Australia & NZ 2011 (1 April)

Christchurch at this time of the year is pretty chilly. A few drops of rain in the early morning followed by a dry, crisp air, got me ready for sprinting. I walked to the park I’d seen in the map, a few blocks away from the hostel. I had been warned that it was pretty small, and that the road along the river would be a better running scenery, but my knees are happier on soft surfaces.

Back in the hostel, my breakfast was two apples from the organic supermarket in Wellington and a handful of almonds. Then I went to the supermarket to stock up for the next days. That simple act of walking a hundred metres to get basic food was quite an interesting experience. On one hand, there were several shops that were closed due to the earthquake, showing different degrees of destruction. On the other hand, the supermarket staff had an amazingly positive attitude, I guess they were happy to be alive and grateful to still have their jobs. It was the first time after my first visit to Australia that I bought bottled water in a civilised country. Due to the earthquake, the water supply was not suitable for drinking, and you could tell everyone was being cautious because the water shelves in the supermarket were almost empty.

There was a morning session of teachings in the Buddhist centre. For lunch, they had set up a cafeteria with coffee, tea, fruit, sweets (slices, muffins, etc) and sandwiches. The grill was being fired up to sell sausages with sauerkraut on white sliced bread smeared with butter… not exactly my idea of a healthy meal. I decided to walk back to the supermarket, eating some almonds on the way. I bought half a pumpkin and an onion, and made a simple but comforting soup in the hostel kitchen with some five spice and milk that were available in the free food shelves. There was a giant jar of with some leftover peanut butter on one of the shelves, too; I had a spoonful that reminded me how bad the processed stuff tastes compared to home-made peanut butter.

Cafeteria

Cafeteria in the centre

Dinner was as usual after the second teachings session of the day. There were leftovers from the previous day available for a donation to the centre (ie, pay what you want) but a bunch of us decided to get food from an Indian restaurant nearby, one of the few that are still standing in the area. Andrey had rented a bike, so he took our orders and rode to It’s Indi to buy the food.

The menu was quite long, I had a hard time deciding what to order. I was sold after reading “very popular worldwide” in the description of the lamb tikka masala (roasted lamb marinated in special spices, cooked in recipe of yoghurt cream & spices).

It's Indi - Basmati rice, lamb tikka massala

Basmati rice and lamb tikka masala ($14.50)

Meals were huge and the flavour was good. I enjoyed my tikka masala and had a few spoonfuls of Paola’s dal tadka (yellow split lentil cooked with turmeric, ginger, garlic & tomatoes), which was also good. A perfect meal for such a cool evening.

It’s Indi
345 Stanmore Road/72 North Avon Road
Richmond Village, Christchurch
(03) 389 9997
www.itsindi.co.nz

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