Wednesday, March 16, 2005



It is hard for me to believe five weeks have blown by like the winds of Wellington. Have I mentioned how windy it is in this city? For starters, Chicago has nothing over Wellington and for that matter neither does our North Carolina hurricanes. Just this week Wellington had the equivalent to 80 mph winds and no one blinked an eye. This would be reason enough for us to close the Triangle area schools (and notify the working parents an hour or more later :-)). Not here—they just keep trucking as if all is normal. And, in fact, all is normal to them except for me as I am holding onto dear life to any permanent structure as the rest of the world just moves or at times blows on by. I can’t figure out how they do it, they must all be part of an aerodynamically developed nation or have leaded issued boots. Just to underscore my point, I noticed along the streets and along the waterfronts, posts in the ground with rope hanging from the posts. When I inquired about this I was told, in case it gets really windy (yeah right) and you need something to hold to keep from blowing into traffic or into the harbor. Can you imagine that?…wind so common and yet so random you are at risk of being blown out to sea or as an occupational hazard on your way to work. Most people won’t notice until the second teatime of the day that perhaps you’re not absent but rather missing. Of course, when they did realize they were permanently down one coworker they would respond to this in the classic understate anything and everything kiwi sort of way by saying “I wonder what happened to Mary?”…everyone chimes in “mmmmmmm”, next person “she may well have bloody blown away”, everyone “mmmmmmm”, I guess that means we have an extra wedge of quiche to share over tea”, everyone, “mmmmmm”. I report this to you with compete accuracy—I’m not worried or even questioning if the kiwis have a heart, I’m most intrigued by and wondering if they have a pulse. Honestly, more often than not, no matter what I say in a meeting the frequent and standard response is “mmmmmmm”. Sometimes I get a double or triple “mmmmmmm” and then I know, I’ve got them in the palm of my hand.

So I asked the post with the rope historian, if I blow away in this town, will I really only be, at best, a one-day news story? I had always hoped for so much more. “mmmmmmmmm”, was the response. That’s it, I’m buying lead boots.


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