Only One Right Hand Turn Into Oncoming Traffic...

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, November 12, 2006

in over 1000 km. Not bad, I say.

The other day I wrote in financial panic. When we arrived at Papamoa Beach, for roughly 1 1/2 stacks ($36) we found a campsite right on the beach. I was still under duress but didn't care how cold it was. Dressed only in my bathing suit, I walked down to the beach and started jogging. It was the first time I had ran in almost two months. All the bad money things that had been swirling in my head went away. After half an hour or so I ran into the icy sea. It was wonderful; for the entire 10 seconds I was in the water. I walked all the way back feeling whole again.

When I arrived back at the camp site, Ellen greeted me with "They want 20 cents for a five minute hot shower. Can you believe it? They have a coin box in the shower room."
I was jubilant. We'd driven over 1000 km on the wrong side of the road, finding nothing that could be bought for less than $12.50 and Ellen was telling me that a shower cost 20 cents. "I didn't know they even had coins in New Zealand. Show me." I said excitedly.

About 28 years ago, outside the town of Beckley, West Virginia, I got a speeding ticket. I didn't pay and haven't been to West Virgina since.

In New Zealand they have the craziest speed zones. Within one, maybe two kilometres, speed limits can change from 100 km to 50 to 70 then 60 and then further down to 30 for no apparent reason. Yesterday I picked up my second speeding ticket in 28 years. I was charged with driving 65 km in a 55 km zone. The officer nicely explained how she'd like to give me, the poor foreigner, a break but that 15 km over the limit was a bit excessive. With the crazy speed zones she might just as well told me that I was being charged with driving 65 km in a 100 km zone, 35 km under the limit. I wouldn't have known the difference. She asked if I wished to come back to her vehicle and look at the radar reading.
"Do you tend to fib on occasion officer?" I asked.
"No sir."
"Well even though radar speed traps are illegal in Canada" I lied, "I'm going to take your word for it then."
With forced smiles and a three+ stack ($80)ticket in my hand, we parted company.

To pay or not to pay. I haven't been to West Virginia in 28 years. I think I could probably hold out on coming back to New Zealand for at least as long.

Last night we ate two or three different kinds of fish with french fried potatoes at a nifty little bar across from the campground. A quiet 16 or 17 year old Maori girl named Omaka was trouncing me in a game of spots and stripes before scratching on the eight ball.
"You'll think twice before challenging another Canadian to a game of billiards, won't you Amoka?" I said.
She gave me a confused look and then a "stupid arse" smile.

Ellen and I finished the evening under a setting sun by polishing off a bottle of New Zealand Cab and a bag of chocolate chip cookies.
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dpbaril on

Wang Hai Zhong Speeding Kiwi Shackles
Loved the photo of you in leg shackles in Hanoi. Does Wang Hai Zhong translate or did I miss something? Careful you don't end up in Kiwi shackles for speeding.


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