Wednesday, January 16, 2008
New Zealand seems like it's one of the last places on
earth that doesn't have a Wal-Mart. I'm sure there are
people in Bentonville, Arkansas who's only job is to
search the Internet for the phrase "last places on
earth that doesn't have a Wal-Mart", but I digress.
New Zealand's version of the Wal-Mart is the Warehouse.
If you've been to New Zealand and heard the song virus,
"The Warehouse, the Warehouse...where everyone gets a
bargain", you will immediately be cursing me for
re-planting that little ditty into your head. However,
Lynn needed a new pair of Jandels (Flip Flops) so what
better place than The Warehouse to shop. I don't feel
like we got a bargain, but with the horrible condition of
the U.S. Dollar, I don't think there are ANY bargains here.
The Warehouse wasn't our first stop in Christchurch though.
Priorities must take precedence. The "Sumner Ice Cream Parlour
& Takeaways" is the natural destination for any tourist
coming through Canterbury. Hmm...not on the official travel
list? No hordes of Japanese or German tourists in buses?
Nope...but with today's 88 degree temperatures, the ice-cream
crowd was in full force and us Fish and Chips aficionados had
to stand in line. What best represents a nation better than
food. Japan = Sushi, Mexico = Tortillas...New Zealand =
Fish and Chips. The busy, (looking like he's a candidate
for blood pressure medicine) owner took our order, heard our
"accents" and recognized us immediately. Is that a sad statement
that we've been there too frequently that the owner recognizes
us by our accents? I hope not.
To shake loose the added cholesterol flowing though our arteries,
we took a drive to Godley Head. This a truly beautiful are of
Canterbury that remains mostly untouched, only minutes from
Christchurch. It reminds me a lot of the grassy hills north of
San Francisco and except for a few random sheep, is mostly
deserted. At the same time, it offers fantastic views of
Christchurch, Taylor's Mistake and Lytleton Harbour. A peaceful,
tranquil place. One of those magic places that lets you forget
about the long hot travel you've just experienced and brings you
back to calm. It's beccome one of my new favorite places on
Earth. Very Zen.
Posted by Tom Hamann at 8:00 PM