizza” for lunch and ate a meal of “Greed” and “Squid Rings”… “Greed” being an amazing Hawaiian pizza, and “Squid Rings” being fried calamari. Squid rings are the standard name for calamari here though, while Greed was unique to Hells. Just… you know… clearing that up.
Walking back to the university I had the dangerous thought that I really liked this place, and had the even more dangerous sense that the white-capped mountains in the distance weren’t just guarding the horizon, but calling out my name…