Friday, 17 December 2010

Auckland 2

And thus our long journey there and back again ended where it had begun: in Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city. Bilge Rat's cousin warmly offered us shelter once more and we tried to use the few remaining days to sell our dear old Roachmobile to the next pair of backpackers.

Unfortunately we didn't pick the best time to do that. It rained basically every day with only the amount and degree of rain varying. That's always bad if you want to sell a car, cause people stay indoors having such weather. Secondly it's close to Christmas. And what do tourists and even backpackers do on Christmas? Well they don't take an overpriced flight to New Zealand, that's for sure. They'd rather stay home and celebrate with friends and family or even fly home trying to sell their car before leaving. So yeah, we kinda picked the worst time of the year to sell a second hand car.

We rented a space at the Backpacker's Car Market and after day one even stayed with the car to talk potential buyers into buying glorious Roachmobile, however, none came. The one pair interested in our car was scared away by us, when we showed no skill or lack in haggling. When we learned the basics of haggling, they were gone and no others showed up. Except this crazy ass family will to give us 1/5 of what we wanted (And we wanted still less that what we paid for, not even considering all the repairs, registration and Warranty of Fitness...

good old Roachmobile
Leaving the car issue aside, browsing through the big city once more, we found some more curious spots worth visiting:

We happened to park our car next to a talented metal artist, building from scrap metal popular figures from pop culture. Can you recognize all of them?

There is a Daiso in Auckland! Everybody that has been to Japan or close to it, probably knows Daiso, the famous 100 Yen store. It's like a 1$ store, but it has everything: from DIY supplies, office supplies, gardening, car, electricity, toys, dishes, food and fun articles (and much much more). There is nothing you cannot get from Daiso, and it's at its cheapest possible prize. It's so much fun to just browse the store and pick up some curious things.
Right. It's all made in China, of course. But then so are most of the clothes, shoes, etc. you can get at popular vendors. And the workers don't get higher wages, just because the same items cost more at regular vendors. So what's the difference?
On the other hand we are always buying fair-trade, when we are able to. Because that does make a difference. But that won't stop us from having fun at Daiso here and then!

Game Houses! Fucking Shit, of course! Auckland is full of Korean immigrants. And what to Koreans love? Games, Games, Games. Look at my Korea article, to see some proof. While older people prefer to play Baduk, younger generations tend to computer games. The most popular being StarCraft. That means the favourite past time of Koreans is playing computer games. But they don't play at home, like in Europe. They go to Game Houses. A Game House has a set up of modern PCs ready to play the most popular games, and usually also offers some food and drinks. So you sit together with your friends and start gaming. It's quite the social thing in Korea, because while gaming people will share stories, rant about their jobs and so on.
So with so many Koreans in Auckland there are bound to be Game Houses around too. And indeed there are. Of course everything inside (including the PCs and Windows versions) are in Korean, as are all the guests inside. But that didn't stop bilge rat and me to pass some afternoon inside trying out Left 4 Dead 2 in coop mode.

Finally there was a pretty cool photo gallery in the centre of town. Every picture had a short story beneath. The pictures tried to raise awareness about social and environmental problems. But they also showed just how amazingly beautiful our planet can be, when people don't destroy it with waste and inconsiderate behaviour. There is not much time left to stop destroying our planet and to stop bereaving people of their culture, if we want any of that to remain for future generations to marvel upon...

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