Dear Everyone! Hello! As I am typing right now we have just passed Christmas Island and are due south of Hawaii. It is -50c up here at 11,277m above sea level, and I am still wearing the shorts I put on in Fiji. That's pretty neat, RIGHT !?!
Anyway we left you all last with my SWEET 32nd anniversary of a cold night in a German hospital where I converted from parasite to troglodyte. THANK YOU MUM !!! Couldn't have done it without all your hard work! And with a couple "relaxing" days at the Driving Creek Railways and Pottery Maya made us a SUPER beautiful display in the pottery shop / ticket office. She also gave the curators of the shop / ticket office a 101 in creating pleasing and enticing displays for some of the other artists as well. Maya has quite an eye for creating displays that make it inviting and easy for people to find what they would like and choose one to purchase. I think I have taken Maya's Display Class for Crafts-People 101 about fifty times now and I'm still not sure if I have passed it. Check out a masters work.
After much crying and wailing by everyone involved, we filled buckets with our tears and writhed on the earth till it became finely ground dust, we said each and every "Bye, Bye! See you Soon!" And we are OFF to Auckland via the ferry! And a special thanks to Paul Armstrong, despite the tears and the hair-pin curves, he safely delivered us to the ferry and saw us off. He then radioed back to D.C.R. H.Q. that the cost was clear and that is was sate to bring out of hiding all the really really nice pottery and other precious things.
We really couldn't have asked for a better crossing to Auckland, it was magical filled with tons of sea birds, unicorns, but alas … no dolphins. The unicorns were very special, all of them were pink, fluffy, and they were dancing on rainbows.
AND we came to HERE: AUCKLAND
AND we ate: SUSHI
If you see these two roaming around the world some time in the next year, that is exactly what they are up to. My cousin Kylie and (possible future cousin) Steve (much larger in real life) are getting ready for a one year trip around the world. Please wish them well and take care of them if you meet them, thank you! Their first stop is Japan so some sushi pre-gaming is a part of the training.
And I want to wish my buddy Imran and his family all the best with his new adventures in Qatar. We were able to visit these beautiful people a couple more times. Best of luck with the new job and I am sure that Qatar will be happy to have such a nice happy Man and Family as yours. And thank you for the modest Indian style lunch (GIANT MASSIVE FEAST!!!), we are sure to never hunger till Ramadan. Imron also taught me about Ramadan, TAKE CARE and See you all SOON !!!
We took a train! We visited my cousin Warwick and his wife, and met their Swedish black cat "Igor" who told me of a secret tunnel far far beneath the Glenfield shopping mall.
Apparently this pretty little portal opens up just once a week at a very specific time each Sunday and it transports you to either a Korean market in Japan, or a Japanese market in Korea, or a Thai market in San Francisco's China Town, or the Night market in Glenfield. We couldn't figure out where this portal goes to but it is a glorious place full of happy families eating yummy food snacks and happy happy bowls of noodles and shis-kababs, and most of all BEST OF ALL the KING of all SNACK FOODS (drum roll … … … … … ) TACO - YAKI !!!
Now to be very fair I would defiantly be raving about Duk-buk-ki, a Korean street snack of rice cake (…?) with spicy sauce, if there was a Duk-buk-ki chef there which I was pretty sure there wasn't because one can smell that distinctly from 2km away. But TACO - YAKI is also very near and dear to my heart (or tummy). As you can see in this photo above this fine young man is preparing one of the 7 great culinary wonders of the world. There is a batter prepared from only ancient secret ingredients, and then more ancient secret colorful diced veggies are tossed in, and then TACO (which we refer to as octopus) pieces are thrown into the mix. The fine young man will wave his magic metal poker (sometimes 2 magic metal pokers) to rotate the cooking balls of batter in the half domed molds. THUS CREATING a magic batter ball of TACO - GOODNESS. I may be wrong but I do believe that YAKI = GOODNESS. And on top of this magic batter ball of TACO - GOODNESS gets squirted Japans favorite condiment: MAYONNAISE!!! And if your really lucky (which we were) DRIED FISH FLAKES !!! Maya and I then wandered around looking at all the stalls with cheap looking expensive things and expensive looking cheap things but they were all shiny and colorful in a blissful snack induced zombie state.
We arrived back at my Aunts house to do MORE EATING !!! Thank you Aunt Jo (pictured on the right) for taking such good care of us while we were in Auckland!
And THANK YOU for taking us to the airport !!! Which is a mission. The Auckland airport is placed somewhere close to the edge of nowhere with no direct route to get there. If you ask for directions to the airport most often they will direct you to Hamilton and then suggest that you take a plane there.
We made it to the airport!
You can't tell in these photos but we are in Fiji. The humidity and the palms kind of give it that Florida feel.
And this is our new friend Sylvester. He was one of a small tribe of us that got an unexpected one night (paid for) stay in Nadi, Fiji due to a six hour layover turning into a sixteen hour layover. We wish you the best on your business / globe-trotting adventures.
So we are back on the plane again and now we are due east of Hawaii with a whopping two and a half hours to go. So far I have watched the only movie with Ben Stiller in it that I didn't hate. It is called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, my favorite character was not Ben's character. That role could have been played by Drew Barrymore or Tina Turner and it would have been a much better film. BUT I loved the character of the rental car man in Iceland. It is a very short scene but that scene alone was DING DING DING - Three Stars!
Hold on please … its airplane dinner time. Thank you.
I'm BACK! I really love these Fiji Air meals. Fiji Bitter might be one of the best and most illusive beers on the planet and they keep giving us these rolls stuffed with butter and cream sauce and chicken or tuna. Maya keeps getting great vegetarian dishes as well.
I also watched a movie that brought my opinion of Ben Stiller as an actor back down to the basement, DODGE BALL. For any of you that follow my semi-professional career as a dodgeball player it may be of interest that I have not up until this point watched DODGE BALL. So now I FINALLY get all those jokes, and I really don't like Ben Stiller more than ever. As a movie I did think the whole thing was pretty terrible. It really displayed much of what is touted as pop-culture but is actually the narrow-minded media idiot machine. BUT … "thank you Chuck Norris."
In less than two hours we are going to land in L.A. Luckily a fifteen minute taxi ride will bring us to the Hermosa Pier where a hostel is awaiting us in the middle of my old stomping ground, during my Zeppy's Pizza days. DEEP DISH HEAVEN !!!
Maya shaved her beard. We said bye to all the cats we met in New Zealand, and we are back.
Wish us luck.
Thank you for reading another entertaining update of your two favorite potters and their puttering around the Pacific.
If anyone has any connections in PORTLAND please let us know. By the end of April (maybe early March) we will be Oreo-goners … gooners … Portlandinos … anyway we will be looking for a place to call home, jobs to get us started, and a posse of artists and dodge ball players to connect with.
Take care EVERYONE !!!
Chris & Maya