A Lesson In Kindness

Dream Track.  Big Air, Big Views.

  Two posts in one day will not be common, but it’s raining this afternoon here, and I’m bored.  Interestingly, today was quite eventful.  As Queenstown is not massive, it is easy to navigate on foot if you’re willing to put in a little sweat-equity (it’s super hilly/steep here, like, I-want-to-repel-down-the-street-steep).  This morning I headed out to continue familiarizing myself with the area, with the intention of walking on some wooded paths recommended to me by a local.  Within just a few minutes, I stumbled upon a part of the bike park, and into a World-class jump line, simply known as “Dream Track”.  Without going on endlessly about the “stoke factor”, I’ll just say, the views coupled with the massive features left me grinning like a fool.  While out roaming the hills, I ran into a local guy doing some trail maintenance, and just like everyone else I’m met and spoken at length with, he was super nice, and happy to share tips and advice regarding his home.  I have been floored by people’s general, genuine kindness and willingness to give sound advice.
  To further demonstrate this observation: much later in my walk, on the opposite side of town from where I’m staying, my knee started acting up, and I couldn’t really walk.  I stopped into a liquor store to ask about calling a taxi.  Overhearing me talk to the cashier, a man in line offered to drive me, without even asking where I needed to go – another patron also offered once they heard where I was headed.  How amazing is that?  I can’t remember the last time I witnessed something like that happen.  Maybe it’s just happenstance, but I think it really just is different down here – in the best of ways possible.  And as it turns out, my driver friend, Stu, is a local fishing boat captain, who runs fishing tours right on Lake Wakatipu, and his wife runs a touring yacht, Pacific Jemm – which he pointed our in the little harbor as we drove by.

  I think being in a location that is driven by people’s zeal for living a relaxed life based around outdoor fun and leisure, fosters a unique social climate.  There is a great deal of social turnaround due to the nature of people being seasonal residence, but because everyone is here on their own accord to enjoy the majesty of the land, and the opportunities available for outdoor play, it makes for a much more playful spark in people’s attitudes – something you can really feel.  Work is work, of course, but thus far, even the people who have less-glamorous jobs seems to be just as pumped on being here as anyone else.  As cheesy as it sounds, there is really a strong positive vibe here, and that’s something I’m very happy to have discovered!
  Sidenote of the day:  I ate at a local establishment called “Fergburger”, and it was most excellent.  It is THE local eatery, and there also a bakery under the same banner next door.  They are open something like 22hrs a day.  I think that’s where I’m going to live. 

Fergburger; the only place you should be eating.

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