Sunday, July 23, 2006

She Brings Me Coffee, She brings Me Tea

Sorry to not have posted much in the last week, but we have just been living the day to day life with no major events.

There have been quite a few minor ones.

First, we must say that Kiwis are happy to indulge themselves whenever they can. The 3 main items of decadence are:

chocolate - Cadbury is a favorite, but there are many fudge and rich chocolate shops all over Nelson crowded with people who are testing the free samples.

Wine - and you better buy NZ wine if you want to avoid a frown from the checkout girl. Luckily, there are about 30+ wineries here and the stuff is as good or better than California. Also, no corks. They have twist off tops, which actually is a better idea unless you are elitist, which people here are not. This trend will soon become international, so sell you cork stock now.

Coffee- New Zealand is like Seattle or Portland in that there are countless shops with sidewalk seating serving lattes and mochachinos with sweets on the side. There is one Starbucks in Nelson and 20 other local coffee bars. We never go to Starbucks. Actually, we may never go to any coffee shop again because...

Dr. Joe has risen from the dead! For those keeping score on my stupid schemes from the past, you will recall my idea of opening a coffee kiosk in California in a medical center. I called my little portable traveling show and java joint "Dr. Joe". I would get up at 5 am daily to make coffee for nurses and patients. After a long day, my gross would be $40. I was there for 3 months, vandalized 3 times, damaging my cart and having candy bars stolen. We finally sold the enterprise to a couple of lesbians, god bless them.

Now, Dr. Joe has 2 customers. We bought a home espresso maker and drown ourselves 2-3 times daily in strong dark brew topped with foamy milk. This one is made by an Australian company called Breville that you can't find in the states. Coffee goes good with the bagels that my golf buddy, Eyal brought back from a recent trip to Wellington. God bless him too. He is not a lesbian, by the way.

Eyal also found us a part that we needed for the BMW. It is a rare little electrical connection and a new one cost $100. He got it for 10 bucks and a salvage yard. God bless him again.

All this winter, the Music School is having a Festival with shows almost every night. So far we saw the tribute to Gershwin, a band called Hobnail Boots, and a very interesting showing of the 1925 Phantom of the Opera. On stage, in front of the big screen, was an organist who played the school'sold wall of sound sized pipe organ for the entire show. In addition a well known NZ opera singer did all the vocals while the screen actress lip-synced.

At midnight, they were showing Rocky Horror but we are getting to old for that midnight show. Been there, done that, did the time warp again. Did you know that the man who wrote Rocky Horror emigrated from England to New Zealand in 1952 at age 10?


Last night, we had tickets for a New Zealand reggae band, all Maori brothers, called KORA. These guys were great! It was fairly crowded and the floor was cleared for dancing. The building is 112 years old and we were told they had never taken out the seats for a show before. We chose to stand near the stage on Phil's side.

There were quite a few younger people in attendance who were really enjoying themselves. Many had those long curls that I believe are called dredlocks. They allow drinking in the hall and we saw quite a bit of that. The beer here in the South Island is Speights, not Steinlager. Ordering a Steinlager is like rooting for the Raiders in San Diego. It's Speights, Mite.

Also I am sure I saw one of those young men with the long hair smoking something they call a marihuana cigarette, which had an odor unlike anything I have ever smelt before in my life. It was a little smoke and a little candy. I'm shocked, shocked to find that toking is going on in here! I cannot believe the bouncers would tolerate this. The fellow was even exhaling toward the stage. I am certain the band members were not in favor of having their concentration spoiled by drugs.

I am told that marijuana affects the brain cells and even the testicles. I pray the young pot smoker isn't planning to have children in the future.

These young men were getting into the music to a high degree and were waving their arms and bodies all over, taking up more than their own space and intruding on others. One fellow knocked over his 7th can of beer right onto my jacket which I neatly folded and placed on the floor near the stage.

I wanted to get up a leave right then, but some of us were jumping up and down and swaying to da reggae beat, mon. Although we were forced to be careful breathing as I for one did not want to infect myself with second hand brain damage, thank you very much.

Also, we chose to stand near a huge speaker. It was very loud and today I can't hear a friggin' thing.

I just joined a squash club I may not work out at to replace the racketball club I did not work out at. Squash is harder because the ball does not bounce as much. When we go back to the states next week, I will see Bill Gansline, the best player in the new world, for some instruction and encouragement.

Finally, we have been here for 2 months and we knew there was a beach in Nelson. We just never took the time to find it. Well, we took the time the other day and it is a GREAT beach. Reminded us of Coronado in San Diego. Miles and miles of sand, and smooth water because it is on the bay. Few people, many with the happiest dogs in the world. No seaweed or litter. Who knew? This is a picture of the beach in summer.We are off to Tucson for a week of weddings and parties. We will see a lot of our readers there. Much to tell on the next post.

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