Sky-High views

26 Jun

The new boss, James, suggests I go up the Sky Tower and photograph his Wynyard Quarter Tramway.  This I do clutching the $20 he gave me from petty cash.  I am not a great one for great heights and set off with trepidation.  It’s not hard to find, being Auckland’s single 320 metre landmark.  I get my Gold Card discount and take off in one of the high-speed lifts.  I am thinking if I was doing this in shaky Christchurch, I wouldn’t be doing this.  Comforted in the belief Auckland is free of major seismic events, and two lift rides later, I am taking my first tentative steps at the highest level.  Five minutes later and I am gaining my sky legs in the belief the floor is not going to fail under my feet, and admiring the vistas- 80 km in any direction the brochure I am clutching informs me.  I snap images while making a 360 degree self-guided tour of Sky Deck.  A cruise liner looks like one of those dinky toys I coveted in boyhood.  I love the shimmering light on Westhaven Marina and there it is- the tram.  So small and slow.  Like an animated arthritic turtle.  In another direction is the quaint heritage town hall.  I feel happy to be here and, confident I have captured the images I need, sit down to relax with the views.  I am soon in conversation with an Indian guy identified by the red dot at the centre of his forehead.  With excellent English he tells me he is living in Canada.  He has almost completed his New Zealand tour with his Indian wife still darting around with her digi camera aiming in all directions.  Should I ask his impressions?  I have no need to.  He waxes lyrical about the scenery and friendly New Zealanders.  He then tells me of all the countries he can visit, New Zealand is the only one really worth the effort of long travel.  I descent reluctantly but with the feeling the experience had provided a satisfying buzz.  I give into temptation and put James’s $2 change into a large jar and crank a handle.  It is returned in an elongated shape embossed with a clown called “Scotty.”  I will not report James’s response except to say I thought he displayed remarkable restraint.  I suspect if it hasn’t happened already, it will be souvenired from the Tramway petty cash box.

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