New Zealand

You say New Zealand, most people think The Lord of the Rings. I think a special shade of green, horizontal rain, icy wind, breathtaking views, very scary weta, bilingual sings, kids in short sleeves and short pants when I – who am always so hot and under-dressed at home doctors have been sending me to check up on my thyroid all my life – was wearing 3 to 4 layers of clothes and still not feeling warm, haka and Once Were Warriors. And NZin2020, of course. I knew about the possible Worldcon bid when I was going for my GUFF trip. And am sooo glad they decided to go for it! It is comforting, this possibility that I will go back some day. Especially since I managed to get enough money together to go to Loncon3 and Shamrokon this year despite the fact that it often seemed like there was no way we were going to pull it off, financially. So, saving for the New Zealand Worldcon has commenced.

I spent five days in the southernmost city in the world, Wellington, during my 2013 GUFF trip. In late autumn. Without any idea of how interesting the weather can be. In retrospect, it was waaay too little time to spend there. But, coming so close – Canberra – I simply could not NOT go.

A Croatian fandom couple with kids had recently moved to New Zealand and when my NZ host had to go away for the weekend, I stayed with them. Other than showing me around, I learned a lot about parenting. Again. The year I got accidentally pregnant I was terrified. It was happening at the same time as SFeraKon, of course. Running around the hall, trying to put whatever was the fire of the hour, I met Jurica and Diana, who was carrying her infant boy in a sling. To a con. With a huge smile on her face. It was a revelation! A year later I was doing exactly the same thing. I figured if Diana could do it with a second child, I could handle just the one. Later on, during GUFF which was also the first time I spent away from my kid, I learned both how to be a more patient parent from her and how to take motherhood in stride.

The public talk I gave at Booksa a month ago today made me realize how much of New Zealand I have left unseen. A few older ladies showed up to my talk and were a bit disappointed that I had not had more to say about New Zealand. They have been on my mind lately – I am quite sorry not to be able to take for coffee to hear about their New Zealand. I suspect there is a number of New Zealand aficionados, people of a certain age, living in Zagreb, that I have not discovered yet.

In New Zealand I saw a newly hatched kiwi – I was quite lucky, it was the last hatchling of the season and an unsually late one, at that. A friend drove me around the wine country. He was very patient with me – I do not drink – but I enjoyed the scenery and the cake. The mountains were stunning. So much green. (And such cold win. And don’t even get me started on the rain!)

I did not take a LoTR tour, but I did see the movie theater Peter Jackson restored in Wellington. I took an enormous amount of bad photos that I have misplaced since. I have trouble breathing when I think about being unable to find them. I am writing this post to prevent panic. I also went on a tour of WETA digital, where photos were not allowed, so that is why there are none to go with this post. 🙂





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