AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND. 1973.

 

  I think Iím finally getting the hang of this beautiful city of Auckland.

  Even driving on the wrong side of the street is getting  easier.

  Slices of buttered bread on the restaurant table when you  sit.

  Having to ask for a glass of water.

  The surprised look of food-servers when you leave a tip.

  How quiet the streets are when the All-Blacks are  playing.

  Having to get everything done before 5:00 P.M.

  I sought out all the places I need, to find the things I  need.

  Guitar strings over there, art supplies down here, books in-between.

  To criss-cross the city on an electric bus, with destinations I cannot pronounce.  

  To criss-cross downtown intersections on foot, without colliding with people.

  When you stand in the middle of the Grafton Bridge, Rangitoto dominates.

  To ride a Vesper over the Harbour Bridge and fly like the wind on the downside.

  To participate in the sacred ritual of morning and afternoon tea at  work.   

  To sit atop of One Tree Hill and soak-in the panorama.

  To stroll through the crunchy leaves underfoot all about the Domaine.

  Iíve fallen in love with the Maori legends, they make perfect sense to me.

  A rich and wonderful heritage in which everyone proudly  shares.

  The mobs of schoolkids with those little straw hats crowding the afternoon bus stops. 

 Getting dressed up to go see a movie.

 One television channel I never watch which always seems to show the Farm Report.

 Having to really look to find a Chinese restaurant, and calling it take-away,  not take-out.

 I say tomAto, they say tomARToe. 

 I never thought I'd understand what happens in a cricket match, rug by, or lawn bowls.

  The warmth and generosity of her peopleís, when they know youíre  not from around here.

Even getting the hang of the knife and  fork thing together, instead of cut and  shovel.
 
They don't call me 'Yank' anymore,  when they hear I'm Canadian.
 
When I'm offered a biscuit, I know  they mean a cookie.
 
A tin of something, is a can of something.
 
Everything begins and ends with a cup  of tea.