Just a few slices of Auckland life.
Outside the downtown Auckland core there’s a place called Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium. It’s way too far to walk, so I decided to figure my way through the maze that is Auckland City Transit. It’s called Maxx Link.
Maxx Link seems a confusion of bus colours and names, zones and indecipherable fare structures. City Link are red buses that’s essentially a central business district (CBD) service and free for people that buy a monthly pass. The Inner Link are green buses that serve an expanded area around the CBD. And the Outer Link are orange buses that run an extended service area. Those are core buses only, there are other services that reach out into the ‘burbs.
And once you understand how the core services work, the rest is a snap. Even locals are pleased with the service. That speaks volumes.
Tarleton’s Aquarium is, well, pretty much what I expected. Big aquaria with fish and stuff. *yawn* All very interesting and I would have stayed longer to scrutinize the exhibits, but…
It was FULL of howling 8-year-olds. Probably a school field trip. Much shrieking. Arguing. Barking (yes, really, barking). Yelling. “Jonny, don’t touch that! Collene, stop hitting Paul! Paul, kwitcher whining! Peter, don’t pet the moray, they bite!”
And everywhere, snotty fingers leaving trials of mucus on exhibition glass.
Total bi-hazard zone. I’m outtahere.
Back to downtown I stopped in to a souvenir shop. “Afternoon.”
“Hi. Name’s Morgan, travelling from Canada.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Andy.”
People will tell you the most amazing things if you only give them a chance.
Andy was labelled as a troublemaker in school. “This was before they knew what dyslexia was,” he says. He left school at fifteen to work on his father’s farm. Borrowed some money at 18, travelled the world, came back to Auckland at 21, started working at a restaurant, then a souvenir shop, borrowed some money, bought the shop. That was twelve years go. Loves his job. “I really do. Not just saying that, I really do.”
His assistant Asammie came back from lunch and took her place at the cash desk. She’s gorgeous. Flawless skin. Dark eyes and hair. Shy smile. Andy introduces me. She bows her head, peeks up through her bangs. Is she really shy or a total tigress? I’m guessing the latter but who knows?
The plan for this evening was to see the movie Argo. Technical issues at the theatre stopped the showing. I got my $11 back and a free movie pass. I gave the pass away.
Now sitting in the hotel bar with a Heineken, the tablet and a barkeep named Maliwan. She smiles at me. I smile back.
Fishing tomorrow. I have 2 alarms set. Not taking the bus.