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Bhavatu sabba mangalam.
"May all beings be happy."
Vipassana meditation.
• Who: Eric Case FOAF
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« April 2002 | Main | June 2002 »

May 28, 2002

Jonas post #2

The first thing I noticed about the Kiwis was their English. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly is the special thing about the dialect they have, but it has a kind of soothing effect, to me at least. First, saying 'how are you?' in 'Kiwish' turns into 'ha waaaa ya?', with a heavy nasal intonation, second, their pronunciation of the letter i makes it sound almost like an e. So much so, that you easily think they said something else. An American I met in Auckland told me this story where he had been at a McDonalds somewhere in Auckland, and ordered Chicken McNuggets, the girl behind the counter asked him if he wanted 'six' -- he said yes.

Posted at 02:18

May 25, 2002

Jonas post #1

It's quite an honor to be invited as guest entertainer here at the esteemed travelblog of Mr. Case (aka Eekland), I am not even an 'amurcan' for crissakes! I've been following Erics travels in New Zealand with great interest, you see, I've been at the Glaciers, I did the bungy jump, and I even sailed the Milford Sound. So, reading mandarb naturally brings back the memories of traveling in NZ, and I plan to share some of them with you in the coming days. So, pour yourself a nice cup of whatever you like, kick of your shoes, put on some of your favorite music, and enjoy (hopefully).

Posted at 10:26

May 24, 2002

Posting from the Old Slaughterhouse; gawd is great to be back here... I'll be offline for the next 4-5 days, hiking the Heaphy Track from Karamea to Collingwood. A "first" for this weblog, my good friend Jonas Voss is going to guest-blog while I'm gone. Jonas is Danish and living in Copenhagen right now (but yes, he speaks excellent English); I met him on our GEO field study trip to Denmark back in October, 1999. Hopefully he'll keep things under control around here until I get back. ;)

Posted at 23:11

May 22, 2002

nikau retreat

Posting from the Te Nikau Retreat, about 3km north of Punakaiki. The iBook is connected to iHug at 16,800 bps, via some sort of radio-based phone connection. I don't think I've been online at speeds like this since 1993... But the driving scenery here is some of the best in the world, up there with Highway 1 imho. Pictures from the last time through are here. And of course, I've been taking lots more pictures this time 'round. They'll be online once I get to Nelson next week.

Posted at 15:38

May 20, 2002

jedi buddha

Well if the Jedi aren't fighting Buddhist monks, I'm on something. We loved the movie, as gratuitous, full of cheese and over the top as it was. Saw it at the Regent on Worcester, in downtown Christchurch.

And now it's off to the West Coast for a bit. Prior to the Dalai Lama's talk on the 29th, I'm going to hike the Heaphy Track for 4-5 days, so I may briefly disappear again.

Posted at 07:34

May 17, 2002

since course

Since the Vipassana course ended, I've been hanging out in Christchurch with some fellow meditators. Sue from Waiheke (picture eventually, once I find some broadband) served the course, as well as two Americans, Phil and Laura from St. Louis. Gosh were we ever lucky- both of them are cooks by trade! Thus, they added their own little bits here and there to the course menu, and we were definitely looking forward to every meal (as if Vipassana students don't already do that!).

I've got tickets to see the Dalai Lama speak in Nelson on the 29th. Between now and then a few of us are hitting Star Wars II tonight, then Danielle (a South African lady from the Vipassana course) and I are heading to the West Coast to visit a few of the other meditators from the course. Then it'll be on to Nelson. As I recall, there's broadband there... Mmm... That means you'll probably get to see the last month and a half's batch of pictures (finally!).

Posted at 08:38

May 13, 2002

mass spam

334 emails since May 1st, 248 were spam...

Posted at 20:56

May 12, 2002

vipassana done

Wow, back to the apparent reality again. You know you've worked hard at a Vipassana course when, upon the lifting of the noble silence the morning of Day 10, you immediately want to dive head first into another course. Uggh. Just observe, just observe...

Posted at 14:54

May 1, 2002

vipassana waipara

I'll be offline for the next 2 weeks, sitting a Vipassana course in Waipara, a bit north of Christchurch. My email inbox is a bit flooded at the moment, so I'll get back to you all as soon as time permits.

A few questions for those of you following along with my travels on this web site- what would you like to see more of? How can I improve it? More pictures more often? More posts more often? A discussion board? Guestbook? Interactive polls? More linkage or more pure writing or more of both? Automated emails to you when I update the site?

I'm aware it gets a bit dull around here at times, especially when compared with other travel log sites. Alex writes, "One constructive criticism...your weblog is a little boring.  Describe some feelings, some smells, some things that don't come through in the photos and personalize things.  I don't know if you are trying to depersonalize it, but your weblog has all the personality of a boring vacation slideshow. Give us some anecdotes, some of your epiphanies, or feelings, describe your impressions of people, let us into your little would make things far more engaging."

I agree with him, and I'm working on it. It's tough though, writing about personal experiences for such a diverse audience- friends, family, friends of friends, family of friends, the list goes on. Please email me what you think, or leave a comment (via the underlined "Comments" link below this post); I've made this site a metaphorical "two-way street" for a reason!

One last tidbit before heading up to Waipara, here's another article about Chuck's $50,000-winning project at Duke. Great picture!

Posted at 14:35

banks peninsula track

I finished hiking the Banks Peninsula Track yesterday afternoon; it was a most refreshing four days. The waterproof camera case once again proved its usefullness, as days 2 and 3 of the hike were quite wet and windy. As in, rain/hail coming down sideways, and a strong-enough wind that I could fully lean into it and be propped up, without keeling over! Yes, I've got heaps of pictures from the track, but it'll be a few more weeks until I can get them online.

The track weaves around the coast of the Banks Peninsula, southeast of Christchurch. The Akaroa volcano created the peninsula about 9 million years ago- here's an awesome aerial picture of the peninsula.

Posted at 11:00