In Auckland!

Thursday, January 06, 2011
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
 I am now in Auckland!

Everything went relatively painless this morning . Had a nice chat with my cabbie, GQ. That's what his name tag said on the window. GQ is from Shanghai (China), but moved to Sydney because China is too crowded. He said, "there are as many people in Shanghai as in the whole country of Australia! It's just nuts. Too many people!"  Simma down, GQ, but thanks for that bit of info. :)

When I checked in for my Aerolinas Argentinas flight to Auckland, the gate agent asked me for documentation that I had a flight back home. After some digging, I found the email receipt. Good thing, because she said they might ask me for this in New Zealand, and if I don't have it, it could mean "big trouble."  Jeepers! First the library and now New Zealand immigration. What next???

The flight went well, but I got slightly grilled when entering customs. The guy wanted to know how I knew of Bethels Beach. "That is a very remote area" he kept saying. "How will you get there?"  The Scott family lives near there, so that's how I know about it . He just wouldn't let up. I really wanted to say, "look buddy, the biggest crime I'm going to commit on that beach is exposing people to my white Wisconsin flesh."  But, I decided I actually wanted to be let in the country, so I kept my mouth shut.

It's pretty here. Lots of green and the weather is great! Hopefully it will stay this way for a next week.

I got settled in at the City Lodge, which is small, but clean and nice. As I said, if it has hot water, a toilet that flushes and decent bed, I'm good. I walked to the Ponsonby area that has a lot of cute little shops and restaurants. I had read about this Italian place, "Prego," before coming here. It was packed, so I sat at the bar, which I did not mind. I got to talk to Oliver the bartender and some others, so I didn't feel like I was by myself. Oliver verified how "laid back" things are here. He said they don't think anything of people walking down the street barefoot or young kids walking to school alone. He also said it was legal to drunk drive until a few decades ago. Wow! Can you imagine that in Wisconsin???

The food at Prego was delicious, so much that I think I look prego after all that eating. Tomorrow I will set out and do some exploring.
Until next time....

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You just let GQ vent a bit....if you had to live among 100 billion people you'd be pissed too. :) Glad to hear you arrived in Auckland safely.


Yes, here in one piece. I feel a cold coming on, and up until now I've felt pretty good. Lack of sleep and other things might be getting to me.