Auckland 2017 – The Fourteenth Day

My last full day in Aotearoa New Zealand started with a few household chores undertaken in preparation for my departure tomorrow. Essentially this was a last round of washing, and some removal of garbage to the wheelie bins.

Once these essential tasks were undertaken, and while the washing was finishing, I went in search of a different cafe than the one that I had been attending regularly for the last couple of weeks. I remember seeing a cafe on my first day of exploring, way back when, that looked a likely place – my attention being drawn in the first instance by the cafe’s name – and after getting in the car I decided that today was the day to search it out and explore what it had to offer. And so it was back to Newmarket in search of what might be had at Caffe Massimo.

The reason for the attraction to the name – Caffe Massimo – was because just before I left for New Zealand I had attended a seminar offered by Dr Massimo Faggioli, a church historian and theologian whose writing I have come to admire both in terms of content and style. Seeing a cafe that bore that name cried out for exploration.

And just as I wasn’t disappointed with the seminar of Massimo Faggioli, I was disappointed by the fare to be had at Caffe Massimo. The food was positively yummy, the coffee was plentiful and bracing, and the ambience was almost exactly what I expected from a cafe named Caffe Massimo. I enjoyed myself immensely over a delightfully flavoured omelette and a bowl (yes, a bowl!) of coffee. The staff were friendly and efficient (much as I have experienced elsewhere in New Zealand), and didn’t mind an Aussie walking in – mind you that could be because I really tried to not give myself away too much.

After my leisurely breakfast, I went for a stroll around the streets of Newmarket, wanting to just explore and experience. Unfortunately, I came across one of my nemeses: a discount book store! Drawn by invisible and irresistible forces into said store, I spent a delightful half hour just wandering up and down the rows exploring what was on offer among the pile of piles of books almost calling out to be purchased by someone. Needless to say, I couldn’t resist the siren song and so I did surrender to the power of the books with a purchase (or two).

Having moved via the cash register, the siren song of all those books ceased, and was freed back onto the streets of Newmarket to continue my wandering and exploring. I didn’t walk much further lest I be trapped once more but returned to where the car was, with the hope that I could return to my flat for a quiet afternoon of finalising (as much as possible) those things that needed to be done prior to departing Aotearoa New Zealand tomorrow.

That, of course, didn’t happen. I fell asleep on the couch instead.

Thankfully I awoke in time to get ready for and get to the local Catholic church for Mass. I decided to walk this week since it wasn’t very far, and arrived with plenty of time to sit in the same seat as last week (yes, I know…) and ready myself for the celebration. Again, I struck the Parish Priest and just like last week, his homily for the Transfiguration was a good one.

Another quiet Saturday night in the flat, eating something I had cooked myself, came afterwards, a fitting end to this last full day of my trip to Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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