New Zealand Air allowed me to carry my guitar into the cabin and stow it on the flights from L.A. to Auckland and again from Auckland to Melbourne, but unfortunately I may not do that on the flight from Perth to Auckland – even though there is plenty of space. We have been talking about a February/March 2008 return to Australia and New Zealand to do solo performances, and I will have to research how I can protect my guitar more during the flights. I have not had any trouble flying with my guitar in the USA since I switched to the Accord case and maybe there is hope that Quantas and NZA will become more sensible in time. BTW, Quantas employees told me that they do allow guitars in softbags into the cabin, but apparently NZA does not have the same rule since this morning I saw (and heard) a NZA baggage handler bring the guitar of a fellow traveler, which was in a softbag and had been denied the cabin, to the baggage claim area. He dropped it on the floor with a thud that spoke of wood hitting stone…
Our flight arrives in Auckland at 6:10AM local time which feels like 2:10AM Perth time to us… After the carnets are signed by customs we leave for the hotel and watch the sun rise.
Check out THIS Internet access rip-off in the CityLife Hotel in Auckland. I would reach 50MB by uploading just 15-20 photos to Flickr. But, I am told that internet access is not really expensive here and that people pay about the same for broadband in their homes and we do in the States. It’s just the hotels that charge unbelievable sums.
Jon and I have a wonderful lunch at Mezza (?) on Durham Street. In fact I enjoy it so much that I return for dinner – nice caipirinha, too!
Tonight’s performance is in Auckland’s Town Hall, which has a lovely organ and room for a large choir – hence the steps behind the stage:
After the performance I sign again and meet a young couple from Iraq who tell me that we have fans there.