Laser tag bumper cars

After dipping my toes in the water at Rangitoto last weekend I’ve been itching to get to the beach. I researched the best beaches in Auckland and Andrew invited some friends to join us. On Wednesday the weather report said Saturday might be rainy and by Thursday it was predicting strong winds and rain. Plan B. Andrew suggested bowling.

We took the bus to Newmarket, a neighborhood with lots of retail shops just outside downtown and went to Newmarket Tenpin. The place was pretty awesome after you found it on the 6th floor above a sketchy garage. They had a bunch of old arcade games, about 15 pool tables, bowling lanes and bumper cars. But wait, why are there neon guns attached to the bumper cars? Oh yes, laser tag bumper cars! We got a group together and played a few arcade games, brushed up on my dance dance revolution (DDR) skills and then hit the lanes. Andrew and I were on a lane with Kerrie and Yasmin. Per usual, I broke 100 on my first game then tanked the second game. The ladies and Andrew did alright the first game and then crushed it the second game with everyone breaking 100 except me. Andrew almost played a 150 game at 147 but Kerrie won the second round with 148. Sweet! Five guys from Oktobor played on the second lane and all in all, I think everyone had a good time. Kerrie ordered potato wedges that didn’t show up til we neared the end of the second game but after many reminders, we ended up getting a free plate of chips (french fries) out of it too. There was even a full bar, but since we showed up around 12:30 in the afternoon we stuck to water and soda. In the evening the bowling area goes cosmic, with black lights and neon balls. Pretty good find!

After we wrapped up our bowling game we wanted to test out the laser tag bumper cars but were informed only three of the nine machines were working. We’ll make do. We doubled up the carriages and found out the activity was super broken. None of the guns worked and halfway through our 6 minute game one of the bumper cars died too. No matter, it was fun and a really neat idea. If only they pulled it off.

We wrapped up the outing with a round of pool (I won against Andrew and Huy) and went in search of food. There was a Chinese restaurant around the corner that smelled fantastic as we walked past. We doubled back, put three tables together and sipped on some green tea. The waiter did not speak English, but there appeared to be a lot of interesting things on the menu. They had a photo of a soup special and I asked what I was and all I understood was it was “animal” “not spicy” and “you cannot handle”. I opted for a braised beef and dumpling spicy soup which was phenomenal and Andrew housed some dumplings in chili sauce. The braised beef was so tender and full of flavor. Who needs upscale restaurants when hole in the wall places serve such delicious fare? Andrew definitely regretted not getting the soup, and if we ever find ourselves in Newmarket again we might have to return for a repeat performance.

Everyone went their separate ways so Andrew and I wandered around the local retail shops for a bit before we snagged a bus back downtown. We were let off in front of a large Smith and Caughey department store, kind of like the local Macy’s. They had set up their Christmas window displays, and I had to grab a photo of the sheep themed one:

The end.