|Summer clothes? What was I thinking?!|
|A deja vu moment: Cuba Mall bucket fountain|
As we were in New Zealand during the New Year period (2003, moving on to 2004), it was a chance for my husband (first time in NZ) to experience this period away from Greece. His first reaction was 'Don't they sing the carols here?' As far as I could remember, they don't, but we did, the Greek comunit members, among themselves. And in the evening, we'd all meet up again at the New Years Ball. We never mingled with non-Greeks. My husband thought he was going to be introduced to some Kiwi New Year customs. I found myself in a difficult position; I explained to him that I never did any really Kiwi things on New Year's Eve when I used to live in New Zealand. Every year, we would attend the annual Greek New Year's Eve ball, and celebrate the coming of the New Year among other Greeks.
|During my visit to NZ, I noticed how Lord of the Rings dominated NZ culture - it was everywhere: at the airport...|
|... at the cinema where LOTR premiered...|
|New Year's Eve 2003, Pigeon Park, Wellington|
|... in public spaces...|
Is this what Kiwis call entertainment? my husband mocked. I didn't really feel comfortable where we were standing. Of course, it all looked safe on the surface, but you never really knew where trouble would break out. While my husband was trying to make sense of what was going on, I was having a panic attack. I didn't want to be where I was. We moved away from the main crowd, towards the quay by the harbour instead. We didn't stay for the parade.
|Sign outside bookshop: "8 1/2 hobbits buy their books here!"|
|Sign outside chiropractor's: "Hobbit feet? How about Reflexology?"|
Eventually, we saw fireworks going off, a sign that the clock had struck midnight, and the New Year had arrived. After a kiss as we wished each other a Happy New Year, my husband took out his cellphone and called his mother in Greece to wish her Happy New Year, even though there were still 11 hours to go before she would welcome the New Year in Greece. We walked back home in baffled silence, trying to comprehend what we had just experienced. Our route took us past the Greek community centre, where the annual ball was taking place. Although I was glad I hadn't gone to it, I couldn't help wondering if that was where I was supposed to have been that night.
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