Thursday, 14 March 2019

The Mile High Pub (Quiz)

Thursday evening and we're on our flight from Hong Kong to Auckland. Things have moved on since our last long-haul flight. The entertainment system in our seats gave us the opportunity to learn Japanese, do guided meditations, learn about New Zealand wines, do a quiz or watch more films than one could shake a stick at. Normally on a Thursday night we'd be at The Moss Trooper with the mighty "Thanks For The Lend" Speed-Quizzing team, so we opted to take the quiz, whilst flying over the Philippines, at over 500 miles per hour - the ultimate Speed-Quiz. We did OK, though we were let down by our lack of knowledge about Kiwi TV celebrities.

After the quiz, and a bit of sleep, I binge-watched music documentary films - Montage of Heck (Kurt Cobain) and The Man From Mo Wax (James Lavelle, founder of Mo Wax records) - both excellent. Justine, on the other hand, opted to learn Japanese (the massive swot). So she can speak Japanese, very impressive... but does she know that the first LP released by Mo Wax was The Jazz Hip Jap Project compilation? That's the kind of knowledge that wins quizzes mate, not knowing how to speak other languages!

On our arrival at Auckland we had to fill in our immigration forms. Now we've got previous when it comes to entering countries round these parts. Some of you may recall the tale of Bouncer, the Australian sniffer dog who thought we were trying to sneak apples into his country. Well I'd done my research and knew that New Zealand Customs were very keen on not bringing stuff into their country which might have an impact on the environment, including soil, so I'd been really careful to clean the soles of my walking boots before we left the UK. But on our immigration form we had to tick a box to say whether we had any kind of outdoor equipment, including shoes, in our luggage. Did I have shoes in my case? Yes, I did. Do I really have to declare them? Well the signs warning me of a $400 fine for not declaring something were enough to convince me that I probably should, so I joined the "Something to declare" queue, ready to declare "my shoes". The customs officer was really friendly and didn't seem too worried about me being in possession of shoes, so a quick suitcase X-Ray and we were through.

But then, directly ahead of me, I spotted it - my worst fears had become reality. A small, cute (but don't let that fool you) puppy... let's call him Wellington. I had flashbacks to the harrowing events in Australia. What if Wellington detected peach residue in our bags, or even worse, that Jilly Cooper book I had in my rucksack, just in case the flight got really boring.

Thankfully, Wellington strolled right past us, without a second sniff, and instead started barking at the nice Columbian gentleman who'd been behind us in the queue. Wellington seemed really interested in the gentleman's 6 suitcases of flour. I assume he must have been a travelling baker.

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