Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Zealand Wind-up

We're into the closing days of our visit to New Zealand and I've finished Michael King's book on its history with a greater appreciation than I could have had without visiting some of the places we've been. We're having lunch today with a New Zealand writer I know only from her Blog and emails, visiting her favorite restaurant in Mission Bay, and looking forward to it.

One odd thing has been amusing me over the past few days. With the approach of Anzac Day, hundreds of red Flander's poppies have appeared on people's lapels instead of the Anzac badges you see in Australia. I asked one poppy seller about it (we wear Flander's poppies only for Armistice Day, November 11th) and his explanation was that they shipped some Flander's poppies out to New Zealand in the 1920s and the shipment arrived too late for Armistice Day and they decided to use them for Anzac Day instead. (I suspect a gentle leg-pull, but it is a delightful story)

Part of me would love this holiday to go on longer, but the writer within is champing at the bit.

This is a great country. Visit it if you possibly can. You won't be disappointed.
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