After a great day enjoying Auckland’s harbour area (look at me, all spelling it like a local), I arrive back at my AirBnB, hop in the shower and make myself pretty for a girls’ night out. Friends of mine in Canada have a friend here named Liz who they met while working on cruise ships. Those of us who have worked on ships have an immediate bond as we’ve experienced things others can’t relate to. Liz has arranged an evening with some of her friends and, after four-months in Asia, dressing (unsuccessfully) to simply not be soaking with sweat within a half-hour, I’m excited to, once again, dress like a girl. And, after my bad experience with a member of the male population earlier in the trip, a girls bonding night is greatly appreciated. (Read on guys, it’s not all girl talk.)
Liz picks me up and we head over to Ponsonby Central, a building filled with restaurants, shops, bars and more. It’s rainy and cold and my needs consist of warmth, dryness and wine (not necessarily in that order). Liz and I take a seat at Toru and order up some wine and chips while waiting for the others to join us. We chat about those we know and our ship-life histories and, before long, we’re joined by Sandra and Sharon.
We spend the evening chatting about our lives, upcoming plans and men. One of the women met a man through a dating website and just met him in person. It turns out that he has a physical handicap which he didn’t mention. Still, she thinks there might be a connection so we all contemplate whether we could deal with it or not and, if not, if that would make us shallow or if it’s simply a chemistry thing. Oh so many challenges between the worlds of men and women.
I order up the lamb for dinner as this is a New Zealand staple, and one which I don’t normally eat. (It’s that stupid Mary and her Little Lamb which has caused severe guilt when eating this.) But, when in Rome. . . so I eat my lamb and, I must say, if Mary had tasted this, that lamb wouldn’t have followed her to school, but to the dinner table. This is the most fantastic meal I’ve had in a long time and that, combined with the wine and new friends makes for a great night.
The next day I enjoy a sleep-in and head into town late. I’ve got the bus thing down so I hop on the #20 for the twenty-minute ride towards Queen Street, one of the main shopping areas in Auckland. I have no plans to shop, but I do have plans for a night at the theatre. But first, my plans are for dinner and a drink. I wander into Father Ted’s, an Irish pub, as I’ve found Irish pubs to be quite friendly places on my travels and, ever since the Ireland trip, I have a crush on Mr. Guinness. I take a seat at the bar and order up a pint from Sarah, a genuine Irish import. Sarah and the man next to me are talking about Ireland and the division of the country and religions. I join in and mention how much I loved visiting Ireland and that I kind of wish they could be one Ireland. The man next to me comments that Israel is a real divided country. Not wanting to get into too much politics, I shake my head and agree, mumbling something about, “Yeh, it’s a bad situation.”
We start to talk further and I mention that I’m Jewish. The man then informs me that George Bush is the reason both ISIS and Al Qaida formed, Israel is the real problem of the Middle East, and American politics are run by the rich Jews. Alrighty then. I say that, though I’m both American and Jewish, I’m certainly not rich and therefore, run nothing. He mumbles something which I can’t understand and I then remind him that there’s never been a Jewish president. He brilliantly interjects that, “Well, Barack Obama is black so there’s bound to be one soon.”
I suddenly realize what might come next. One item on my bucket list is to be in a barroom brawl (another is to be in a pie fight) and, due to a lack of pies, I might have to go the barroom brawl route. Due to my lack of bail money, I choose to inform the jerk that our conversation is now finished and we will not speak any further. He grabs his coat and says he should probably leave. That’s the first smart thing he’s said since I arrived and I fully back him on that.
I enjoy another hour drinking my Guinness and eating some fish and chips before I head out to the Aotea Center to attend a production of Seussical the Musical, put on by the National Youth Theatre Company.
The production is large
Nearly one hundred on stage
and they range from 7 to 21 years of age
The costumes are colorful
with reds, blues and greens
And I’m totally enthralled through all of the scenes
There’s Horton and Yurtle and Thing One and Thing Two
And the Grinch and the Screeches and Cindy Lou Who
There’s Gertrude McFuzz and Mayzie McGrew
And of course, the Cat in the Hat is there too.
The singing is great and the energy immense
And I’m happy to be part of the audience
All good things end, as the old saying goes
I’m so glad I got to see this wonderful show
So far I’m liking Auckland a lot
and I can’t wait to see what else it has got.
Woosh, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’ll just say that it’s a great show. Live theatre in any form is exhilarating, and these are some talented kids.
I flag down a taxi to head back for the night.
I can’t wait to see if tomorrow’s as bright. (Okay, now I’m really done).
Tomorrow – To the museum, to the museum, to the museum I go! I can’t seem to stop speaking in Seuss, oh no!