Today I had no problems whatsoever getting into town hitching from Vimutti…From the monastery a woman pretty much immediately stopped for me, named Amanda. She worked on a horse farm nearby with her family, and she recalled that her mom had picked me up once and mentioned me. I seem to be building quite the rep in the Bombay Hills, because most people that give me a lift now are those who’ve picked me up before or have heard of me. Which works out just fine for me heh.
And from the Bombay Motorway, I got a ride into Pukekhoe from a Maori fellow named Clayton that was as lively as I’ve ever met…Gap-toothed, green coverall with a tacky-as black and white striped shirt under it. He was driving a flatbed truck with some wierd farming implement. He was originally only going 5 K’s towards Puke, turning towards Papakura, but decided to give me a ride all the way in once we got to talking, which was pretty cool of him. He was mostly curious on my perceptions on race-relations here in New Zealand, which are noticeably tense between Maori and "Paheka"…I mentioned that the tensions were pretty apparent immediately to me; white New Zealanders generally see Maori as having too much power for their relative population size; the guaranteed Maori seats in Parliament are a pretty hot item of contention, as well as differing limits on hunting, fishing, etc. Whereas the Maori don’t feel they’ve gotten enough, considering New Zealand used to be exclusively their country…And don’t get them started on the Treaty of Waitangi!…Gods, the rage…
Travel Tip #1: The way to a Maori’s heart is through their ego. Complement their preservation of their warrior culture despite the constant oppression of the man!!!…Maybe even shake your fist at the heavens a little. Even if they’re eating chips in front of the tube instead of wielding a mere in ritual combat…Do that and you’re golden, for sure.
Oh, and I got invited to his son’s 21st birthday…I don’t know his son’s name, let alone his son (he didn’t tell me what it was haha) but we traded contact info and he said he’d pick me up, so I’ve got no excuse not to go…Could be interesting. It only occurred to me after I’d gotten out of the vehicle to wonder if I should bring booze? I mean he seemed pretty low-key, but he IS the boy’s father…Still, if he’s inviting strangers to a 21st bash then I think it’s expected to be a wild party.