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The Welly rites of passage

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 8 November 2015 | Views [428]

When a person visits Wellington, it seems like the unanimous urging from books, magazines, guides, locals, etc. is, "you Must go to Te Papa!!!"

This is a free and very extensive national museum near the water front. So I wandered around trying to take some cool pictures and breathe in the sea air before taking advantage of Te Papas evening hours on Thursdays, because let's be real: that is the time I feel most human, and least zombie.

It is difficult to write about everything that was fascinating in Te papa, but it lived up to the hype.

My top 3 , which I've posted pictures of in the New Zealand album. (I hope to rotate and edit these with full captions when I return to the states.)

- an exhibit on the evolution of birth control, with old and new forms on display (even used iud's!!) taken from the collection of Dr. Sparrow, a doctor who specializes in reproductive health and was one of the first women in New Zealand to be prescribed birth control pills. The picture above shows a place where people can write what advice they'd give to their younger selves about contraception

- the only colossal squid in the world on display at a museum, with a video to show how they found the squid when she was dying and then the process to research, preserve, then get her ready for display

-a 140 million year old shellfish fossil about the size of a human toddler, and likely much heavier

The next day I befriended a hostel dorm mate who had the same plans to check out the botanical gardens. It was the most beautiful day I'd seen here so far. We rounded up a 3rd lady from our dorm and used the historical cable car (a Wellington rite of passage) to make our way up to the gardens which were of course gorgeous. It was a great way to enjoy the weather and get to know some new people.

We ate at a delicious kebabs place afterward- it was great even without meat!- and then went to a few bars later that night. I was admittedly bored because I don't drink much anymore, but I was really impressed by how artful and detailed the contents of the cocktail menus were. They were rather classy establishments (one was kind of steampunk, with the bartenders in vests and dress pants), and I enjoyed the ambience. Then it was back to the hostel to read and write late into the night.

Tags: birth control, botanical gardens, cocktail bars, museum, te papa, waterfront, wellington

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