Saturday, July 2, 2016

The 'Coast:'----I just can't help it------BUT

I keep doing it. it happens all the time. Perdy has changed forever, as she too is afflicted by this condition---'Coast Fever'! It seems we are not the only life forms that succumb to this phenomenon: I have a growing sense that the Thames township has a plan---well it's inhabitants do. When I came here, a month ago from the 'City over the water,' I was a tad nervous about how I would be accepted. Lets face it; Aucklanders have not always endeared themselves to other areas of New Zealand and they are sometimes on the receiving end of some quite petty and even nasty innuendos; take JAFA and some even stronger terms to describe us. At its worst, one could even say that it has approached 'parochialism plus! Thames is DIFFERENT. I am not sure of it is the fact that Auckland is almost visible, just across the water, or if history has united the two areas from way back. the links have always been strong and now that Auckland has 'exploded beyond the Bombay Hills, perhaps it is that my fellow JARS (Just Another Refugee) see it from the 'other side'---that Thames is a distant suburb! I hear that as mnay as 500 cars a day, travel to Auckland for work. In summary---it feels like for the most part, Thames welcomes these new arrivals. For me---the evidence for that statement is in the welcome I run into everyday. Perdy usually accompanies me and perhaps it is her who breaks the ice, as it were. It feels like I just can't go for a ten or twenty minute walk---because the 'walks' turn into 50 minutes---to an hour and a half, and Perdy has to sit and wait while I chat away to the fellow dog walkers and others who invariably greet us and start a little conversation that is added to as others join in. It happens twice a day. I totally forget the names, but remember the dogs' names. I hear all about how to circumvent the 'no dogs off the leash,' law but do not transgress it, not just because Perdy is a pain re 'returning,' but more because one does not endear oneself if local laws are broken by a JAR---well that was my thinking, but not that of locals. LOCAL now means this growing number of Aucklanders (Damn it---JARS is so much easier to type!). I guess I am coming to the realization that 'time is different' in Thames; being busy is fine, but taking time to connect with others is an unspoken rule. Maybe it is 'who' I am encountering everyday: Maybe they are like me---they have time to spare; they have had their 'fill' of the crazy busy life and want to pursue a more relaxed pathway.If that is 'their way,' then i have joined it--The Thames Way! I suspect there is no going back now---well maybe for a visit to remind why I did this 'Coastal thing!' It's not that I 'cant help it---it's that I don't want to be like---THEN!'

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