Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sevens madness

People are strange, weird, wonderful, and fascinating creatures. I love people watching. What are those people doing? Where are they from? What do they do for a job? Where are they going? What are they thinking? What made them dress like that today? (What were they thinking, lol?) As part of my 101 in 1001, I wanted to find a busy street corner or centrally located café and achieve #66 - Spend an hour people watching. Instead, we spent the weekend at the 2010 Wellington Sevens, the ultimate people watching experience.

The international rugby sevens tournament hits Wellington in the first weekend of February (although Auckland and Dunedin think they might have a shot for themselves - whatever!). Of all legs of this international tournament, the focus for Wellington is throwing the year's biggest costume party, and maybe watching the occasional game in the background. Anyone not dressed up sticks out like a sore thumb. Spending copious amounts of money on greasy stadium food and watery beer in plastic cups is par for the cause, especially on Saturday (Waitangi Day) when patrons were slapped with an additional 15% surcharge on top of the existing outrageous prices.

Think about a costume party you have been to, then multiply it by at least one thousand times. Ply those 35 000 people with copious amounts of alcohol, body paint, wigs, accessories, whistles and loud horns, then let them loose for two sunny days within a radius of just a few kilometres ... it is nothing short of madness. We saw costumes of every variety, including groups of Buzz Lightyears, Twister boards, traffic lights, Cookie Monsters, various members of the Munch Bunch, packets of Raro and Juicy Fruit ... check out some of the costumes here. Our theme was Jem and the Holograms. For everyone of a certain generation (ie, aged 28-35), this should hopefully sound familiar. The 23-year-old in our group had to watch some episodes on You Tube to know what we were talking about - she quickly got the idea.

Jem and the Holograms hit the town! "Truly outrageous!"
These friendly lions knew our theme song!
These Hannibal Lecters were quite taken with Jem and the Holograms
Some of the crowd along the waterfront
There were a couple dozen naughty oompa loompas running around. They were taller than I'd imagined!
As a non-drinker, the sevens makes for the ultimate in extreme people watching. Here's what I observed during my weekend of people watching at the sevens:
  • Cross-dressing is par for the course; at the sevens, it barely raises an eyebrow. This is probably the biggest event where you can expect to see hundreds of men dressed in women's lingerie and clothing. ;-)
  • What may seem like an outrageous idea at home will fit in perfectly (or possibly even look understated) amongst a crowd of 35 000 people.
  • Extreme is the name of the game: most people will either show lots of skin or none.
  • Beware walking past anyone covered in body paint; it will quickly become part of your costume if you get too close.
  • Costumes with a tail, fur, body paint, big masks, or big items to carry might seem like a good idea at the time, but think about doing it for two full days in the sun ...
  • The simplest costume ideas are sometimes the most effective, especially if there are a group of people following the same theme.
  • Anything goes. Just don't expect to be congratulated (or noticed) if you turn up in a Hawaiian shirt and lei.
  • At the sevens you can be anything or anyone you want to be, just as long as you're not yourself.


Kellee said...

oh my god I loved Jem when I was a kid. I sooo wanted to be her! That is seriously the best costume idea I've ever heard. Well done.

Sab said...

That looks soo cool! I wish we had something like that over here... I would love to join in on the fun!