The drink you have when you miss sucking on old bar mats

Petone remains the most convenient way to get the hell out of Wellington for a day, and the cost of the train ride is actually reasonable. The length and back again of Jackson Street is a nice long walk, with such not-available-in-the-central-city delights as the Dutch Shop, decent op shops, and rather too many shops which seem to sell second-hand everything except what you’re actually looking for. Although if you’re after, say, a paper towel spindle and book of French sporting cartoons it’s your lucky day.

Many of the stores in this street were hoping to reap the economic benefits of the RWC, but apart from slightly-fuller buses going into town, it’s business as usual. This has has obviously been disappointing for places like the UK Goodies store, but if you’re only in NZ for a week you’re not likely to develop a craving for jaffa cakes strong enough to want to pay three times their original cost. I did buy some Ben Shaws’ Bitter Shandy though, a soft drink “made with real beer!” which is less than 0.5% alcohol and subsequently something of a gateway drug.

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