Monday, January 19, 2009

A very productive day at Te Papa...

I went to Te Papa today....

It was an extremely uplifting experience, following the torment of getting lost in suburbia only to learn that you have missed the vampire movie outing with your family and are suffering from mild exposure. I was apprehensive when Bon Bons wanted to see the giant squid at Te Papa. I had encountered boredom, frustration, fatigue and claustrophobia on previous visits. This time was no different. There were delightful distractions however, that on reflection made the whole excursion worthwhile, nay, exquisite!

It all started out business as usual:
I was overjoyed at the idea of a cornucopia of indigenous (and introduced) preserved creatures artfully displayed as they would be in their natural habitat. Nothing says New Zealand like two rodents devouring a weta.

Or kea engaged in a sensuous death duel.

There were other delights I would like to share with you: Even the National Museum couldn't resist a bit of anthropomorphic spoon-wielding (few can).

A shame that my first feline sighting was less than elegant, but it was aimed to side with the birds and to paint our whiskered friend in a less than favourable light. The fur had clearly been tampered with to create a more demonic persona.

I still felt safe and comfortable at this stage. These were familiar sights that were pleasing but not necessarily challenging, which was well suited to the public holiday sentiment.

The wealth of exotic selections was extraordinary and even Bons was getting enthusiastic about the amount of dead creatures at our disposal. I can see my love for the dark arts is genetic. Nothing says dark like this fiendish trawl from the dark waters of the river Styx.

The creative methods employed to display stuffed creatures was a delight. This penguin was hanging from the ceiling, as if it were swimming in mid-air. Lifelike...

How deliciously Gothic. I felt like Vlad the Impaler's mistress as I strode through the brightly lit children's animal display.

I was nervous about being scolded for taking photos in a museum and in my haste I failed to learn the genus of this fantastical creature. A flea suffering from gigantism perhaps? An extinct victim of global warming? We shall never know...

The noble armadillo from the Mammalian kingdom almost had me thrown. Was I out of my depth here? I never expected to see such creatures so close to my place of birth. I was in the throes of a crisis. Everything I had ever wanted was right before my eyes, but why did I feel dissatisfied? Surely I could not want more!

And then it happened:
Oh dear God. It was magnificent. Tears welled in my undeserving eyes and I wept...

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