San Diego news crew in New Zealand in 1987 – Part 6

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From the air. It’s a sprawling city, a checkerboard of streets and parks of buildings and houses while on the ground it’s a different picture, including meandering streams in quiet lanes where children walk and play, peek out of curious places, and a New Zealand news crew struggles like the rest of us to explain what makes Christchurch so very different. It’s the sense of. Beauty and calm. That’s the first thing you notice about Mona Vale, the Englishness of it all seems to fit with the tourist view of Christchurch as the English city.

Christchurch has the reputation of being the most English city outside of England. People here seem to be quite proud of that legacy. You can see it in their architecture and many of their customs, and unfortunately today you can also see that reputation in the English style rain.

But then that’s what’s so nice about being on an island if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes, it’ll change and right on schedule. Here comes the sun.

Not that everyone cares or paddles for shelter at the first raindrop, but then who wants to go punting in an English style rain when you’re punting or polling? It’s better to have the water under you then all over you and the river Avon in Christchurch couldn’t be more beautiful than under a sparkling winter sun. There are a lot of people. Going down the wide street looking for Meadow mushrooms. The clear weather also fires up the action at speakers corner in Cathedral Square.

Another old English tradition, public speaking and heckling in the city square. It adds color for the tourist or lunchtime stroller and a chance to bump into a lot of interesting people and people who are just a lot different.

Oh yeah, you gotta have something on your head. Well, it seems to make the birds happy and if you look around, it’s not really all that unusual. Maybe just another wee bit of tradition.

And tradition is strong, especially in Christchurch, where you sometimes feel the page has been turned on you and you’re suddenly in a story about England instead of New Zealand. Everyone seems to look the part. And they seem to play the same games. Well, what I like best about it all about being in England down under all of a sudden is here when they’re getting ready for high tea. And what are these?

Thank you, it’s called the sign of the takahe, an old tutor style building, now used as a tea room. Their tradition is obvious. The view from the windows and the grounds absolutely marvelous, but it’s not so much what you see is what you get. This is the kind of tradition I could get used to some of the other things I’ve seen around town that I’m not so sure about.

They say it’s good, but don’t ask me what it is.

Well, alright, thank you very much. Bye bye. I don’t know. They tell me we speak the same language, but the longer I’m here in New Zealand, the more I seriously doubt that you see, we’ve been looking for an auto Body Shop. It’s nothing serious, but they tell us we’re looking for the panel founders later in the week.

We want to go hiking. They say no, you’re not going hiking. You’re going tramping for headache. We wanted to go to the drugstore while we had to go to the chemist, and there are a few other things that make me wonder if we’re really all speaking the same language bottle shop for liquor store was pretty simple to figure out, but some of the others were simply mystifying.

No boots either.

For future reference, jandals are the same as flip flops or thongs, market rooms or health clinics for children and As for body shops. Can you tell me where we find a Body Shop? Body Shop you know for the car or a puddle? Because you mean panelbeaters? Yeah, OK.

So a little got lost in the translation anyway, about the time we got it all straightened out, we were busy asking about tailwinds and airspeeds. Was time for one of our hosts.

Air New Zealand to take us back home. We were back in the air again looking down on the other land down under time to relax and dream about all that we’ve seen. We’ve got a lot to tell him back home.


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