Sunday, May 30, 2010



In a Forrest Gump kind of way it is amazing how you can be 10,000 miles from where you live and strangers find a way to make you feel right at home.

Texas Hold'em At 5:30pm, I am sitting with 30-40 strangers drinking Tui (the local beer) and playing Texas Hold'em Poker! Xbase a great backpacking hostel sponsors this daily event.


We are playing for a NZ$100 bar tab and just like home I don't win but there is a lot of fun and camaraderie. As the afternoon wears on all the poker players are Sharpie marked with a black “X”, most on the hand but a few on the forehead. I guess we ain't strangers no more.

“X” marks the spot for FREE PIZZA!!!! Domino's shows up around 8pm with an assortment of pizzas that we all enjoy in a civil manner. Free Poker, Free Pizza. Where's My Miller High Life? Does it get any better than this?

Mercure Hotel Around 9:00pm I leave my poker pals to check into Mercure Windsor (58 Queen St) for another night in Auckland City. I would highly recommend this hotel and City Lodge.


Soon I will explore what “The Kiwis” do once the sun goes down.


A light rain is falling as I walk north along Queen Street. The sounds of future Kiwi Rock Stars can be heard criss crossing an almost deserted Queen Street which has it's share of Karaoke Bars. A brief visit to one of them but I restrain my urge to share Frank Sinatra or Neil Diamond with them.


On TapAlthough other choices are available, soon I am having another pint of Tui at a British Tavern before it's “California” by Dr Dre  and again I feel right at home.

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