Thursday, October 01, 2009

Surfing Buddhists?

Since I knew I wasn't going down to the Ice today,
after picking up my per diem at the CDC I headed out
to one of my favorite places in New Zealand...the town
of New Brighton and it's Library. Easily reached by bus
from Central Christchurch, it's a pleasant little spot on
the Pacific and their library is one of my favorites in the
world. Plus...they also have free wireless internet. Not
a bad thing. This is the view I looked at for several hours,
sitting in a nice comfortable chair, staying connected with
the rest of the world.

Even relaxation can get tiresome after a while and I
decided to take a stroll on the pier, snapping a few
photos along the way. I was stopped by two Buddhist
monks and one asked me if I would like to have my
photo taken with his master. Sure, I said, always
trying to meet new people and see different cultures.
I think they thought that I was taking their photo on
the pier, but to be honest, I didn't even see them until
they spoke to me. Very nice guys.

Christchurch is such an international and always
interesting place and it's never surprising what you'll
see here. In these few short days, I've seen Buddhist
Monks walking on a pier, a woman wearing a burqa,
a little person acrobatically riding a skateboard in
Cathedral Square and a man riding a unicycle down
the street as his form of transportation.

After walking farther down the pier, I watched a dozen
or so fishermen of Japanese descent plucking fish and
crabs from the water with both long fishing poles and
bucket type crab traps. Interesting to watch. Also
interesting though, were the half a dozen or so surfers
that were braving the bitter cold water of the Pacific.
It's always fun to watch the surfers but even more fun
to watch them from the vantage point of the pier, where
you can see from above and behind them instead of
just from the shore.

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