Wednesday, March 23, 2005


This city deserves an award for transforming itself--Mayor Meeker, head this way for a site visit...we need to put the welly in raleigh!

I am nearly a frequent flyer on the flights to and from Aukland and Wellington. The New Zealand pilots are considered some of the best in the world as they have so many extreme weather conditions they fly in each day. The are very cheeky as well, for example, recently when one pilot, after seeing my passport, said to me, this flight is going to Guantanamo Bay for you. Anyway, back to their real talent--not humor, but hard core piloting--take offs can really be rough, bumpy and enough to make my face go milk toast white. However, the standard in-flight service is enough to making any thoughts of scary turbulence seem minimal and worth the price of admission. The flight attendants on these types of flights do not have to serve as back-up pilots. They get to walk the isles and hand out two items, one a sealed cup of water and the other, a cup that inside you will find a small napkin, a container of milk, a sweetener, and an individually wrapped Macadamia nut cookie to die for. The next sweep of the plane is when the flight attendants walk around with a tray and silver tea or coffee service. This is all so civilized, simple and SO much better than the clanging carts of every fizzy drink to can imagine on a US domestic flight. Lets get “W” to change the constitution for this kind of behavior—I am certain it would lead us to be a more kinder, gentler'on DubYA, as daddy would say--we've got a window of opportunity, gotta move through it! This move alone should be enough to save the airline industry.

The trip to Wellington was an opportunity to catch up on lots of work emails at the Fulbright office, process through some of my fantastic meetings and enjoy some of the sights and foods of Welly-Wood, New Zealands movie capital as well as the country’s capital city. Peter Jackson walks on water here as many credit him and the success of his movies as putting NZ on the front-page of every major newspaper in the world. I have a favorite restaurant in the Thrornburg district of Wellington—I’ve had more dinners at Ford’s café than anywhere else. It is an older building with a cozy feel inside and I think great art. Most people do not know, what I know and that is Ford’s is located right across the street from Peter Jackson’s mother’s house.


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8:06 AM  

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