Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On Monday nights, TV One shows a show called Borderline about NZ immigration officials going after illegal aliens. Mainly by making raids on businesses.

I really detest Helen Clark, the NZ Labour Prime Minister. She just rubs me the wrong way. Mary thinks Helen likes herself in the spotlight a little too much. I think I agree. She pops up everywhere. Not content with playing a major part at Sir Edmund Hillary's funeral, she then days later goes out on the boat with his family to scater his askes on the sea.

On Monday morning we got up and left Queenstown and flew to Auckland.

Auckland is big and bustling. It was great to be back but it is a different city than we lived in. On the way from the airport I noticed a surburban McDonald's that advertising their drive-thru was open 24 hours. The New Zealand economy has gone from heavily regulated to almost free-for-all.

We checked into the Heritage Towers on Nelson Street, two streets over from Queen Street, the main shopping avenue.

I went out for a long walk. My goal was to find out how to get to the Glendowie section of Auckland to find our old house. Bus 767 leaves from the station Britomart from Bay D13. I checked out some souvenir stores but bought nothing.

The business men in Auckland now wear long pants in the summer time. This was a disappointment to me. Years ago the summer business outfit was white short sleeved shirt, tie, Bermuda shorts, and knee socks. The men looked so attractive. I thought George Rodney would look good in this outfit but no matter what we tried, it just did not look right on him, something was missing. On this trip I did see one man dressed this old. He was old with white hair but he looked good.

I brought an umbrella with me but did not need it. It did not rain on me all the time I was in New Zealand. Strange.

As usual in most places in the world, the NZ paper money is graduated in size and multicolored. Actually, there is no paper money as it is all plastic. At one end of each bill is a 5/8 inch long scollaped oval with a clear plastic window, like a peephole. Sir Edmuch Hillary is on the $5 bill. There is not a bill smaller than $5. There are $1 and $2 gold-colored coins.

My hotel was amazing. The room was very large. It had a kitchen with stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher. In the bathroom is a washer and dryer. It was nice but I did not use those things. But the very best was I had a harbor view. The floor to celing windows looked out an the water with the lovely Auckland Harbour Bridge to the left. It is especially beautiful at night.

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