A selection of photos on the road home from Raglan, a quaint surfing town in New Zealand.
Light, landscapes and motion.
Stranger things have happened. Was it all a delusion, or was I actually bounced by a shark?
I’m back in beginner surf land, up in the sharky waters of New Zealand’s far north. I can’t help but reminisce of one afternoon last summer.
I get the thing with surfing, I really do. The road trip, the stunning backdrops, the adrenaline rush… but it still kinda terrifies me. There’s attempting to Eskimo roll when a giant wave is coming, and then there’s sharks. I still sometimes hear jaws music when I’m clutching my board.
Last summer I did a fair bit of attempting to surf. A beginner’s board was lying around where I was staying, and so I was playing with that.
I must have been getting ballsy, because one day I found myself out quite far from the shore in some deep water. A rather large wave came roaring towards me, so I chucked my board away and dove underneath in an attempt to avoid the onslaught.
I was flung at the wrath of the wave in various directions. Next thing I hit into a large, rather smooth, solid mass and bounced back to the surface of the water.
My board was to my far right, and being so buoyant, there’s no way it could’ve been under me. The next thing to rule out was the ocean floor. I was miles out, far from the shallows. The next step in the process of elimination was of course a shark.
In a state of sheer terror, I exited the water at an accelerated speed. I paced the beach, and considered what has just happened. What had I bumped into down in the deep sea?
After much deep breathing and rationality I reasoned that even if it was a shark, it must have been a friendly fellow. I could probably safely go back into the water now. I was being ridiculous. I went back in, but clutched my board tighter than usual.
I still wonder, what was a bounced by? A sand bank? A large fish? A shark?
I’ve done dancing on and off since I was a kid, yet when my friend and I travelled in South America the locals told us we danced liked poles.
And they didn’t mean in a sexy pole dancing way, but in a rigid inanimate object kinda way. Years of jazz and hip hop hadn’t taught me latino hips. I was apparently, doing it all wrong. I was devastated.
Nightclub upon nightclub the feedback was always the same. Our olive skin and curly hair didn’t disguise us. “Where are you from?” they could tell we weren’t locals as we looked so funny dancing.
Upon returning to New Zealand, we quickly sought to rectify this. One beginner salsa lesson at a time, we were inducted into the ways of Latin dance. It’s all in the hips. And slowly but surely my “pole” dancing was rectified.
My Kiwi personal space bubble was also quickly destroyed. Here in NZ, we have a rather large personal space boundary – don’t get too close! Yet this didn’t go so well with the Latin dancing. They dance close and intimately. While I initially hated Salsa for this reason, I found my space bubble quickly shrunk, and I was happy to be flung around the dance floor.
A year of Salsa under my belt I went back to South America. The transformation was amazing. I danced my way across all the local dance floors, and nightclubs and was showered in compliments by locals who couldn’t believe I was from New Zealand not a Latina.
Funny to think how all this inspired my dancing today. Call me a Latino at heart but I still love the dance and the culture. It’s vibrant, it’s exciting, but most of all it’s fun.
Now I just need to master actual pole dancing.
When my 2 blogs collide. Re-blogged from: