What is that smell? Could it be fresh air? This week I’m in Wellington, New Zealand. Returning here after an 11 year absence. Despite the fact that NZ and Indonesia are in the same quadrant of the globe, today’s trip proves just how remote this country is. 15 hours from Jakarta to Wellington and that is without any real delays. Just enough time for a coffee break and a phone call in between flights.
A quick walk-about after arrival reveals a cleaner city than 11 years ago. A lot less litter. Electric Prius taxis are more available. Natural gas buses, too. In general, just a sparklier place. Lots of new restaurants and refurbished buildings around, just in the small area I saw late this afternoon.
One great addition I saw was the adding of a motor home park right in downtown Wellington. This is a great disadvantage to RV travel, that you can’t really park your mobile home in a city and get anywhere. At least in the US. Here, they’ve carved out a parking lot right by the dock, the buses and the train station. They have power connections and a toilet/shower set up. No trees or picnic area, but definitely a place to spend the night. Mind you, NZ RVs are much smaller than those in the US. More the size of a van, but the lot could probably fit 20 or 30 vehicles. I think it’s an awesome idea.
Also, passed, curious though it may be, a build-your-own-sex-aide store. What? Was this Build-A-Bear gone bad? I was confused and thought myself addled by jet-lag. I googled it and sure enough, that is exactly what it is. A store where you can customize your sexual devices. Which got me wondering several things. What’s the actual demand for this in a country of 4 million? How does one test one’s designs? How does the conversation even begin?
Pimply faced salesperson/Tech: (Hastily closing laptop) “Can I help you?”
Customer: “Um, yeah. I’ve got this, um, itch that I just can’t scratch.”
P.F.S.T.: Smiles “Don’t we all?”
Customer: “Yeah, well, I’ve got some ideas that I’ve sketched out on this napkin. Can you help me out?”
P.F.S.T.: “Let’s see what we can come up with.” (Turns on 3-D printer, grabs a 9V battery, #8 fencing wire and opens drawer full of Radio Shack motors)
Ah, Wellington, it’s good to be back in your freshening air, your streets that roll up at exactly 5:30, your lack of traffic, your population that would fit in a Jakarta city block, your crazy ingenuity. I’ve missed you.