Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Merge Like a Zipper

First indication I had that New Zealand wasn't exactly the land of super highways (a good thing) was the big sign on the motorway that runs through the center of Auckland urging me to "Merge Like a Zipper." I was so busy contemplating that sign and how it would look on my blog and where the hell was my camera so I could get a good picture of it for said blog that I missed the little sign that told me to get in the right hand lane (the fast lane...remember, I'm a'drivin' on the left) immediately because that's the only road going NORTH out of Auckland. The only time we encountered real traffic in NZ was at this point, thus preventing rightward movement. We missed the exit and decided to get off the motorway FAST so we could get properly lost and also to ensure that our snide barbs to one another could be hurled at 56.327040 km/hr (30 mph) as opposed to 100 k/h (max speed anywhere in New Zealand is 100km/hr...62.1371192237334 mph).

Take this tip - merge like a zip

The best way to merge is 'one on one' - like a zip, the sign told us. I wonder what ad agency thought up this brilliant campaign. They were so taken with it, that they also provided this handy illustration on their Now I'll never forget.

We stopped somewhere near the university in Auckland in a no parking buses only spot in order to allow even more people to spew a little venom at me. "Sorry," I mouthed through the window. "Car broke down," I lied. Roger ran off to get directions and I started rummaging around the car looking for my camera (left in the boot, damn). After a few confused turns and screams of KEEP LEFT for chrissakes (polite internet version), we were back on the motorway meandering along at 100 klicks (our endearing little way of saying kilometers per hour). If you've ever driven on the Autobahn, the M4 or, say, the 101 in L.A., this strict 100 klicks business is beyond frustrating. For a start, you feel like you're taking baby steps forward. You can identify the license plates on approaching're going that slowly. Secondly, there's very little flippin' traffic and it's going even SLOWER than the 100 klicks. But thirdly, and to my mind most frustrating, was this little DING DING DING that went off in our rental car every time we went more than 110 km/hr. The first, second and third time it DINGED at us we had no idea what was happening and assumed we were out of oil and ready to break down. By the fourth time we were telling it to shut the f up. It never obliged and we eventually figured out that speed kills. Or was it the sign that told us that. Oh yeah, it was the sign.

Prepared to speed? Be prepared to kill.

But they're not just dealing with road issues in NZ. There's the little problem of the sheep not drinking enough tea and global warming. Think I'm kidding? Read on...

New Zealand Tries to Cap Gaseous Sheep Burps
And if you're can read all about it right here.

There was a obviously a lot to learn about this beautiful and very green country and we thought we were up to the task.

to be cont.


Blogger granny p said...

Maybe they should try them on green tea?

3:10 PM  
Blogger junebee said...

When we were in Toronto this summer, 100 KPH sounded REALLY fast until I realized it was only 60 MPH. No wonder traffic was so bad. It takes people forever to get anywhere.

6:19 PM  

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