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October 17, 2002 . . . Wellington, New Zealand (back in the windy capital)

Knackered gaiety - Yeah baby! Do you know what that means? That means I'm pretty tired from all the bliss around me. Although I haven't been jumping out of planes, off bridges or gondolas this week, I'm still loving New Zealand - loving it a lot!

My 'Danger Al' days are pretty much over; I'm now an ordinary backpacker again. I've returned now to the north island while most of my Magic bus mates are still partying hardy down south. It's sad to think in 1 week I'll be heading to Australia. I've totally fallen for the charms of the Kiwi world. Someday (if she's lucky) I'm going to take my wife to Ireland and New Zealand. Someday, if I don't get married, I'm coming back myself! Really, I feel a place in my heart has become part of the South Pacific.

One interesting thing that happened this week was a compliment. My playmate of the day was UK. Kelly and she said, 'I can't see you as an Allen, you're an "Al. You're the wackiest guy I met traveling these past seven months. Al's the name of a wacko!"

I like it . . . WACKY AL!

Okay -- story time . .

Wacky Al and the Silver Seal
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Back in the days of yore, my 1986 Nissan Sentra hotrod was named, "The Silver Seal." He was a lazy car when it came to hills, but for the $600 he cost, he conquered over 33,000 miles. Granted, his owner Wacky Al took good care of him and regretfully had to give him up STILL RUNNING because he belched out too much pollution beyond realistically priced repair. Thus, how is the relevant to this story? Glad you asked!

UK. Kelly and I took a bike ride on Kaikora Peninsula to a seal colony. There were seals laying all over the place sunbathing in peace. There was one big silver fellow laying right near a parking spot. I said to Kelly, 'Cool, you gotta get me a picture with him' I tried to sneak up behind em'. He saw me closing in . . . Five feet ... four ... three ...

"Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!," he got up on his flippers and made it clear I was no welcome. Let's just say I was a little frightened. He sounded a bit like the MGM Lion that comes on after television shows. I thought seals made "Arrf Arrf Arrf" noises, but don't be fooled... As Calvin, my Navy buddy from the Seashell Club (er, I mean Shellback Club) would say, "Don't mess with the Seals!" Wacky Al learned his lesson. In fact, there's a sign that says something like, "Don't get too close to the seals (stay 5 meters away); they'll let you know when you're too close"

Wacky Al's Wild Wardrobe Observations
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I received some funny feedback about my comments on Kiwi people. Thus, I've investigated a little further to formulate some more opinions.

#1 - The Winter Cap:
I don't know why, but it's the style here to wear a winter hat when it's warm outside. I see rock stars doing it and I think it's stupid. Even more, I see girls walking around with winter caps on and it does nothing for me. I wonder what you think? Are winter caps in? I got used to the whole fishing hat thing back in 'The States' There's this cute Dutch hat I love on girls - that's really my favorite hat to see on the ladies.

#2 - The Dreadlocks:
I've been checking out the white girls with the dreads. I'd have to say I don't like them. Some of them have one or two long thick braids which are a real turn on, but the full monty really doesn't do it for me.

#3 - The Black Look:
You know, black can make you look eloquent, but in cities where it rains a lot (like Melbourne Australia, Auckland NZ, and Wellington NZ), people like to torture my sunlight deficiency disorder. You see, you stand out if you're not wearing black here. I know because I always notice the gals wearing the rest of the rainbow!

Wacky Al's Other Weirdness
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Okay, so it's one o'clock in the morning and a cute girl just walked in the room and asked me the time and asked me if I had any good drugs to smoke. HELLO?

I went out dancing tonight and a girl told me I have a bigger chest than her.

I saw a sheep dog almost get mauled by a rebel sheep that wouldn't go with the rest of his flock into the shearing shed.

Wacky Al's Whirlings
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Immediately upon return to Wellington, I went out dancing. I literally forgot about the swing scene and went after the Ceroc crowd. I was hoping to meet a lot of sexy Kiwis, but the better looking ones are above and beyond beginner! Nonetheless, both the 16th and 17th of October I've conquered 3 dance classes. In that time, I met the "Denise" (the girl that wants me too much)

"Life may not be the party we hoped it would be, but while we're here
we might as well dance!"
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You've got a friend in . . .
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| Allen Rue - traveling extraordinaire - joy seeker          |
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