At the local gift shop yesterday ( not the shop in the picture, which is a takeaway – zoom into that – I love the juxtaposition of the ‘Enjoy Fresh Cooking’ and the greasy fingerprints), the nice lady behind the desk explained why she’d bought a section that needed a lot of work – a ‘project’.
“What else is there to do here?” she said, “I have a project to keep me busy. Without it, I’d go bananas.”
For the people who live here, besides the fabulous Cathay Cinemas (more on that another time), there’s not a whole lot going on within the confines of Kerikeri. Even the cafes are closed by 3pm on weekdays, and almost every shop and cafe is closed by 12 noon on Saturdays.
“But,” I said to the nice lady, pulling my slighly-undernourished rabbit out of my hat, “What about the new Mini-Golf?”
Yes, a NEW feature in Kerikeri is the Mini-Golf. Everyone I have spoken to has been at least once, and it only opened the other week. Nice lady was not so impressed with my rabbit.
We have a theatre (too expensive). We have a market on a Sunday (but I don’t count grocery shopping as an activity). There is rumoured to be somewhere for kids to skate on a Friday night (but this is in Waipapa, so transport is required). There are outdoor pools at the school (but what if it’s raining… or any month outside of November to April?).
A young friend of mine would like a Games Arcade. “There’s nothing for teenagers in Kerikeri,” he tells me, which is absolutely true and why so many young people leave. I, for one, would like a huge indoor AND outdoor swimming pool with slides and wave machines and jets of water, but that costs millions of dollars.
So the question is, how can a town grow so big and attract so many tourists and still have nothing to do? Or is there something most of us are missing? Are there tons of things going on that nobody knows about?