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Some things I've noticed in NZ

At many informal restaurants you go up to the counter to order your food and pay when you order it. They give you some of your order (not the cooked part) to take back to your table and a holder with a table number to be used to ID yourself. Then you find a table and sit down. The cutlery and napkins are sometimes found somewhere in the back or the side as are bottles of tap water that are stored in a help-yourself fridge. When your food is ready a server brings it to your table and you often see the server wandering around looking for the ID number corresponding to an order.

The people behind the counter tend to completely ignore you while they are still handling another customer's order and this can occasionally take a while when there is difficulty with the credit-card/EFT-POS machine. So if you have a simple question to ask you just wait. On the other hand this is a lot better than what happens when the person handling your request stops to do something else or answer the phone.

They have this design replacement for twist-off bottle caps that seems works like what we usually find on cans - as in this user icon. And then today on the ferry to the North Island we had bottle of juice that had a screw-on cap with the lift-up thingee you often find on water bottles that allows you to open it with your mouth and thus drink with one hand. But when doing that no liquid came out. It turns out there was an extra seal like those you find in pill bottles so the screw off cap had to be removed first. The person at the next table clued me in to that feature.

The newspaper uses a fair amount of slang - a headline had mozzies referring to some mosquitos, cats were called moggies, the term stand-down for quitting or resigning is often used and then I saw the term dob-in in an article (maybe this was a letter to the editor) about some high-school kids who skipped school at lunch time (not allowed) to watch the Boobs-on-Bikes parade which was occurring to help advertise the Erotica show at the Convention center. There is also a campaign to make spanking kids by parents illegal that has gotten a lot of reaction in the press.

While walking through Nelson (northern city in the South Island near the Abel Tasman park), we encountered the following marquee. I wonder what it really was. There was a door leading upstairs under the marquee next door to a furniture store that occupied most of the space.


A kind of yoga? food? some kind of rug?

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an alternative energy source!

I'm so enjoying your trip! You glossed over the ferry ride so I'm guessing you did not get one of their frequent rough sailings. Nelson was one of my favorite places. I remember a Saturday market we found in a downtown parking lot that was wonderful. I still have and use a wooden shopping bag handle that I bought there.

Travel on.

The ferry crossing was smooth as silk, as you will have read by now.

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