Having 18 hours on a plane to read, work, sleep and eat I thought I would channel a small burst of energy into a post before falling asleep while over the middle of the North Pacific ocean 3432 miles from Tokyo then I head to Singapore from there.
I was able to spend some frequent flier miles to upgrade into business class on an International flight which is a really nice benefit after all of the international traveling in normal economy seating I do.
New Zealand & Australia Trip Reflections…
I had a great time and so many things I could write about but I will write a few reflective comments and observations.
I truly appreciate the people I met while traveling except for the Kangaroo with a low threshold of tolerance for the tourist (more on that later). I arrived in New Zealand and the following day was met by fellow blogger and friend Robin Capper. Robin took the entire weekend to take me all over his beautiful North island of New Zealand. Did you know there is a North and South island of New Zealand, well I did not until this trip. Robin was a gracious host and if you are ever in New Zealand’s Auckland area I would recommend robin as he would make a top notch New Zealand guide. He even showed me a New Zealand UFO that ended up in the Auckland Newspaper the following day but I also got a photo of it but it looked like a cloud to me through my camera lens but it was a strange formation that caught our eye.
Thank You Robin!
* New Zealand has to be one of the most pristine environments I have ever visited in my entire life. It seems almost set back in time in some locations and perhaps that is due to both the remoteness and care of the New Zealanders also known as kiwis.
* Winnies in Queenstown is a must for the pizza and late night partying with the roof that even opens to the sky at times.
* After much searching even visiting Hobbitown, I am no longer convinced that Hobbits are real.
* The plants and animals are unlike anywhere else except for the possums which are a pest from Australia. New Zealanders blame it on the Australians, but Australians claim they did not cause the infestation of possums and the real culprit was a New Zealand fur farmer.
* They drive on the wrong side of the road in New Zealand and Australia. ;-)
* They are the extreme sport capital of the world. They have bungie jumping from almost everything in site.
* Zorbing - a large round inflated orb you climb in and roll down hills.
* The sheep here seem to be buff compared to wimpy American sheep.
* If someone tells you they are heading to the dairy, it most likely means they are headed to the local convenience store.
* The thinning of the Earths ozone is very obvious by the amount of UV rays. Like Robin said “wear sunscreen as the sun down here can rearrange your DNA”.
* “Cheers” is used like saying thank you.
* “No Worries” is used common and is equivalent to the US slang no problem.
* The kiwis love their football (soccer) and rugby.
* The Southern island is spectacular with its alps and glaciers.
* Even in little remote Auclland New Zealand you can still get your baggage stolen in an airport. I had my computer laptop bag stolen from right next to me in less than 2 minutes when fumbling for my passport. Luckily the person saw the police looking for my bag and they would have had to go through the customs check with my bag. I found the bag abandoned and untouched 15 minutes later in the customs area as the thief chickened out thankfully.
In Australia I again met many nice people except for one.
From Autodesk customer Devon having a nice chat in the old rock section of Sydney on the quay to Steve Johnson way out there on the West Australian coast in Perth. Steve took time off of work to haul me around nd his beautiful region of Australia South of Perth. I have known Steve by email and reading his columns in CAD related publications. I came away after all the deep discussions knowing Steve much better and he shattered the misconceptions I had of him before meeting him. People can seem so different from their email persona-s. We had quite a bit in common such as children, love of music, and while we did not agree on all topics we did find common ideas. I value Steve’s dedication, opinions, and his contributions to the CAD industry.
Thank you Steve!
OK now onto the one character in Australia that I did not like. I set out to play the part of a dumb tourist I decided to take a Australian 4 wheel drive tour of the mountains North of Sydney and see some real Austria. Before we got to the mountains, we stopped at a wildlife park to see some local animals in case we did not spot any on that light rainy day. Well me being the dumb tourist I decided to play zoo keeper and prevent a fairly large grey kangaroo
from getting through a visitor gate. I poked and pushed the kanga to move him and told him sternly “NO”. Well, like I had seen on the Discovery Channel nature shows he flipped his head back. I knew this could be interpreted as he was not happy with me. I figured hey these are captive animals so they should be used to dumb tourists poking them. I was wrong. Before it was over the kanga had taken a couple good kicks and scratches on me and then he was preventing me from exiting the fenced area. I caught this all on video of course but it is rather embarrassing and I am not making a public debut of the film just yet. When I spotted the wild kangaroos later that day I stayed a far distance and kept my hands to myself.
* Australians are known as Aussies.
* The “G’day mate” saying is not just in the movies as you hear it all th time.
* Australian Rules football is one painful and action packed sport.
* Meat pies are a staple food and when served in split pea soup are called floaters.
* It seemed to me that in some parts of Australia everything was deadly poisonous from numerous snails, spiders, snails, octopus, and jellyfish that you just have to deal with.
* Sticky date pudding is a desert you must have when in Australia or New Zealand. Mmmm.
So many people I met including many great deskers like omar, Joe, Dave, resellers, customers and just locals it would be hard to write all the experiences without writing for a week straight and as you can tell I am no gifted writer.
Something different…Lyrics in code?
It is the small things in your work life that can make the mundane nice and fun. On the Autodesk AutoCAD development team there is one developer that when checking in his code has a music trivia section in the submission documents that details the changes in code and suggested areas of testing for the feature tester. That takes a sometimes boring document and makes it fun.
OK, it is time to get a few hours of sleep…