N is for "No" which is what my body said on Monday. The past few weeks of hectic activity finally had an impact - I slept all day on Columbus Day.
N is for New Zealand. In retrospect I wish I'd spent my year in NZ rather than Oz. I had a ticket on Air NZ so I stopped in NZ on the way there and back. I traveled from Auckland to Christchurch and just loved it. On my return to the US I stayed in Auckland with a friend whom I met in Canberra and visited a family in Rotorua whom I'd met on my first visit.
I also had a Kiwi boyfriend, from Masterton. [insert sheep joke here]
My most compelling memory of NZ is when I was in Auckland the second time. I borrowed my friend's bike and was crossing the street to see an exhibition in a park. I was hit by a car. Not hurt, just knocked off. A Maori policewoman helped me up and engulfed me in her bosom. She asked if I was OK and then said, "Are you Maori?" What if I had said yes? Would she have taken me home?
The Takoma Street Festival was fun but hot. My colleague graciously admitted that I was right to press for a canopy, which he thought too expensive. So we didn't have one. Result: a very deep tan.
The Ramadan dinner was OK. It was held at a restaurant that we'd been to before - the food wasn't that great and the service was indifferent. Maybe I've just been spoiled by years of homemade Moroccan food? There was a brief explanation of Islam and Ramadan by a Moroccan professor who was the first evangelical Muslim I'd ever heard. He actually exhorted to the audience to examine our hearts and accept the truth of Islam. Wow. Then he was followed by a belly-dancer. Nice.