Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baa Ram Ewe

   This morning we peaced from Te Anau and started the 3 hour drive to Queenstown. The drive was beautiful (duh) and about 2 hours in we stopped at a sheep farm. Is it sad if I admit that it was my favorite part of the trip so far? 
  It was like reliving Babe. Andy (the owner) gave us a short tour and then rounded and sorted through what seemed like a million sheep to pick two that he sheared in front of us. Then he let all five of us who were brave enough hold the 60 pound bald shep (the singular form of sheep). 
   It was awesome.

   Now we're set up in a hostile in Queenstown where we found Joe's Complimentary Free Wifi (we could go downstairs and pay for it. It would probably be faster but where's the fun in that?). 

   On another note, I realized I'd never talked about my adventures in customs. 
Background: New Zealand is crazy strict about customs. Back in the day, apparently, some british people carried over possums and rats on their ships and then started to eat the kiwis and the takahaes and now the country as a whole is really really bitter and takes extra special care when searching for weapons of mass destruction like apples. 
   But I digress. 
   I'm standing in line to go through customs and I've declared food. I watch as the girl in front of me approaches a grandfatherly looking gentleman who barely glances at her passport, smiles and says "go ahead, deary". I'm really excited because I think I'm good as gold when out of the corner of my eye I see a disheveled woman motioning to me. 
   I got a female customs official. 
   Everyone knows that women are the Polar Bears of Civil Service work. Let's think of Police officers as predatory mammals. The men are like lions, tigers bears etc. They don't naturally eat humans. Obviously if you slather yourself in bacon grease and do a dance they'll take a nibble, but in general they're more afraid of you than you are of them. Women, on the other hand, are like polar bears. The only predator that will actually hunt humans. They're the ones to look out for: hungry and easily agitated. Like badgers. This is where the metaphor starts to fall apart.
  So I walk up to her, she barks at me to give her my entrance card and then snatches it out of my shaking hands when I don't give it to her fast enough. 
   Disgruntled Female Customs Worker: Do you have food to declare?
   Me: Yes
   Disgruntled Female Customs Worker: What is it?
   Me: A couple chocolate bars, some candy and a bag of goldfish.
   Disgruntled Female Customs Worker: Goldfish?
   Me: Yes.
   Disgruntled Female Customs Worker: *blank stare*
   Me: You know, the snack that smiles back?
   Visibly Angry Female Customs Worker: Excuse me?
   Me: They're crackers.
   Visibly Angry Female Customs Worker: Go.

  Little did she know my "chocolate bars" were actually Cliff bars containing, wait for it: dried almonds. heh heh heh heh. 

G'Day Kiwis! 

1 comment:

  1. The trip sounds magnificient -- as expected. Enjoy the relative relaxation of seeing the town the next few days.

    It perfectly normal that you would love the sheep farm. After all, you have sheep rearing and shearing in your blood. Don't be surprised if you suddenly feel the urge to milk a cow, too. Fair warning.

    I'm glad that you weren't put in the pokey over your Cliff bar and Goldfish. That might have been a distraction for the trip and wouldn't look too lovely on your resume.