Walking to and from work I see what I would consider exotic cars pretty much every day. Bentleys and Ferraris and Lambos, oh my. And on the weekends it gets even better, as people bring out their pampered beauties to see and be seen.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all like that for everybody…

Plenty of people still rely on duct tape for repairs. Even liability auto insurance is not mandatory here, much less full coverage, since the medical side of things is covered by the state. So, even more people here pay for their own bodywork (which is called ‘panelbeating’ which is a really great word), window replacements, etc.

This spectacularly ugly Ford Escort was first registered in about 1977, based on its license plate. In NZ, since there are no states, there’s only one sequence of plates… two letters followed by up to three numbers started in 1964, with AA plates. The plates flipped from black to white in 1981, somewhere around the letter M. They ran out of numbers in 2000 and started over in 2001 with three letters. Our car registered this year is LNE… so the current numbering will last for quite a few more years.

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer

We wonder how native Australasian people feel about the changing seasons … for us, when the days get short and cold, the leaves fall, the snow flies, we think of Christmas. But Christmas here is when you can finally swim in the ocean without a wetsuit, when it’s light till almost 10, and so on. Does the thrill translate, or does the magic of Christmas rely somehow on the whole winter solstice idea?

Oh, oh telephone line

There are still phone booths in Auckland, although these days they actually double as wi-fi hotspots.

If this early morning picture is any indication, phone booths still also serve their main purpose of letting you reach out – again – to tell her how you feel and how you just need one more chance and how you were meant to be together and nothing’s right without her please please don’t hang up. Please oh god oh god.

And another one gone

This house went from “somewhat run down” to “pile of rubble” in approximately no time at all.

We walk behind this place every week on the way to the farmers market, and I had complimented the owner last year on his exuberant plantings. Hopefully he gained some of the millions that will come from turning one house into six or eight condos.