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fire poi

View Studying in Auckland on ctamler's travel map.

rebecca, who twirls fire, had mentioned the twice-weekly fire circle: tuesday nights in a park, sundays at mission bay. so last night, kayleigh, her flatmate, kirstin, sam and i ventured out across k'road, beyond to a district i'm not terribly familiar with -- past the "legalize cannabis" bus, where we began to hear strains of music. crest the hill and down in the valley of the park, mostly within a circle of boulders, were dark figures surrounded by whirling balls of flame: fire poi, which apparently originated with the maori in new zealand. there were other fire toys: sticks for juggling, staffs for tossing and twirling, fans for fanning, a hoop for spinning...later, a flaming sword and even a flaming jump rope.

it was really cool to look at. sam took some pictures, and when i acquire one from her, i'll post it. (EDIT: here's one.


sweet, no?)

a chill hippie vibe pervaded the park: spectators snuggled together on blankets, drank beer, drummed, strummed guitar. rebecca spun a couple of times (she does poi), and she was great to watch. she's only been doing it about a year, but she has some quite complicated moves and a certain style to her body while she does them that a lot of the other spinners didn't have. to watch her is to watch a dance with fire.

marc-andre joined us, and eventually, after the evening chill got to us, we left the spinners for the wine cellar on k'road, a place i didn't know existed: down some stairs, underneath thrift stores we visited a few weeks ago. they have a back room for gigs where the seating is all couches and chairs ripped out of automobiles and benches -- a cool, dirty, converted-garage feel. kirstin, marc-andre, and i split a bottle of plum liqueur. with it, the bartender gives you a bowl of ice and a bottle of soda water, and you put a bit of liqueur over ice and top off with the bubbly and it's delicious, tastes like italian soda. two random drunk-but-not-intolerably-so dudes, charlie and chad, came over to make friends with us. we stuffed chad's t-shirts into a pitcher. charlie was talking to kirstin:

"so how long are you here for?"

"um, only about another month, and then i go back to the states."

"oh. wow." pause. "like a soldier."

Posted by ctamler 14:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged living_abroad

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