Saturday, 8 December 2012: Wellington to Sydney

uniform Saturday afternoon, we were due to fly to Sydney, together with Buz Wilson, to spend a few days with him and his wife Kathy in their home in the suburb of Oatley. We therefore arranged to meet Buz in our hotel lobby at 1 p.m. to share a cab to airport, but as it happened, we decided to spend the morning seeing a few more things at Te Papa and ran into Buz at the entrance, doing the same thing! Both of them wanted to see the squid, and I was quite willing to see it again. After that, and a few more exhibits, I left them chatting over coffee at Espresso and went to the exhibit on uniforms, which I had saved till last, thinking David might be interested.

At the left is one of the uniforms, that of young Maori men attending a New Zealand public school. I don't think it's what they still wear.

At the right is a handsome wooden xylophone (actually redundant—apparently all true xylophones are wooden; the root "xylo-" is from "xylem," the type of plant cells that wood is made of), available for any passer-by to play. It's in the shape of the stylized leaf/fern that is a common New Zealand motif and adorns the uniforms of the national soccer and rugby teams.

Billie Chu's pad thai Eventually, we headed off to the airport and had lunch at Billie Chu's (near but not actually under the giant Gollum; note the triangular hanging Hobbit banners to the left of the menu) while waiting for our flight. Again, all the food was outside security, a point to remember about New Zealand's airports.

David and Buz had curries of some sort. In the right-hand photo is my tasty plate of pad Thai noodles.

collation marbella By this time, we finally had the Air New Zealand rules and regulations down, so we had no trouble with our luggage. Kathy met us at the airport and ferried us back to their place, where we met their charming black English cocker spaniel Milo and enjoyed a collation of bread, Australian cheese, and fruit.

For dinner, Kathy prepared this magnificient paella pan full of chicken Marbella, with garlic, prunes, green olives, and capers (from the Silver Palette cookbook, I understand); I'll have to try that at home!

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