Phones calls, traffic, the bridge and beards

Daniel, who is 7 years old, got his first phone call the other day. I answered the phone and heard a young boy politely introduce himself and then ask to speak to Daniel. Completely stunned, I handed the phone to Daniel who was just as surprised as I was and then I heard them discuss Minecraft for a couple minutes at which point Daniel handed the phone back to me. It was really quite funny. He better not start asking for his own phone though. He’s way too young for that.

Yesterday I drove into central Auckland to hand my passport application to the Australian consulate. I waited until after 9am to avoid the traffic but this turned out to be pointless because at 9:40am, I was sat cursing and swearing in my car at Auckland traffic. The bridge from the North Shore to Auckland CBD is a huge bottleneck and it was like a carpark (I exaggerate ever so slightly – cars did move from time to time).

I have written about the Auckland Harbour Bridge before and the short-sightedness they had when it was built and the subsequent tacking on of the Nippon clip-ons and the more recent cracks. I have what I think is a really great idea for the bridge: one of the Nippon clip-ons (the weaker one) should be closed to all motorised traffic and handed over to pedestrians and cyclists for their exclusive use. At the moment, it’s not possible to walk or cycle over the bridge as people and bicycles are banned unless they’re in cars or trucks or buses. How ridiculous is that? It ought to be the other way around. How lovely it would be to walk across the bridge and enjoy the sights of Auckland harbour at a slower pace and take in the fresh air (ok, maybe not fresh air given that there would still be all the other lanes open to traffic). People would be fitter and healthier, there’d be less traffic and fewer cars entering the CBD which is surely a good thing. But I know they won’t listen to me and I really don’t care now that I’m leaving this place.

Ray LaMontagne is my favourite musician at the moment. He has a drop-dead gorgeous beard and his music is the bee’s knees. Here’s a song. Enjoy.