Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogcard From Wellington, New Zealand (part one)

And yet to another world making me wonder if I am still in the same country, but then in the UK if we hopped from Exmoor to London to Northumbria and over to Liverpool its different worlds, before we even enter Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Initialy it was hard letting go of being in the paradise of western South Island and accepting and embracing being among the wonders of Wellington but over breakfast, looking at the buildings and people passing all kinds of wonders inspired me here and aroused my curiosity.


First, Wellington comes across to me as being a northern England city, like Leeds, Bradford or Blackpool, in the 1950s. The architecture is so similar for one, making me wonder if the Norther England architects emigrated here for a “better life”. Also, and I have not found this out yet, Wellington may have or may have had a relationship with the sheep and wool industries like Bradford and Leeds once had.


In addition to the architecture there are the small roadside, pavement installed kiosks selling coffee, newspapers, flowers, fresh fruit and veg, and public toilets often adjoined.


New Zealand must rate as the country with the most abundance of public loos in the world, which I know would be exciting news for folks travelling from the USA. Even in the remote south island where few people live, with few car roads to travel, high in the mountains are well maintained, clean and hygienic public loos that make me wonder if they are serviced by sanitation service people with helicopter licences. Meanwhile, I still wonder what is wrong with peeing behind a bush or tree as a balancing ritual of giving back to nature what we take from it.


One mystery of Wellington is their obsession with the colour black!  Is this to salute to, bow to, give honour to, even give allegiance to the All Blacks Rugby team, or did the All Blacks become All Blacks from Wellington tradition?


I remember in the 50s how all of the Italian immigrant women all work black, and they still do here in Wellington along with many men wearing black too. I have also never seen so many black cars. As I write this I am looking at a Hummer stretch limo passing, all black and dressed up as a wedding car. Even the bride travels to her wedding in a black car!


Another mystery are the trolleybus cables along with the poles and lights that hold them. I have been watching for a couple of hours now and not one trolleybus has passed by. Do they exist here? What I find remarkable is that the poles and lights that hold the cables are identical in design, shape and colour to those that served the trolley bus cables in Bradford, Blackpool and even London until the early 60s.  Did Wellington import these for their own services? I wonder if that mystery will be solved today? 


My curiosity is aroused so I am about to leave the building here to investigate more, walk the warf and absorb some of the local Maori museum. Wellington is an interesting town perched on a few steep pap like hills. Weather is dull and drizzling, and nothing like those exotic warm, clear blue sky days of the south, which they are still enjoying.


This is a new experience, and as we do not need to be at the Feis until tomorrow I will discover more, and share with you in the next Blogcard from Wellington.


 

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