Many do not spend much time in Christchurch, for there is just a treasury of things to do just a few hours away. However, once when I arrived in Christchurch around noon, I decided to spend the day walking the city and the market. The market is good for shopping, as you can find many similar things offered in the souvenir stores, but the quality is often superior, the goods are really handmade, and the prices can be better. The day I went happened to be the day when the New Zealand team, freshly victorious from the American Cup, came in to town for a parade. So everyone was anticipating, and Christchurch had a festive atmosphere that made walking around and people watching incredibly fun.
Another fun thing to get at the market is a massage. A 15-minute massage was advertised for NZ$5 which, at that time, was $2.50. With the exchange rate being what it is nowadays, it is probably only $2. The massage therapist set up a chair in one of the market stalls, and you just wait. I had doubt about the quality, but at that price, I couldn’t lose. It was so relaxing, and I felt my cares going away. I bought an additional 15 minutes, and even asked to go back to her place for a whole body massage. It turned out however that she is currently homeless, and is living at a shelter. Therefore she told me it would be inconvenient. What a shame because she was truly good, better than some of the overpriced $75/hr spa massage therapists back home.