Thursday, February 28, 2008

Birthdays

Another hot day in Auckland. The heat here is nothing like the heat in Japan, where shade doesn't seem to make much difference to anything. When the sun goes behind a cloud here, suddendly it's COLD, but then the sun comes out and oh, how lovely, you think, and two minutes later what an attractive red nose you have, my dear!

Or red neck, which is the bit I neglected to protect yesterday. Last night I lay in bed feeling unaccountably warm and thinking ugly thoughts until I figured out what was wrong. I had turned into a redneck.

Today I braved the Auckland bus system again. Yesterday was fairly painless, aside from one initial hitch. This hitch occured when I interpreted 'the A street bus stop' as being 'the bus stop on A street,' instead of 'the bus stop on B street which is nearest to A street.' I had found this information on the Internet, and later called the number to tell them of their mistake, only to find out that the mistake was apparently mine. I then told them that if they wanted to call the bus stop on B street the A street bus stop, then they should call it the 'A street bus stop on B street,' to avoid confusion, since there is a bus stop on A street as well. (And what is that called, I wonder?) They agreed with me, but in retrospect I wonder whether I made things worse.

Anyway, today I took a different bus, and all went swimmingly until I got the bus started off and I realized I had left my folder with my passport AND BANK CARD in it back at the house. The bank card was the most important thing, because I had intended to have a bit of a shopping spree. I had only a little cash with me, and it was too time-consuming to get off the bus and wait for a bus back and then a bus there again, so I carried on, resolving to buy only the most important thing on my list: a birthday present for a nephew, who is having a birthday on Saturday.

Fortunately I had enough for what I got him - a book called Children's Encyclopedia of Earth. He is only eight, but it seemed to me that this is the kind of book he will grow into. He can enjoy the pictures now, and later he will enjoy the words.

At least it has dinosaurs in it. You can't go wrong with eight-year-olds and dinosaurs.

I have discovered that in a couple of weeks the eight-year-old's little brother will ALSO have a birthday. How inconvenient! I will have to go shopping again (this time with my bank card) and get ANOTHER book. There was one I saw today that might interest a six-year-old: a pop-up book of the jungle, with sound effects. I particularly liked the sound effects. At the very least they will drive his parents up the wall.

Giving noisy presents to children is a perogative of bad auntliness. The kids think you're wonderful, and you don't have to deal with the results. Who cares if the parents never want to see you again?

So I will be going out to my brother's tomorrow and staying overnight. He does not have a computer so you will not hear from me for a couple of days. I will be attending a birthday party.

I do not expect it to be a relaxing occasion. Please forgive any crankiness that ensues. I'm not used to this kind of thing.

2 comments:

kenju said...

You may find that you enjoy it, in spite of the fact it won't be relaxing. I hope so.

Mysterious MangaMan said...

auntliness! i have learnt something today....