Saturday, June 20, 2009

Birthday party and All Blacks rugby

Our friend Brett and his flatmates are pretty keen on theme parties, so when Brett turned 26 on Friday, they decided to have an "80s prom movie" party. Unfortunately Jake and I were too busy this week to throw together a costume, but there was plenty of blue eye shadow and poofy dresses to go around. 

And what's an 80s prom without a mullet? Good call, Brett.

One thing we've noticed about NZ is the absence of plastic cups. You can find little plastic wine-sized cups, but nothing like your standard Solo cups that are so useful at parties. Of course Brett had his sister mail him some. I think it came out to $5 for the cups and $40 for the shipping, so I guess it was pretty important to him. Plus, how can you play beer pong (in front of some WWE wrestling, no less) or flippy cup with anything else?

Not sure if this penguin found the wrong party, but he was sure having a great time.

And last night was our chance to see NZ's national rugby team, the All Blacks, live at Westpac Stadium here in Wellington. 

Since tailgating doesn't exist here, we gathered for some pre-match celebrating over at Jason and Lesa's, where we enjoyed some traditional Kiwi nibbles (Kiwi word for light snacks or appetizers), such as some tasty sausage rolls and Eskimo lollies. (NZers say "lollie" in place of "candy.")

Right when tickets went on sale, we bought six because we weren't sure how fast they might sell out. Jake found four KPMG blokes who wanted to come, and I think this is the calmest I saw them all night. 

From left, Jake and I are standing next to Archie, Jason, Greg and Ed.

First they sang the national anthem, which seems to be in the Maori language. 

Then came the haka, the traditional warrior dance they perform before international matches. They yell the words, distort their faces into scary expressions and slap their thighs so hard that we could here it all the way up in our seats. Just amazing. That's got to be pretty intimidating for the opposing team -- in this case it was France.

Take a look at the short video clip of the haka that Brett posted on his blog (you'll have to scroll past a couple of his awesome birthday mullet pics). But check out how intense it sounds, even from way over where Brett's sitting in the stands. 

From what I saw, our fans are competitive and spirited, yet cordial to the other team's fans. And it helps that we won 14-10. What a great time! 

Our seats weren't very close to the field, but that actually worked in our favor thanks to the cover that sheltered us from the light rain that fell most of the match. And with temps around 4 degrees C (about 40 degrees F), we were prepared with ski gear and rubbish sacks for protection. 


Juli Ryan said...

So jealous. I couldn't persuade my Kiwi husband to go. Something about why would I want to go see bloody France. LOL

Mom Deed said...

Wow, finally the haka. Sounds like you guys had a great time, just awesome. I look at you two in the pictures that I see posted, and it's like you're back home, you're that near. God, how I miss and love you both!