Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011 (Wellington, Auckland, N.Z.)

BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL: When we got off the Air New Zealand plane in Wellington, Sandy pointed out the message on fuselage of the A320, most of which is visible (and circled) in the photo above. The entire phrase is "Crazy About Rugby". I think Air New Zealand got the first one delivered in late January or early February, with a paint job that supports the nations "All Blacks" rugby team--and promoting the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which will be in New Zealand this fall. I remain merely "Hazy About Rugby." I can learn some of the basics from the Web. Now I know that there are eight forwards on a typical 15-person team. Two props, two locks, two flankers, a hooker and a Number 8. It's a start. I'm further along with rugby than with cricket.
The "Crazy About Rugby" theme is incorporated into one of Air New Zealand's pre-flight safety instruction videos, shown below:

We didn't see that one. We saw a safety video featuring, of all people, Richard Simmons.

ON THE CRICKET TRAIL: Rugby, I might have a chance at understanding. Cricket? Probably nil. While at the Auckland Museum, I gazed over the playing fields of the Auckland Domain and spotted about 10 cricket pitches in one area. At least I think this has something to do with cricket. But why would there be so many cricket tracks so close together? I have no idea. I don't know anything about the sport, except that each one of these rectangular patches looks like a cricket pitch. I have added arrows to help. There has been NO PHOTOSHOPPING here. And this has nothing to do with the recent killing of Osama bin Laden.

IT'S HARD TO AVOID CRICKET: The New Zealand Herald had an article in today's paper written by Daily Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne, who filed a report from the suddenly-famous (or, infamous) Pakistani city of Abbottabad (right). Cricket comes up in his descriptions of the privacy of the compound and the attitudes of at least one student living nearby:
When children playing cricket knocked balls into their compound they were never allowed in to find them. Instead the Khans would pay them 100 rupees--approximately $1.50--as compensation.

Driving away, I stopped to watch a group of local students playing cricket. Iasked Faizan, the opening batsman, what he made of the sensational event that had made his town so notorious. Telling me off, he said: "This is not our problem. We should be worrying about our studies."
On the Telegraph's site, the article is here, in full.
[NOTE: The Wikipedia entry for Abbottabad has been morphing beautifully this week; it now has a detailed "death of Osama bin Laden" entry. The city's namesake, Major James Abbott (shown here), wrote a poem titled "Abbottabad," which was panned this week by Stephen Moss in the Guardian. Might it be one of the worst poems ever written?
Maybe. After all the last three letters are BAD.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to try to explain cricket to you at dinner. We learned one rainy day in Queenstown when there was nothing else on tv but a 4 hour cricket match. Rugby on the other hand is apparently one of the hardest games to understand all the laws. I just had an entire class on it last week and saw a match this past Friday. Have to love abroad classes!

    Also I saw the all black(s) plane in person on it's promotional tour of New Zealand with a couple of the players. The only one we managed to identify was Richie McCaw, who is also featured in the safety video as the pilot. We were big fans of Air New Zealand. The US should bring entertainment to safety videos.