Emma is trying to look fifteen years younger than she is. Hey, who am I to judge? Knock yourself out.

“I’m a personal service provider. Ya know. Take care of people who can’t manage themselves anymore, ya know.”

Sure, I guess I know. “Been doing this for about ten years now. Like my job. Most times. Ya know.”

If she says ‘ya know’ once more I’m gonna pop a vein.

“You’re from America, aren’t you? I can tell. Ya know. Got an ear for accents. I can tell.”

I dare not disagree, I want out of this conversation…

“Had a friend who lived in, uh, Iowa ya know. Or was it Ohio? Get them mixed up sometimes, ya know.”

I feign a stroke and excuse myself.

I’ve always found New Zealanders to be very polite. Usually anyway. Few people try to run yellow light, pedestrians will wait for the green Walk signal even if there aren’t any vehicles coming. They hold doors for people. They say please and thank you.

Usually, anyway.

I’m sitting outside a coffee bar enjoying my flat white. An elderly man is approaching he door. A young man, no more than 20, gets to the door first. The older man sticks out his foot in an intentional effort to trip the young man. Young man says, “Oh, sorry.” Elder man barks something, I couldn’t make out what he said but it clearly wasn’t Merry Christmas.

Older man sits down at a table, still grumbling. Young man orders his coffee. Older man is still grumbling. Young man pays for his snack and the older man goes back to barking loudly. Young man approaches his table and says very calmly, “I’m sorry if I was in your way.” Older man is turning the air around him blue with colourful paragraphs telling the younger man to do something anatomically impossible.

I was happy to take the rest of the day to lay low and catch up on some writing and just slow down for a while.

However, this evening was a stage play, a live and recorded version of Jeff Wayne’ss version of War of the Worlds. It was a record back in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s.

It was great. I thank the concierge staff for getting me the ticket.

I’m going to be offline for a few days visiting friends but should be back online next Monday or Tuesday, Nov 6/7.


3 thoughts on “Politeness

  1. SteveH says:

    Wow, the things you see and hear at a coffee shop if you just have time to sit and observe! Enjoy the time with your friends!

  2. star glo says:

    You are sure having some interesting experiences, aren’t you glad you are taking this trip.† I have pictures in my mind of every situation you encounter, and†am vicariously enjoying this trip with you.† Have a wonderful weekend, looking forward to hearing from you in the next blog.† Love, Mom, xxx ooo


  3. Alan Atwood says:

    Funny – I get those two states mixed up too. Not sure why! Safe travels friend!

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