Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Come Te Papa
As I continue my journey. I’ve tried to infuse some kind of culture from each city into my trip. Which usually means, go to the local museums. It’s a great way to find out about the city or country you’re visiting and, for me, it’s another chance to see if, like all other countries, they have creepy dolls or babies on display.
So, I left the hotel and headed to the Te Papa museum, again…because everyone said “You have to go to Te Papa!”. Since it was only a couple blocks away from my hotel, I really didn’t have much of an excuse not to. I took a picture of the statue (above) because it is the first/last thing I see when I enter/exit the hotel. I should really learn who she is, but I just think it’s a cool statue…hence…the picture.
The museum is massive (6 floors) and there is a lot to see and interact with (thankfully no large bug museum). There is a lot of information on the origins of New Zealand, with lots of native artifacts and “press this button” chances to hear people talk about it.
As enjoyable and informative as it all is, I lose interest really quickly and mainly just wander around and look for things that catch my attention or that I think are interesting.
Like this real woman.
When I got to the first floor of the museum, I saw this woman reading the newspaper, with the dog in her lap. Just sitting there…not engrossed in the history and splendor that is the museum….just reading the paper, like she was at home waiting for the kettle to boil so she could make her tea.
Of course, I spent the next two hours wandering around and taking in as much information as my limited brain-space could handle. New Zealand really is, compared to most countries, a new country. So, it was interesting to hear about how they first started and what they went through to get to be the country that they are today. That’s all interesting….
But, really…when you see a display called the “Queen of Wool”…you have to at least take a look. Since sheep were such a big commodity here in New Zealand, it was only a matter of time before someone was able to capitalize on it….and, evidently, Mary-Annette Hay was just the gal. Although, I’m not sure how comfortable a wool wedding dress would be, it looks nice and, at the end of the day, people only care how it looks. Comfort is negotiable.
There was a really cool “Golden Days” presentation. It was a room filled with old furniture, toys, radios and the like. Even the audience chairs were mismatched/tattered chairs. As you watch the history of New Zealand on the screen in front of you, lights would come up on certain artifacts (as they related to the story) and they would move or activate from one side of the stage to the other. And, it was here that I finally found my first creepy dolls.
I knew I’d find at least one in this museum! I’m starting to think that it’s a staple in every museum and, once you know, it just becomes like an Easter Egg hunt to find where they’ve hidden them.
After I left that, I found this painting and…if you look behind the girls…you’ll see they have creepy dolls in the background. And, like with all other museum visits…they generally mark the end of my museum visit. Hopefully, I’ll never run into them right at the beginning…I’d hate to miss all the culturey-stuff.
So, I headed out of the museum and towards the harbor which runs directly behind it. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and, as such, has tried to keep the waterfront open for “the people” to enjoy and walk around (rather than bombard it with expensive hotels and condos like we’d do in the states). So, it makes for a nice walk. I also saw the much smaller, yet interesting, Museum of Wellington. It is only 3 small floors and, even though it is such a small venue….I found one of the “King of Creepy Dolls”…
The voodoo doll.
I think that there is some kind of “creepy doll” ordinance that requires that every museum has at least some kind of creepy doll representation, in order to get funding from the state. So, far…I’ve found at least one in every museum.
I’m just sayin’….
So, I headed back to the hotel for a nice nap, then over to S&M’s to see what the kids were up to. It was a quiet night, but there were plenty of people around to chat with, so that is always enjoyable. It turned out that it was Scott and Mal’s five year wedding anniversary (they have been together for 13 years, but were married in Hawaii five years ago and had everything paid for by a local radio station there…EVERYTHING! Their airfare, accommodations, rings, clothing, spending money and it the whole event was broadcast live in New Zealand each day, leading up to the wedding), so they stopped in after having dinner with friends and hung out with us for a while.
They remind me of my friends Larry and Basil in Palm Springs. Just really nice guys who run a business, but at the end of the day…just like hanging out with good people.
Nothing wrong with that at all.
Can you imagine how much less traffic there would be in the world if this was an actual law?
I mean, it's wrong on so many levels...however...