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Saturday, March 22, 2003

Around Dunedin

Suburban Dunedin ("duh-NEE-din"), viewed from our homestay:

The university of Dunedin. That building on the right, which has roughly a square footprint, is the computer science department. All of it:

Downtown Dunedin:

The beach nearby. The road on the right serves as nothing more than a long parking lot for the beach, and access to this point where I'm standing:

I'm relying on Kalistrya* for some awesome seaweed photos:

We spotted a hang glider on top of a car, and followed them here:

The Thai restaurant crowd:

The things they do to hot chocolate...

Continuing the theme of comparisons to familiar cities, Dunedin reminds me just a little of Berkeley. It's a college city, with fairly heavy pedestrian traffic for its size, a fair selection of restaurants, young population, surrounded by hills and water...

I think if I liked to get drunk and party daily, this would be the place. We drove around a bit in the evening to see what the college area burbs looked like at night. I didn't catch a pic, but I have a fuzzy image in my head of a couple of sofas and a lamp out on the front lawn, and a guy sitting out there with a beer in his hand. A couple houses away, another lawn party with more people. Around the corner, another. Someone sobbing to her friend in the street. Another party. Not rowdy like here, though. The whole loud-and-obnoxious-male-syndrome seems uniquely American. Well, except for the cruisers.

Speaking of cruisers, Dunedin was the first place I really noticed the 1950's cultural flavor of New Zealand, strangely mixed in with modernity. It doesn't have the oppressive, ultra-conservative aspects of the American 1950's, though, which in a way is too bad, since that's what spawned the 60's. :) If there's an underlying fundamental which New Zealand is missing, it's something to rebel against. I get this feeling it's just going to plod along as it is unto eternity, strangely content in its middle-ground, between conservative and liberal, between apathy and ambition, between boring and interesting.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com