Shortly before I left Texas I had one last swan-song, something that would be quite difficult for me to do in New Zealand. Shoot a gun, many guns in fact. I drove up to the local shooting range in my rental car, opened the shop door and stepped into a foreign world. At first glance, it looked just like a “mom & pop” bait shop: the sort of place you would visit if you were about to go for a little stint of fishing off the New Zealand coast. Except, instead of bait & tackle, there was ammunition, instead of fishing rods, there were semi-automatic rifles. Disembodied animal heads nailed to the walls made up the traditional Texas dÃ©cor. The door closed behind me and I turned to find (to my great bemusement) a target made up of Osama Bin Laden with a semi-automatic rifle in his hands. I certainly was in Texas.
Well, you all know by now that I fell in love quite some time ago: to hybrid car technology, of course. In particular, I fell in love with a specific model: the Toyota Prius. I loved how small it was, I loved the way it could run (briefly) without any petrol at all and I loved the possibilities it promised for the future.
I diligently saved up a whole year to buy mine, so when I unexpectedly found myself in Texas I saw no reason why I shouldn’t continue my plan and just buy one there, so I did. This worked brilliantly and I have been more than overjoyed with the outcome. In every way, this car has exceeded my expectations. Still, all good things must come to an end, so about a month before I was due to leave the country I started trying to sell my car.
I know I haven’t written much lately, but that is all about to change. I have been collecting a lot of material for you to read, should the mood strike you and it’s just a matter of me sitting still long enough to get it all done.
Firstly, I think I should expound a little on this notion of “pie”. Now, pie, as I was most aghast to discover, is not a universal concept. In America, there is no pie, at least not in the sense that members of the commonwealth think of “pie”.
In America, if you order a pie at a restaurant, you’re likely to get a fruit pie, such as apple pie, or blueberry pie, perhaps pumpkin pie if it’s thanksgiving, or maybe even pecan pie (pronounced “pee-kahn”) if you’re fortunate enough to be in the South.
This post is a special post for me because today (5th December 2007) marks the 10 year anniversary of when we first touched down on New Zealand soil. I don’t remember many birthdays (I barely remember my own) but that day, the 5th of December 1997 is indelibly etched into my memory. We touched down in Auckland International Airport after a 13 hour stopover in Hong Kong and an even longer flight half way around the world. We were dead tired and I had jet lag for something like a week.