Friday, December 29

Man in Tokyo: in New Zealand part 3

This week was a short one, although it was pretty tough. I only had to work Wed to Fri but I had so much crap to do. Last Tuesday was Boxing Day for you people not in the know. Everything here in NZ was closed so I spent some quality time in a park near where I am staying. It was a glorious day. I took a lot of photos. Here are some for your enjoyment.

They got some big ass trees here. It was all gnarly too.

In addition to those huge trees, there was a wide variety of other trees and plants. In some directions, it looked like I was going back to Cali, Cali, Cali...hmm...I don't think so. Deep bass, minimal beat, and those horns! Best LL song ever? Discuss...

And then when you turn around, it looks like you are in Hawaii.

I was enjoying all of this beautiful weather and at the same time getting some work done. I may not be all wifi-ing all over the place...but I was able to get a bunch of stuff done. See for yourself...

I was also able to break out my newest purchase. I found some nice sneaker shops here in Auckland. Loaded is really nice, but they didn't have anything I needed. But at Loft, I was able to find a pair I have been looking for for a really long time. I now have the complete SIZE? clerks pack. I am pretty sure I over paid for the last part of the trilogy, but such is life.

How about a close up pic of my new Air Stabs.

And one last pic. One of my best shots ever....I think.

Moving from a park to parking. They have some fancy parking meters here.

Just look at all those choices for payment; coins, credit card, and you can even text a payment. All this technology provides the city with some interesting options. Take a look at what you can do if you link all the parking meters to a city-wide network.

These signs are on the most of the major roads that I have traveled on.

How helpful would these signs be in Boston or NYC? An innovative use of existing technology: well done NZ.

Before we finish off for today, you all know I have a mouth full of sweet teeth. I am always keeping my eye out for interesting new snacks. These are some of the keepers from my collection from this trip. Apparently, Turkish delight can be found outside the Wardrobe...

And it's news to me that Milo is not only a drink, but a candy bar too!

An oldie but goodie that I can't find in Tokyo.

And I was shocked to find a candy bar named after a special some one.

And last but certainly not least, thanks for all the great comments. That shit is blowin' up! I should travel more often!!! I hope I can keep taking pictures that people enjoy. Now, to get to one question that was raised in the comments. Picking shoes for that beach venture last weekend was no easy task. I had wanted to wear my newest Air Stabs, but I couldn't risk getting them dirty on their first outing. So, I went with the gray New Balance from a couple posts ago. I did my best to be careful as I was climbing the rock and walking on the beach. They got a little bit of a workout, but no serious damage. Thanks to the sister teamwork to raise an important point.

Happy New Year to all my people out there!!!

Tuesday, December 26

Man in Tokyo: in New Zealand part 2

Merry Christmas to all you people out there. It is strange to be so far away from the people I love during these holidays. But, such is life. I was invited to a Xmas dinner on Monday night, so all was not lost. The house was about 20 minutes outside the city, and the backyard was what I call jungle, and they call bush. See for yourself...

Lets move back in time. On Xmas Eve day I was taken to a nearby beach. It was very nice. I don't go to the beach often, and I almost never go off season. It was a nice day for it, but not nice enough to swim. We did some walking around and we even climbed a big rock. Some pics:

The view from a rest stop on the way there.

The Moari totem pole like thing in front of the building.

The view from the hill overlooking the beach. Notice the big rock will be important very soon.

It was a nice beach. It was not all that hot, but it is always nice to breath that fresh sea air. From what people tell me this beach is quite dangerous...a very strong riptide. So it is probably just as well we didn't try to go swimming. We did climb that huge rock though. He is a view from the beach.

It was kinda dangerous and difficult to get to the top. But once we got there the view was beautiful. To the left.

And to the right.

And last but not least, the hard working lifeguards.

After we made our way down gingerly, we headed to a nearby cafe for a big Xmas eve dinner.

So that was the wrap up of the Xmas holiday. Now let's move back to the city. I did some more looking around. The city is becoming a little less foreign the more time I spend here. But since I am still noticing all the little things I discovered this little gem.

It looks like your regular tag on the wall. But if you look closer at the red part you will find something a little special.

That's all for this one. I have lots more pictures to upload so I will keep trying to update. Hope you all had a nice Xmas! Peace.

Saturday, December 23

Man in Tokyo: in New Zealand

Ok, so yeah, I'm here safely in New Zealand. It was a busy week and I doubt it will get better soon. So lets go with some picture posts.

Nice entertainment system on the plane. I could choose the movie I wanted to watch out of about 20 movies. Nice clear screen as well. Not a horrible way to spend 10 hours. I was told that it was a direct flight to Auckland, and yet I found myself landing at Christchurch.

We had to wait about 45 minutes before getting back on the same plane to finish the "direct" flight to Auckland...strange. In that time, I was able to find the first of many different things. Can you spot it?

Nice looking vent.

Flight done, I tried to settle in. I was almost too busy to take pics, but I squeezed some in when I could. I quickly grabbed some shots of things I've never seen before. I like candy bars as much as the next guy, so I had to pick up this bad boy.

How about a groovy bottle of soda...

Ok, enough of the bad food. Let me try to give you an idea of the city. It is summer here. But, to be honest, it has rained on and off everyday since I have arrived. People tell me that it is normal. It is certainly better than too hot, or too cold. But kinda gloomy, don't you think?

That tower is the iconic symbol of the city it seems. It is useful when you are trying find your way around. As you might be able to tell, it is a hilly city. My short walk from my hotel to my office is up and down 3 times. Big hills!!! My legs are not that happy.

Some pics:

The cop cars here don't look all that manly, but I like the orange and blue. I have realized Auckland is a port city. Yesterday I finally had time to see the water. It reminded me of Boston a little, but much more European. They have small boats.

And big boats. Lots of big boats. Right there on the edge of the city.

They also have have industrial ships. I had never seen cars being off loaded before. It was kinda cool.

They also have a World Cup boat. IT was so big I couldn't get it all in the frame.

Of course, to go along with the boats, they have the port side pubs.

This pic was taken at around 7:30 at night. It doesn't get dark until 8:30 or 9pm. It is a bit difficult to get used to. While I was out, I did find my new favorite road sign.

I will leave it at that for now. Hopefully more to come later.

Merry X-mas!

Monday, December 11

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! (+ Update)

No big weekend wrap-up this week, because I have almost nothing to fun cover. I did buy this though. If I was sitting next to each of you, I would be happy to take bets that you wouldn't be able to tell me what it is. (Except for JB, he would know.) Any guesses?

That's right folks, it is an plug adapter. I am going on a trip. It is actually the first time I have had to buy one of these bad boys. How non-international of me. Oh well, I wish I didn't have to. As my BOS sis said, as people living in 2006, we should be over this already. Nothing should be holding us down...we should be wireless. And if not wireless, at least there should be an international standard. But sadly, at present we need pages like this:

Or sites like THIS. From what I can grasp, I need an adapter and converter. Let's hope I bought the right stuff. If not, my chances of updating this site are slim to none.

I am off to Auckland this Saturday. I will be taking part in a training session for the next month or so. Man in New Zealand! From what I gather from people who have completed the training, it is no joke. "Intense" and "challenging" are the words most used to describe it. I hope I have a little free time to see the sights, take some pics, post them here, and maybe even have a good time. If not, see you all next year.

But, before that, we have a couple things to talk about.

Again with taxis...I spotted two more colors. One of them I like, one I don't. This one, with its puke green/yellow base is not so hot.

On the other hand, we have this other one which its so fresh n' clean design: white base with some nice stripes. You might even describe those as rainbow stripes. Is this taxi trying to challenge the for the top spot...currently held by the gray with rainbows? Here is the Challenger.

Now, lets finally get to the title of this never ending post. Today I went to Harajuku and Shibuya. I wanted to take a quick look at some kix before heading over to Tower Records to pick up some treats for the trip to New Zealand. As I got to closer to the main intersection of Harajuku, I noticed lots of fire trucks.

Don't think that those crowds are because of the fire trucks. That is the regular amount of people at that intersection. There were tons of trucks. They had them parked everywhere.

I still had no idea where the fire was. And the pedestrians were all acting as though nothing was happening. Plus, the firemen and police that I saw looked like there was no reason to rush. So, I figured it was just a massive false alarm. I walked a little further and was stopped in my tracks by this:

That's right y'all! The Tokyo Fire Department has a Unimog. It's the first time I have seen one in the flesh. It is huge. I was standing far away and it was still filling the frame. To get an idea of the size, notice the lady in the right corner.

It looks like a blast to drive. I wanna try!!! But it must be a handful on most of Tokyo's tiny streets. Especially in Harajuku, where there are so many tiny alleys. I guess that's why they also brought this little guy.

Didn't get to see this one in action, sadly. Looks like fun to drive too. Man, they got all the hottest toys! Ok, maybe they aren't toys. Fire is serious business. I got carried away. Sorry. I was soon confronted with the reason for this huge presence of firefighters and their tools. Shock of all shocks, a fire.

As far as I could see, it was one of the many old houses sprinkled in between the shops. As of now, I have yet to find any additional info about the fire. Nothing online or the evening news. I assume no one was injured. The Fire Department looked like they had the situation under control.

So, back to the Unimog. Is it not the baddest beast of a vehicle? While I was looking for some links about them, I ran into some vintage Unimogs. This one looks like it wants to crush the Model T.


How about an evil Italian version...or three?


Man, I can't get enough of them. Click HERE if you want more info.

That is all from Man in Tokyo for a while. I hope I can talk to you all soon. Get ready for Man in Tokyo: in Auckland!

Take care.

UPDATE: Sadly, I was wrong about the fire. One 79 year old man was killed in the fire. So sad, for him and his family. Click HERE for more info. Be careful out there!