Sunday, 17th, April, 2011. Joseph and Robby invited a group of us over after work for a barbecue. We all went to the supermarket after work and engaged in that slow process which occurs when a large group of people decide to buy things together. Curse you democracy!
Heaps of burgers, sausages, chicken, salad and buns later and we drove to Josephs and Robby house. Fan drove us to the house which was near Tui street, the place we stayed when we first arrived in Te puke, we drove past the house we used to live. Not ours anymore. Feeling like we lived there years ago instead of weeks.
Their place was a long room on the first floor of a house tucked away behind a tall drooping tree. A small covered area sheltered a barbecue. It was raining when we arrived but within minutes it stopped and a double rainbow arched over the cloudy sky. A whole group of people arrived for the party. I counted 13 people and after some detective work we found that there were 11 different nationalities in this group. Eva the woman from the Czech Republic manned the barbecue with Robby and Sebastian and his girl friend bought a crate of beer. Sebastian has had a few days off work recently because a week ago he was riding his bike bare foot and the rusty chain caused him to push too hard and his foot slipped and he scrapped it on the road. This wasn’t the problem, it was a week later when it had not healed and it became infected. The doctor told him to keep it open for a few days and gave him antibiotics as well.
Sebastian is by far the most talkative and energetic person of the tray liners. We have been discussing going to the ski slopes together after the kiwi season has ended. He has only just applied for a job on the slopes and hasn’t got an interview yet but there are bars and shops around the slops which he could easily work in.
As the evening progressed we ate and talked with everyone, all pleasant and interesting apart from one disturbing conversation we had with Robby the man from Hong Kong, he spoke of the way he has been treated in the south on NZ because he is Asian “I was in Queenstown and a group of men followed me and kept on saying ‘fucking Asian, why don’t you fuck off back home’ I was polite and just asked them to leave but they kept on doing it. Another time some people threw eggs at me and told me to go back home, lots of people hate Asian people here” I was surprised as I had not heard this before. “If you hit a Kiwi person you are out just like that, you cannot fight back” Sebastian said. I wondered what I would do if Sarah was subjected to this treatment, My blood boiled as I thought about it.
The evening went smoothly, the weather becoming slightly chilly and windy, the whispers of the seasons changing. Arms crossing, collars brought up to the neck and sheltering against the wall from the wind. Slowly people left and soon Fan drove us all home, when he was dropping Lex back home he drove right up into the garden of the people she was staying with, a small black puppy ran out and almost ran under the front wheel. A confused man in a dressing gown ran out after it shooting an irritated glare at the car while he frantically looked for the puppy. Fan has done this before, going into people drive ways, maybe he has an issue with personal space when it comes to cars. I think he is just curious as to where people live.