Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
At this point in time, I think I pretty much owe my entire life to Joann McPike. Not only did she start up TGS, which has changed my life forever, but she was able to get me in to a New Zealand All Blacks game! Not even just an All Blacks game, but the final of the Rugby Championship versus Argentina’s national team Los Pumas at La Plata.
Being born and raised in little old Wellington, New Zealand, I grew up with the whole “rugby is everything and the most important sport” sort of mentality common in my country. The girls could play netball and tennis, but the boys played rugby. And everyone cheered on the All Blacks. It didn’t matter if you were old or young, man or woman, rich or poor — everybody cheers on the All Blacks. This also gets much more passionate when you begin to travel. I was never as nationalist as I am now after traveling away from New Zealand for the past three years.
This is what New Zealand is like:
I don’t think that any of my friends had understood how excited I was until we got to the stadium, and you could say I went into a state of shock. Everyone else was screaming and shouting and pumped, and I was trying to get my head around the fact that I was going to see the All Blacks at La Plata for the Rugby Championship Cup. This was the game which my Dad had joked about me going to after he found that it was sold out.
And I was there. In Row 5. Watching Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and Piri Weepu practicing literally 20 meters away. You could definitely say I was in a state of shock.
There is no way that I am going to ever forget this experience: the crowd, the hype, the noise, the game; it definitely was a perfect game! I will remember this forever!