Who really cares how my conference went, except maybe me and the other conference attendees. Not many people, I’m sure. so before I launch into a potentially boring narrative about the Keynote Speech, let me share with you some more highlights from Day 3…
Like how when you get out of Sky Tower you may likely hear someone screaming above you which will inevitably lead you, and all the cafe-goers around you, to look up…at someone who has taken the plunge.
Can you spot the daredevil?
Also, wandering around Queen’s you’re bound to come across a number of things including street-corner preachers and Asian Michael Jacksons! Sharp suit that….
We didn’t realize how far we’d come till then next day, looking at the map we realized we’d walked almost all of Queen’s and had doubled back coming across the Civic Theatre.
Now back to the mundane conference day. We woke up after a restless night. All that walking around Queen’s meant that we were physically exhausted (which just shows how un-fit we are). Living in the UAE means you’re not naturally an outdoor walker because you’d rather not have your brain fried in the summers. The only people at an advantage here are the mall-walkers, which we sadly are not.
The Keynote Speech (wireless power transfer and the future of transport electrification) went on for the better part of the day, so I decided to opt out of the lunch so I could take my mum down to Subway’s and have lunch together. We decided to ignore the body ache and go all out for a long walk while we were at it, this time to the port side. There were two reasons for heading in that direction, the first being that we figured we would not have time for a ferry ride but it would be a pity if we came all this way and didn’t enjoy the port-side view, and the second being the fact that the road there was lined with souvenir shops.
It was biting cold, but cloudless with the sharp sun blinding us as we walked down and up (the roads are very San-Franciscan like that) Albert Street to the port.
On the way we stopped at the OK Gift Shop
which is a very big store filled with all sorts of interesting souvenirs, from the touristy magnets and keychains, to the more traditional must-take-home woodwork, honey, jade and paua handicrafts. Some honey and gifts in hand, we walked towards to the port. It’s a short walk, not more than 5-7 minutes from the hotel to the port and a minute or so from the gift store, but it was in that short time that the weather suddenly went from being cold, bright and sunny to cold, grey and rainy just as we were about to cross the road to the port side.
All that stood between us and the ferry ticketing office… was the rain
We had no umbrella, obviously, but one of the great things about Auckland (and very UAE-like at that) is that there is a convenience store at almost every corner. So all we had to do was take a few steps back, duck into a convenience store, arm ourselves with an umbrella and retreat to the hotel. We were smart about our retreat though, because we crossed the road and headed back down on a road un-travelled. Which led us to discover the Kura Art Gallery
and yet another souvenir store, Aotea New Zealand Souvenirs
, which was unfortunately closed for stock-taking. We had a lovely walk though in the rain, which stopped just as suddenly as it had started.
After lunch, I headed back down to attend the biomedical session which was interesting to say the least., but it ended rather quickly which meant we were left with more time to kill till sunset (Yayy!) We decided to keep it light and take a walk in a different direction, this time heading towards wither Albert or Victoria Park. The weather was not too ominous but by the time we reached the turn for the park, it magically started to rain thus thwarting our plans for the second time in a day. Why, you ask, after we go our umbrella? Well because the wind sort of blew our umbrella inside out *sniff*. That spelled another hasty retreat to the comfort of our room where we ordered parsnip and lemon soup (very yummy, I might add!) and spent the rest of the night alternatively rehearsing, watching Maori TV, getting ready and resting ahead of the full day tour on Day 5.