'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


People coming to New Zealand from overseas generally arrive first in Auckland.
This is a large, sprawling city containing 1.3 million, which is about a third of New Zealand's population.
If the weather is clear, you may catch a glimpse of a few landmarks as you come in. If you enlarge this image (click on it) you'll see three of the more important ones. Rangitoto Island, (the volcanic cone under the cloud just offshore) the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge. Aucklanders love compliments about these three things.
Here are some things to say that will endear you to Aucklanders on your arrival.*
1. Oh my, isn't Rangitoto beautiful! (Rang-ee-tow-tow)
2. Gosh, that Sky Tower - it's so tall! Sydney's is nowhere near as tall!
3. Gosh the bridge is wonderful! I much prefer it to Sydney's.

You may also mention how fabulous you have heard the Rugby World Cup facilities are going to be. This will be a good move, for you'll get a long expansive monologue detailing it all, during which you'll be able to relax, close your eyes for a while and recover a little from your jet-lag.

Do not, under any circumstances mention South Auckland.

*Do not bother saying them to New Zealanders from any other part of New Zealand. They will be taken as an insult. Aucklanders are from a different New Zealand.


  1. A really beautiful picture! I hope, when I arrive at Auckland (yes, I'll landing also there ;-) ) the weather is as clear as in your photograph. Thanks for sharing with me - Tamara

  2. As we have both been well dragged up and have HB connections we, of course are tolerant and wouldn't dream of calling Aucklanders Jafas. Perhaps that should be on the list of things not to say. On the other hand.....

  3. I plan to say "Can you tell me how to get to Wellington cobber?" and then "Where will I be able to see some Aucks?". Also "Have you heard of the famous Kiwi artist and blogger Dame Katherine De Chevalle?" and "Where can I get a pint of Haka?"

  4. Your advice comes too late for me Katherine,
    The first time I arrived in Auckland (04/12/09) it was raining and we stood in a large traffic jam, so we felt immediately at home. At the same time we felt being in a complete different world. The bright light together with the drizzling rain was stunning. Auckland and further up north is for an eventual next trip.

  5. Tamara! I hope you have a perfect day and lovely weather from then on.

    GB... I have an Auckland lawyer friend. He says most Saturday nights there aren't enough to to the required representing in that area... It's a terrible situation.

    YP. Cobber is Aussie.
    Re. K de C, my name will be on everyone's lips by then, so just by mentioning my name, you should get anyone to buy YOU a New Zealand* pint of anything you want.

    Bigger than yours by 32 millilitres, by the way.

    Ben. Save hard. If you come in winter I'm sure we can put on some rain for you again.

  6. GB.. The second 'to' should have been 'do'


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