Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

Saturday morning Ljuba and I left Palmerston and drove up toward Christchurch. We stopped along the way to check out some fat and lazy fur seals. Lulled by their placid appearance, a fellow tourist tried to sneak in for a closer photograph, but her subject sent her scrambling with an intimidating bellow. After inadvertently harassing some gulls, we continued up the coast.

Our next stop was a beach just off the road. Ljuba had been here before, and wanted to show me the Moeraki Boulders. After a short walk up the shore we reached the boulders, which are strange otherworldly orbs littered along the beach. It was among the more populous tourist locations of our trip, but we got our foolish poses in with the best of them.

We were exhausted when we arrived back at Ljuba’s parent’s house. After a quick nap and a shower, we all sat down for a delayed Christmas Eve dinner. Nada’s French coworker Greg joined us, and it was nice to have another face in a familiar mix. Nada had outdone herself, with dish after dish of delicious food. There were peppers stuffed with ground walnut, stuffed eggplant, a delicious salad fresh from the garden, gibanica with homemade filo dough, and braised goat.

In accordance with Serbian tradition, dinner was followed by a Christmas ceremony. Buda brought an oak branch into the house through the front door, and Nada showered him with grain and nuts. The oak was brought back outside and lit on fire, and the scattered nuts and grain were left in the corners of the room for the next few days.

The five of us sat around the dinner table enjoying cake and wine until around 11, when Greg left weighed down by leftovers. Ljuba and I got spruced up and hit the town, staying out all night until around 6. Kiwi girls are shameless drunks.

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