Monday, February 28, 2005

I saw the PM!

There was nothing for it! df’s sister-in-law was visiting and we had to do our bit to lay on some entertainment. What better than a Friday evening trip to the park where the Chinese community were celebrating the Lantern Festival to welcome in the Year of the Rooster?

After struggling through the chaos that is Auckland traffic, we reached the park. Surprise, surprise! A motley crowd of suited individuals were hovering around the gate. Clearly they weren't there to greet us. A quick "Hello, hello, hello, what have we here?" soon revealed that they were awaiting the arrival of Helen Clark, our Prime Minister. On closer inspection, we realised that the crowd included sundry other *important* people in New Zealand public life notably Don Brash, the leader of the Opposition, and Dick Hubbard the Mayor of Auckland. Each suit was accompanied by the regulation tidy, smiling Mrs Wife-of-important-person. All were there to take part in the opening ceremony. Why is it, wondered I, that male dignitaries almost always bring the wife to such events? And why, on the other hand, would it be thought odd if Helen Clark were to bring hubby? What a funny lot we are, are we not?

Speeches were made, lights were switched on and the festivities began. It was a very pretty sight. Sister-in law was happy, duty was done. A bonus, I bought myself one of those cone-shaped peasant bamboo hats that I've always wanted.


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