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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baring It All at Mt. Maunganui

We rented a car and went hopping over the hills of the North Island heading to Wellington. But we intended on a few scenic stops on the way. Nestled right on the Bay of Plenty was this city called Tauraga where we heard about these hot salt-water baths. These sounded good to me with my sore back and neck and this sounded good to Tyler who wanted a good cleansing for his skin. So we set our sights on this hot salt-water bath in this place called Mt. Maunganui.

We arrived at night just as the place was closing. I walked straight into them past the admission just wanting to check out these baths. Much like the ancient Roman baths of long ago, there were multiple pools all heated to different temperatures. It wasn't long before a young Kiwi apprehended us and told us that they were closing down. In disappointment, we asked him if there were any late night hot salt water baths open. He went on talking about the facilities and then paused and looked over at one of the pools, and said, "Wow, you see that rat!" He pointed wanting us to join in on this curiosity of nature. "I mean that rat's so big?" This was said not out of disgust. But almost out of admiration. Sure enough, this large rat was skittering here among the pools. "I'll give you 10 dollars if you can catch that rat. No, I'm serious 10 dollars, if you catch it."
Tyler and I were already getting used to the nice and quirky ways of most Kiwis. We thought he was joking, though he was probably serious. And so we went on taking about how we wished we could dip in some hot baths somewhere. That's when this young Kiwi, said under his breath, "You know there's not an alarm on these pools." In confusion, we said, "What?" He repeated himself with a glint in his eye, "These pools don't have an alarm on them."
It was then that we fully understood him. "Oh" and we said our thanks and departed.
We waited maybe half an hour. We kept driving by the baths to see when the last cars where gone. But we were getting impatient. So we parked further up the street and snuck behind the baths, peering like spies over the wall. There were only 3 workers still around closing up. The baths were squared in by this wall only. Like an old fortress. There were no roofs or ceilings. You could see the hot steam wafting up into the cool night air. The lights were shut off, but everything was still visible. And as soon, as we realized that the last worker had left. We both nimbly climbed over the wall. Dropped our towels. And then stripped off our clothes to our birthday suits and plunged right in. We each went to separate pools, because being in the same pool with another naked guy was a bit awkward.

I was in one pool letting this hot shower massage down my strained neck. The mountain of Maungauni towering above and not far the ocean rushing and slapping into the sands. Out of the corner of my eye, I look up and off in the shadows I see not one naked person but two. This was very confusing for me. You see, pure mathematics insisted that there were indeed two naked people in these baths. Tyler and myself...and myself I could not see (naturally). But this glimpse of another nude figure about Tyler's height and frame posed a problem. Then I saw Tyler shake hands with this mysterious naked figure. Was I seeing double? I don't want to stare. I mean there's nakedness everywhere. And as I proceeded out of the pool to investigate, the nudeness of the moment was not enough, for another naked man dropped over the wall. What is this? Is this for real? The first naked man approached me and a very cordial meeting took place. We shook hands, much like one would do in a church foyer or a reception...all except we were naked. And just when the nudity was unbearable and just downright perplexing, I saw another peach-colored shadow on the wall. And down-dropped, not another naked man...but a naked woman.

Which to my Victorian upbringing, was the oddest thing of all. And then we all shook hands and met as though at a social event. And then we explained our story...and they explained theirs. That they do this quite often. Into many different hot baths around the area. The first naked man was from that region of New Zealand. The 2nd naked man and the naked woman were from Canada and had been working there for 7 months. Conversation ensued between naked Tyler and 1st Naked Man and 2nd Naked Man. While I,( and I promise you no motive here) found myself chatting away with the naked girl. The water completely submerged everything risque. Though, what strangeness. She was just telling me about the jobs she's done here as though everything is ordinary. Maybe, I was in the wrong. But what else could I do?

Then the 1st naked man proceeded to climb up on one of the tarps hanging over one of the pools, but his foot went through with aloud rip. Next, he and the 2nd naked man climbed ontop of another tarp and sprang off of them into the deepest pool. They both commented on our inexperienced way of climbing the wall first, then stripping down instead of stripping down first THEN over the wall naked..for if security comes, we'll have to gather up our clothes and escape over the wall INSTEAD of the more climatic escape of hurling oneself over the wall in the nude and running butt naked until the appropriate time should occur where reclothing oneself is possible.

The naked troupe left us...going to a club. We hopped over the wall and put on our clothes. That night we couldn't find a place to sleep so Tyler slept in the car and I slept out near the beach.


Blogger ПАПА said...

I wouldnt think that you really need to develop a rap sheet on this new soil, it may be hard to obtain a job if there is a history of recent thieft. Criminals dont usually make good employees. Your a grown man and its certainly up to you, but I would have rather not read this one!

9:18 PM  
Anonymous the author said...

Sorry. It's the only pinch of deliquency that has been committed. Don't worry. This isn't a common occurrence.

2:53 AM  
Anonymous StrangeKiwi said...

Nice one bro,
I'll have 2 give that a go when I get home!

7:49 AM  

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