Meanderings, Part 1.

September 3, 2008

As promised, I went to Timor this morning. Well, at least my taste buds did.

Armed with a bag of Timorese coffee beans, I hauled out my grinder and French press to prepare my daily caffeine fix. Richard Corney, of Flight Coffee, gave me the beans with a warning: they will light your hair on fire.

Sorry, Richard, didn’t happen. Not even a spark.

I find using the French press to make plunger coffee results a purer taste than the filtered variety. And, yes, the Timor coffee did pack a punch of sorts. But my hair is still intact. So is my head. And my heart. Good coffee but nothing exploded. Maybe next time.

Either I possess a cast-iron constitution, or I’m simply too numb first thing out of bed to feel much of anything.

I may have to boil more water and do a second taste test after I sign off. The problem with a French press is that the coffee quickly grows cold in the glass container. Well, at least it does in New Zealand, at the tail end of winter, in a house that is unheated and barely insulated (read typical Kiwi abode). Just one more reason to worship central heating.

Ask a Kiwi what he/she likes to do on Christmas Day and the answer usually has to do with some sort of outdoor activity, usually at the beach. In this part of the globe, on this side of the International Date Line, Dec. 25 falls in early summer. Think sunscreen, sunglasses, flowers, cold drinks, sandals, shorts, bikinis.

And yet the Christmas store that just opened here in Napier features Santa all rugged up in his furry red gear. There are snowflakes and icicles and reindeer everywhere. We’ll see the same motif when the Christmas cards appear.

I understand the whole opposite season thing, but it still seems strange to have the North American winter theme on display in a store where the air conditioning is blasting and you have to take off your sunnies to look at the displays. Where are the palm tree ornaments? The surfboards, the pineapples?

Ever notice how much you pay for razor blades? I bought four in a package today and it cost me $18.38. That rounds out to $4.60 per blade. I could have bought a new razor and two blades on sale for just under $10. Except I don’t need an extra razor. (Too many choices in the morning? Not good.)

It’s like the razor companies get you hooked on shaving and then, once you’re hopelessly addicted, once your cuddle bunny decides she likes rubbing up against the new, smooth you, they can charge whatever they like because they know you’ll keep coming back for your next whisker-whacking fix. Bastards!

Hmmm, wonder how I’d look in a beard?

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