Monday, September 19, 2011

Giant inflated - head?

When I say that my head's all over the place, I mean that literally (almost). Busily catching up with writing after - what? eight trips away so far this year? - I've been working on stories about England, Ireland, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Mauritius, and lining up Seattle and more Australian stories to do next. The NZ stories were Waiheke Island and Lake Wakatipu, which is rather perverse of me since most of the action at the moment is right here in Auckland.

That blimp-like affair is the inflatable rugby ball containing a full-on Tourism NZ blitz to convince potential tourists to get themselves out here: it's usually positioned somewhere significant overseas. Right now it's on Queen's Wharf on the waterfront ('Party Central' they insist on calling it) and I had a look at it the other day, though even soon after it opened on a Friday lunchtime the queue was too long for me to bother with. Another day - there are enough of them still. Weeks to go yet till it's all over. Sigh.

I did go in The Cloud (aka The Slug) though, which was much nicer than it had promised to be when first proposed, and had a couple of huge screens showing an imaginative presentation of uniquely Kiwi features, from Weta Workshop to computerised cow eartags, all mixed in with Scenery, that made me a little pink with pride - even though the actual displays were somewhat mystifying. It probably was clever, inventing a way of making plastic chain mail with no joins - but what is it for? There was a lot of interest in the jetpack, but it looked a cumbersome beast and nothing like in the comics. The wood-veneer Vespa was, er, novel.

Most diverting, though not Kiwi at all of course, were the Segways being used outside by staff pretending to be serious, swooping up and down the wharf transporting sections of temporary fencing. Ubercool, as ever.

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