New Zealand is a land of interesting sights, sounds and connections.
As you motor along, you discover things like this:
And also like this:
To this day, I do not know why I am so fascinated by this product, which is a very popular confection with NZ children, and available in most stores. Believe you me, it doesn't taste like any pineapples died for the manufacturing of this candy. It's just that the name is so strange: "Pineapple Lumps." One must make special emphasis on the "L" in "Lumps" when its title is pronounced. It makes even a Yank feel terribly British. On my death bed, my last words will probably be "pineapple lumps."
On the day I found the Pineapple Lumps, we also discovered The Troubadour. We stopped at the equivalent of a state park, and, alongside a beautiful lake, joined many others who were taking advantage of the nice day by picnicing at a group of tables near the water's edge. This gathering included a young man who, sitting on the hood of his car, seemed quite smitten by a pretty young woman who sat quietly reading a book a couple of tables away, ignoring him completely.
So this fellah decided he had the perfect weapon available to win this lovely girl's affection: a guitar. He pulled it out of the back seat of his auto, hopped back up on the hood, and made a big deal out of tuning each guitar string. Then he started to play.
As Shakespeare wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth." The only singer in this guy's family is the sewing machine.
He proceeded to caterwaul some song I did not recognize. I think it was "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack, but I am not sure. He should have be arrested for disturbing the peace.
The young woman closed her book, stood up, gathered her belongings, walked calmly to her car, got in, closed the door, turned the key, and gunned it out of the parking lot, gravel spewing in all directions in her wake.
"Guess we're not going to that wedding," Doug said, as we quickly finished our sandwiches and left The Troubadour to entertain everyone else.
Near the end of This Day to Remember, we arrived at the hotel where a reserved room and hot showers awaited us. This establishment was run by two older ladies. The registration office was filled with crocheted cats, a myriad of them, multi-colored, in all sorts of feline poses, pinned to the walls, sitting on tables, meowing silently, craftily, and all for sale.
"Weird" is not the word that describes these two, nor does the word "daffy." "Dotty" is the right word. These two women were absolutely dotty.
Doug took one look at our hostesses, and smartly volunteered to take the luggage up to the room while I finished the registration. I nudged a crocheted cat head (which I think was fitted around a roll of toilet paper as a base) out of the way so I could complete the paperwork. Part of our reservation included Internet connection, which usually required the receipt of a username and password at check-in. I inquired about the setup.
"We have Internet connection in the room, is that correct?" I asked.
Dotty 1, whose real name was Shirley, turned to Dotty 2 and announced, "Yes, of course, dear. Margaret will take care of that for you." Poor Margaret looked at me like I had just asked her to go jump off the roof. She didn't want that hot potato. "I've only set one of these up through the computer, so I know Shirley will help me."
Shirley: "Now don't be ridiculous, Margaret, you have done this a thousand times."
Margaret, pouting, looking like an old Shirley Temple: "No I haven't."
So the two of them pushed keyboard buttons and fussed and carried on with each other until the computer spit out the Internet login information for the room. Margaret wrote it on a small piece of paper and proudly handed it to me.
"Is this a wireless connection?" I asked.
"Why, yes it is," said Shirley, as she handed me a plastic pouch that held an Ethernet cable.
"You simply plug this wireless connection into the clock in your room, and you should be connected straight away to the Internet."
I could not make this up.
Crocheted Cat Image: poshlittle.com