Rotorua: Maori for “Land of Steamy Ponds of Smelly Water That People Pay to Dunk In”

So I’m in the town of Rotorua right now, or, as the Kiwis call it: Rotten-Rua…And it’s quite appropriate. As the bus came to a stop, I immediately caught a strong whiff of the sulphur that saturates the air of the area. Rotorua is well known as a geothermal hotspot here in New Zealand…There’s a park up the road I’m going to check out that’s got some mineral springs I want to see…There are thermal mud spas, crater lakes, redwood forests…This is a pretty damn cool place to be at. I’m a bit pissed I got started off on the wrong foot; I forgot I wanted to check out a different hostel in the area because they have geothermal room heaters which were built in the 30’s, which I really wanted to see…Instead I decided "eh, I’m tired and this hostel looks good and the price sounds good." Dumb…

Hoping to grab breakfast tomorrow at the Fat Hound Cafe I’ve heard a bit about…Not too many plans tonight. Got to get some Dota in at a nearby internet cafe so I got my gaming fix for the evening, even if I lost and paid for the pleasure…Going to try and get some more pictures too. Internet’s fairly reasonable here so I’ll do a photo update tonight or tomorrow. Got paid by Vimutti too…$400 cash money!!!11 Now I’ve just gotta try not to spent it too fast, which is hard…I think the exchange rate just improved between the US and here so I might start using my States bank card a bit more to get the most out of it.

I hitchhiked to the town of Hamilton today froim Bombay; a Hindi guy from Fiji driving a van full of goat’s milk picked me up and we chatted on and off for the hour and a half it took to get there, then he gave me an orange as I was grabbing my bag. I stuck my thumb out for awhile but I was at a bad spot, so I walked up the road a bit , stopped in a MCDonalds to use the bathroom, walked out and asked a pair of older Maori women where the bus station was, and they offered me first a Raspberry milkshake, then offered to give me a ride there and we talked about pollution, animal cruelty, Obama (of course), and a bunch of other hippie-topics. Score. (And major run-on sentence but w/e)

I finished a book called "The End of Faith," written by Sam Harris and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who considers religion to be even a minor player in world events (read: EVERYBODY!). Sam Harris’ premise is that not only is religion a dangerous force and one we cannot afford to keep (typical atheist platform), but religious moderates, those who believe we should tolerate other religions and leave them to their beliefs, are even MORE dangerous because they keep us from criticizing religion for it’s dumb ideas…What IS needed is a "science of ethics," which sounds silly at first, but he lays the framework for such a science down fairly well. It seems like a call for intolerance, which I thought it was; which is why I was surprised Ajahn Chandako recommended it, but it’s far more complex than that, so before you shoot down his ideas, read the book. It’s quite interesting, as sarcasticly humorous at religion’s expense as any atheist text, well-researched, factually relevant to current events (published 2004)…It also gives a shout-out to Eastern traditions for their empirical approaches to the nature of human consciousness, which is, I suspect, the true reason Ajahn Chandako keeps it around. Christians beware. Muslims even more so. All-around great book, even if you disagree.

Categories: new zealand, travel, Uncategorized


  1. god it sounds like youre having an awesome time

    im so jealous, haha

  2. Sounds really cool and exciting.

    What’s “Dota?”

  3. I know I have not read the book, so I will just say this: religion is not dangerous. People are dangerous. People do bad things, and they will use anything as an excuse or a weapon. Scientists are not immune to this–in fact, many are among the worst offenders. Eugenics, forced sterilization, biological testing on humans and animals, nuclear weaponry–these are all products of scientists who see themselves as righteous warriors, not in the name of God, but of Progress.

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