Having been in Auckland for almost four months now and having seen most of the city’s attractions, I didn’t expect last weekend to become particularly special or exciting. However, my rather boring expectations turned out to be completely out of place.

First of all I must mention that for the first time since I am here, Auckland’s weather during the last weekend was dominated by blue sky, not as usually by clouds. The sun was shining non-stop and as there was no sign of a sudden weather change in the sky, I finally resolved to leave the house in short trousers and a t-shirt. For the first time I almost felt like a real Kiwi, walking around in summary clothes instead of being wrapped in two pullovers, long trousers and a scarf. To say it in a few words, only for the weather’s sake the weekend had made it already to the top of my ‘Best Weekend in Auckland’- list. However, it was about to get even better.

Sunday was even nicer, partly because of the weather conditions had even improved, but in particular it was a great day since my host parents made the snap decision to go to Takapuna Beach and watch a ‘Bathtub Derby’ together. A ‘Bathtub Derby’? Indeed, this was nothing I had ever heard about before in my life and I therefore decided to join my host parents and check it out. I believe it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen: People dressed up in a range of hilarious costumes, having a race in bathtubs converted to boats. However, it took some of the participants quite long to complete the required loop as their bathtub steadily ran full with water and even twisted over in some cases. The following rescue actions in order to bring the participants and their boats safely back on land were almost more amusing than the race itself. The rescued, striking the funniest poses on the rescue boat, didn’t seem to care about their defeat. It was obvious that for them as well as for all the other participants taking part and having fun was much more important rather than winning the race. This attitude towards the competition created an amazingly relaxed and funny atmosphere among the spectators and made the race, as well as the whole sunny weekend, an unforgettable Auckland-weekend.

Story contributed by Jolien, a CPE student at Languages International Auckland