Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm not usually this patriotic... - Your a Real American?! I'm Just a dressed up Kiwi!

As most of the world knows Rugby World Cup is happening in full force throughout New Zealand Sept - Oct.  I have to admit it is pretty cool all the different events happening throughout the country including fan zones (with drinks) different events, plays, music, meeting players and more.  Everyone has gotten behind The All Blacks (NZ team)  and the support is everywhere.

On an adventure to Palmerston North (an 1 1/2 hour drive north of Wellington)  Jaime thought she saw the USA rugby team.  This was the week of their game in Wellington that we all attended, so it was big news!  We were crusing down the road and decided (not me) that it was vital to go back and for me to get a photo with them.  So we whip the car around, get around the block and stop in front of them (as they are walking down the street).  We pull over in a non parking spot and Jan goes to roll down the window to ask them for a picture.  The child lock is on, so she is awkwardly trying to roll down the window and they are just staring... Jaime and I are in the back seat laughing like there is no tomorrow (while braiding our red white and blue ribbons for our cowboy hats).  The window finally rolls down and Jan ask where the USA rugby team is staying (not to just go all out and ask them, if they are the rugby team).  Turns out it wasn't the rugby team at all... just a few people with USA shirts on.  So basically Jaime saw someone with a USA shirt on and thought it was the team!  Good thing we didn't ask for a photo like they wanted me to do.. that would of been even more awkward!

Below is a video of a flash Haka that took place at my Centre!  (you can see part of what at NZ mall looks like!)  A Haka is the dance and performance that is traditional Maori.  The All Blacks (NZ Rugby Team) perform this before games.  These flash mobs took place all over NZ on the 9th September, as it was the first official day of the Rugby World Cup.

So in support of the good old USA Colin and I bought tickets to the game vs Australia.  Most of the people from work came as well which was great!  Work got super into it, wanting to look like Americans, so we got what they all instantly thought of when thinking about America.... Cowboy hats.... hahah.  I had to go along with it! :)

Even the security team supported the US and brought in a USA flag for me!  Everyone was very excited for the game! (little did I know that USA sucks a rugby...)  but hey, as numerous people have told me, America can't be good at everything!

So the night of the USA vs. Australia came and we all dressed up in our cowboy hats with a plated (braided) trip and poms.

 Jaime and I in my office making the hats
 My entire office! they are all so great!

we started off with drinks at a bar right on the water.  Tons of people walking along to the game went this way and there were hundreds of people dressed up in USA gear.  There was even a restaurant called Chicago which had an official USA night for the game.  It was jam packed with people in spandex USA suits and crazy hats.  

We even met some fellow Australians which were keen to get some photos with the American flag!

 Jaime insisted I take a photo wrapped in the American flag to send home to friends/family.  As I took this photo I was joking about never being so patriotic in my life.  Some other people dressed up for USA came over and said; 'wait, your a real American?'  were just Kiwis dressed up!  They were very excited to know that Colin and I were 'real' Americans. 

precession of USA fans walking to the stadium - view from the bar we were at.

So off to the game we went. and turns out that Australia is pretty good at Rugby and the US... not so much.  Final score... 60 something to 5.

Overall it was a great experience and I am so lucky to have such wonderful co-workers who fully supported the US and had such a great time with all of them!  (for those who don't know... basically the entire stadium supported the Aussies... as no one in NZ likes Australia...)  But oh well we loved the support!

Wellington has been super busy with tons of events and tourists roaming the city for the games.  One of the events we saw this morning on the waterfront was something you have to see if you're living/visiting in NZ.   Sheering of sheep!  It was pretty fun to watch actually. This one guy sheered a sheep in 26 seconds!  I found it highly entertaining and felt like a true Kiwi watching it! :)

Well that is all for now!  We officially come home in 4 months which is absolutely crazy, scary and exciting at the same time.  And next weekend we are off to Sydney for 4 days to go and start exploring Australia!  (just an excuse to ad another stamp in my passport!)