Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Riff Raff and rugby balls

In response to my fragile state I decide to have a day of recuperation and take it easy. After lunch at the backpackers I ventured back into the heart of the city where I checked out the Riff Raff statue out of the rocky horror picture show to get a photo. This represented a cliche tourist site with a number of tourists arriving to get their photo with the iconic statue and the photo allowed me to show friends back home that I had visited the city where Richard O'Brien the creator had conceived the idea for the rocky horror. Very much a culturally important location.

Later I headed out to The Base, a large retail complex where I indulged in the classic tourist practice of retail therapy. I brought a Chiefs rugby jersey and ball which is Hamilton's and the greater Waikato's professional rugby team competing in the Super 14, to which I was later informed to my disgust that they were being well and truly beaten in this years competition, making me rethink the option of attending a home game. I also brought a a few more New Zealand items such as a New Zealand branded shirt, a small stuffed kiwi and a green stone necklace.

The purchasing of souvenirs and other items is a representative act of collecting place, by buying items which are place specific and have selected meanings attached helps with this accumulation of cultural capital once they are displayed back home. As the collection of places refers to this notion that places and experiences are gathered for the purpose of being able to use this capital, to be put on display so to speak and benefit from the investment (Desforges, 1998). This gives the impression of collecting places as a contemporary expression of class identity being projected and upheld through tourism.

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