Your Typical City Involved In A Typical Daydream
Wellington, New Zealand is a great place to go to lose the small town blues. Kimberly claims we were there at one time, but I don't recall. But there's a lot I don't recall.
To get there, we drive 10 minutes to the airport, no security check. 25 minute flight..10 minute cab...and we are in downtown Wellington. Easy peasey.
Wellington is the best big city in the country. Very much like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco..manageable population, good location. Southern tip of North Island.
Our reason for the hop was to see the Dahli Lama, but some of us were jonsing to do some big city shopping and the rest of us were in the market for bagels. Everyone went home happy.
Kimberly was in the market for some new boots, the long stylish ones, not the tramping ones. OK, fine. How tough could that be? Honestly, there were dozens of shoe stores and thousands of different boots and by gum, some of us could not find what we were looking for. After a whole day of standing around women's shoe stores and some dresses- to- match- the- footwear shops, with no success, a meeting was held and parameters were widened. Now the heel could be higher and color could be varied.
Practically outside the meeting door, the perfect boots were found. They were the last and only pair and they fit like a glove. The following day, the matching gown was found as were dozens of bagels.
Wellington is great fun with little neighborhoods with lots of varied bars and restaurants, opera, theatre, concerts. We passed a shop that was selling party pills that promised to contain herbal highs or something like that. Right there on the sidewalk. I wanted to interview the shopkeeper, but he was on a break and closed up shop. There was a strip joint next to the Wellington Opera House.
It's not over till the fat lady whistles through her vagina.
Speaking of these things, there is a wonderful museum, Te Papa -
He has a way of saying things that you already know and he says them in simple words. At the end it feels like new revolutionary knowledge.
That reminded us of something in Balboa Park in San Diego. Very Modern, super architecture, marvelous displays and art. No Picasso or anything like that.
The Dahli Lama visit to New Zealand is covered in controversy. New Zealand has just entered into a trade agreement with China. They are a bear and we are a flea. The Lama is an enemy of the Chinese and so Helen Clark had to avoid greeting him to NZ. Very awkward and uncomfortable. Dahli just laughed it off like a little mischief maker.
He showed us what he kept in his "holy bag" that he always carries...toothpaste, spare glasses, bread for long plane rides, and a visor for the glare of the stage lights. He said the old visor had some ad on front and he didn't care, but somebody gave him a plain one. He didn't care what it said as long as it stopped the glare. The label on back said it was a "head gasket". About this, he laughed.
He laughed a lot and so did the audience. He just talked using no notes, but an interpreter who helped him with words. His actual topic was War and it made a lot of sense. Bottom line.. we could all be screwed.
I always wanted to be in a picture with the Dahli Lama, but the tickets said "no cameras". When we got to the venue, everyone had cameras and there was all sorts of snapping away activity.
Turns out the Dahli Lama plays golf. I met his caddy and this is what he told me...
"I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier.
Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.