OK, strange title to this post so let’s clear that up right now…. The presumptions not the creamyness… Dirty minded…
Apparently, a cafe I stopped at today is “World Famous” for its pastry invention called a cream horn. It’s basically a giant croissant cut in half and then filled with cream. I chose a raspberry one that had a tasty coulis swirled into the cream. It was very nice but an awful lot of cream for one person.
There seems to be an interesting mix of culinary cultures hear in NZ. The western breads, pastries and grilled meats VS the oriental soups, noodles and sushi. It is literally not possible to run out of takeaway options. And the best bit, is that I haven’t seen a single “Kebab” while here. Sidenote; I’m sure the kebab is the root of uncivilised, yobbish behaviour. No regard to taste or ingredients, just mash it all together and call it food, URGH!
NZ also seems to have a fondness for pies. Dotted around each town you will find a bakery but you wouldn’t recognise it from home. There are usually 3-4 glass cases on the counter from which you help yourself to a whole manner of baked goods. There will be a small selection of breads but the rest of the cases are usually full of savoury and sweet pastries. I had a chunky looking sausage roll called a “Double Happy” which sounds more like a premium TV service than a pastry. Here, it’s quite acceptable for your whole lunch to consist of 2 pies and a brownie to finish. Heaven! Except if I ate like that everyday I’d inflate faster than a frog playing bagpipes.
This morning I said goodbye to a friend I made watching the film last night and found out she was headed to wellington today too. She was travelling by bicycle so I hadn’t given it much thought until she said she was catching the train so she could make her ferry on time. The trains in NZ must be ludicrously slow because I managed to beat her the 400kms to Wellington by 2 hours!
I spent this time wandering around the city exploring the American grid pattern of streets. The houses scaled the hills surrounding the centre like an amphitheater of buildings listening intently to the skyscrapers business drama. I took the cable car railway up to the botanical gardens and observatory. I was too late by this point to go inside but wandered around in the fading light enjoying the view. There was a WW1 gun emplacement atop this hill. It was in a strategic position, as a last defense, covering the whole of Wellington bay from the threat of Russian invasion.
The trendy street was called Cuba st and had pubs and clubs and thrifty shops its whole length. Baggy trousered guys with dreads smoked hashish and surfers cruised the concrete waves on longboards. It was also the site of a bar called the Bad Grannies and a free art gallery that, from its contents, felt it owed me money to have entered it… I did find some cool street art down by a boat house and also some stingrays swooping around like underwater birds.
I had gone out in just my Jandles (flip flips – no I dont understand either), shorts and a shirt. In the sun this was fine but now I was a little chilly with the sea breeze. I arranged to meet Sara at the bucket fountain; a random collection of giant, coloured, sweet scoops like you find in pick’n’mix shops. These were slowly filled at the top and when full, over balanced and tipped their contents down into the next one. The progression was random and messy down the stack, but great fun to watch. Sometimes a particularly big sploosh would find its way out of the fountain basin and surprise an unwary tourist.
Waiting a while, I got chatting with Jean-Paul, an Englishman here travelling to see his relatives. He was (a little drunk) an artist and showed me some of his work to pass the time before his mate turned up. It was alright.