Last post, I chipped my 2 cents in regarding the candidacy of Rick Perry for President in 2012, and of America’s residual love of tough-talking cowboys in general. It wasn’t until today, though, that I remembered a bit of personal history which I’d like to append to the previous post.
When my wife and I got married in 1996, our honeymoon was in New Zealand (go before you die; you will NOT be disappointed). We flew from LA into Auckland (which is where the vast majority of international travel arrives in New Zealand, even though Christchurch technically is an “international” airport as well). We then rented a car and drove southward through the north island of New Zealand, eventually arriving in Wellington, the north island’s southernmost city (side note: I felt compelled to actually eat Beef Wellington IN Wellington – and it was quite good). We then boarded the inter-island ferry from Wellington to Picton (the northernmost port city of the south island) and continued our car tour through the south island.
While we were still in the north island, though, we went through Rotorua and, being tourists, checked out some of the local attractions. One we kept hearing about, over and over, was something called the Agrodome. The Agrodome is essentially a working organic farm where they raise the usual variety of things…but their primary focus is the famous New Zealand sheep (and lamb). The difference between the Agrodome and other farms is that the Agrodome also has a full-scale theater/auditorium, where they show visiting tourists (and probably plenty of locals, as well) all about the lamb/sheep business. If the idea of watching a sheep farmer spend sixty-plus minutes on a stage, expounding on the fine points of shearing sheep and related matters sounds duller than dishwater to you, well, it did to me as well, at first. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, partially due to the surprisingly interesting nature of the subject itself and largely due to the equally surprisingly polished presentation of the genuine New Zealand sheep farmer who gave the presentation, it was thoroughly engrossing. Continue reading