Polly Evans was a woman with a mission. Before the traditional New Zealand male hung up his sheep shears for good, Polly wanted to see this vanishing species with her own eyes. Venturing into the land of giant kauri trees and smaller kiwi birds, she explores the country once inhabited by fierce Maori who carved their enemies’ bones into cutlery, bushwhacking pioneers, and gold miners who lit their pipes with banknotes—and comes face-to-face with their surprisingly tame descendants. So what had become of the mighty Kiwi warrior?
As Polly tears through the countryside at seventy-five miles an hour, she attempts to solve this mystery while pub-crawling in Hokitika, scaling the Southern Alps, and enduring a hair-raising stay in a mining town where the earth has been known to swallow houses whole. And as she chronicles the thrills and travails of her extraordinary odyssey, Polly’s search for the elusive Kiwi comes full circle—teaching her some hilarious and surprising lessons about motorcycles, modern civilization, and men.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Kiwis Might Fly|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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|Parent title||Kiwis Might Fly|
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Kiwis Might Fly
Rocking the Cradle
“So,” Siân, my neurologist friend, asked brightly, “are you going to wear one of those motorcycle helmets that covers the back of your head up to your fourth cervical vertebra, so that if you crash you’re left quadriplegic, or are you going to get one of those higher-cut ones so that you’re killed outright instead?”
My stomach lurched. I was deeply afraid.
It had all started a few months earlier, when I’d read a survey that claimed the ordinary Kiwi bloke was about to turn up the toes of his gum boots. He was, apparently, hanging up his sheep shears and moving to the city. A new masculinity was rearing its pretty, hair-gelled head. Men were waxing their backs. In ten years, said the survey, the traditional, hirsute New Zealand man would be dead.
The early New Zealanders had been virile and vigorous. The Maori were fearless warriors. Then the Europeans had arrived after arduous journeys across thousands of miles of treacherous ocean. The life that awaited them was hard.
New Zealand men grew up to be strong. They slaughtered whales, panned for gold, and felled timber. They learned to play rugby. Fearlessly, they drank home-brewed beer. Then something went wrong. The environment changed; the spe-cies had to mutate. Volcanic eruptions? Tectonic shifts? An overboiling of the primordial soup? No. It was none of these things. It had more to do with washing machines from Japan.
With the arrival of airplanes and domestic appliances, the fences came unstuck for the traditional New Zealand man. What did it matter if he could mend a tractor using three bits of old wire and a pot of distilled sheep dung when spare pa...