3/7/10: Paihia, New Zealand
Today’s post will cover three topics.
- Miniature golf
- The re-emergence of a certain someone as the undisputed Scrabble QUEEN
- Book exchanges
There is a miniature golf course not too far from our hostel that bills itself as “the most difficult miniature golf course in New Zealand.” This description appealed to both of us – to Kevin because it contained the phrase “the most difficult” and to me because it had the word “miniature.” (What can I say? I’m quite small myself.) So this afternoon we walked over to the course and paid our $10 each to challenge ourselves with the daunting task of playing the MOST DIFFICULT MINIATURE GOLF COURSE IN NEW ZEALAND!
Since Kevin has been playing golf since before he was old enough to go to PG-13 movies (which obviously gives him a great advantage in a round of miniature golf), we leveled the playing field by allowing do-overs at our own discretion. What’s a do-over? You’ve never heard of that in the game of golf, you say? Well, I invented it on the first hole. A do-over is when after you hit the ball, your first instinct is to immediately wave your arms in the air and loudly shout, “Do-over! Do-over!” I took twenty do-overs. Kevin took five. But! In the end we tied, 81 all. I consider that a victory for myself.
[Kevin informs me after reading this section that do-overs do exist in the game of golf, and they are referred to as “mulligans.” But I like my way better, so I’m leaving it. Besides, who wants to shout “Mulligan!” every time you mess up? It sounds ridiculous!]
Re-emergence of myself as undisputed Scrabble queen
You may have noticed that we haven’t been playing Scrabble recently. In fact, our last Scrabble game before we arrived in Paihia was played in Africa. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that one of the reasons we haven’t played any Scrabble in the last few months is because Kevin was leading in our running tally by two games and over 100 points, and I really didn’t want to lose again and get even more behind. (At an earlier point he led by as much as four games and 200 points) But since we have been on a vacation from our vacation here in Paihia, we had lots of time to break out the (t)rusty Scrabble board and play a few games. A few being seven. What can I say? We had a lot of time on our hands. What do you do when you go to the beach? Anyway, out of those seven games we played in the past two days, I won five of them. This means that I now lead Kevin by two games and fifty points. Which means I have finally taken back the Scrabble crown after a tough string of losses (at one point six in a row), and I have to write about it right NOW because tomorrow I probably won’t be able to truthfully write the same thing. Because even though I know more words than Kevin, he is the more strategic player. At least for now… We’ll see what things are like in another 1000 games or so.
That section was really boring for you guys to read, wasn’t it? I’m sorry, but that’s our marriage.
One of the good (and bad) things about this trip is that unless you want to spend a ton of money, you don’t have too many choices when it comes to what books you read. Having patiently examined the book exchange at every single hostel we’ve stayed at, I’ve come up with some general guidelines for the kinds of books one might find at a book exchange. (This excludes our Acacia bus. The Acacia folk all seemed to have good taste in books.)
- Every book that looks interesting upon first glance will inevitably turn out to be written in Dutch.
- There will be at least three books by Robert Ludlum. Two of them will be the same.
- There will be at least two romance novels, each of them written by women with big hair who will be pictured on the back cover.
- At least 30% of the books will be (bad) science fiction or fantasy.
- At least 50% of the books will be (bad) crime thrillers.
This usually poses a problem for me – because I don’t like crime thrillers, I can’t read Dutch, I don’t read sci-fi or fantasy anymore (except re-reads of the Pern series and the occasional Piers Anthony and of course Harry Potter, but everyone reads Harry Potter!) and I don’t enjoy romance novels. But sometimes I do get lucky and find a winner, like when we stayed at the Black Sheep Lodge in Queenstown. Have you ever heard of www.bookcrossing.com? At Black Sheep Lodge, I found a book that had been registered on bookcrossing.com and then set free! That made my day.
Liberate your books!
Picture of the Day: My dad shows off his new Pumas to us on Skype. What did people do without Skype?