Land Of The LETS Green Dollar
Copyright � James Taris


John Grant drove me to the ferry early this morning. He was a magnificent host.

13. Sunday, April 6
(Wellington ... Picton .. Nelson)

James Taris Alias John Gilmartin!

Last night I'd contemplated shaving my beard off. It was getting a bit too long and untidy. And this morning it still looked bad. So off it went. John was a little surprised.

"Why did you shave it off?" he said. "I've just emailed your photo to Neville who'll be picking you up from the ferry this morning. Now he won't be able to recognize you!"

The Lynx, Wellington's newest and fastest ferry, was leaving at 8am. John got me there in time, but with a little surprise.

"Here's your ticket," he said. "It's got John Gilmartin's name on it, but it was going to cost too much to change it to your name. So you'll be John Gilmartin for the duration of the trip."

"But what if they want to check my ID?" I said.

"They won't do that," he assured me. "The only problem that may arise is if the ferry sinks, because they'll think that John drowned when it was really you."

Well, that's not exactly what I wanted to hear. Nevertheless, I got onto the boat without any hassles, and lay back in a comfortable chair for most of the 2 and a quarter hour trip.

Grandad Menace And Juvenile Drivers

I think I recognized Neville about the same time he recognized me. He was waiting at the bottom of the stairs with his wife, Christine, near the baggage collection area. Neville was a member of Blenheim LETS and had made the trip to pick me up because he had some family or friends that he wanted to visit in Nelson. And that's where I was going too.

As we began our 90-minute trip, Neville pointed out the banana grapefruit vines that were growing plentifully amongst the thick growth on the side of the hills.

"See those pink flowers," he said. "They're grapefruit. My grandfather planted them all along the hillside about 30 years ago to feed the possums. They've become quite a menace since then."

He stopped the car and picked some fruit that had fallen onto the road. He broke the soft yellow flesh and began to eat the fruit. Then he gave me one to try. It was surprisingly sweet, so I had a couple more.

Back in the car Neville mentioned that children could get their drivers license at 16. In fact, 3 or 4 years ago it was at 15! But there were a couple of special conditions. Firstly, there was a curfew set for drivers under 18, so they weren't allowed to drive between 10pm and 7am. And the other condition was they weren't allowed to carry passengers until they turned 18. I guess this was one way to keep the road toll down!

Nelson LETS Presentation

Once in Nelson, I was taken straight to my LETS hosts. Eva Pick and Ian welcomed me, and soon I had settled in to my room. I was due to give my presentation to Nelson LETS at 3pm, so Graeme Tyree came to pick me up at 2.45pm. We all met at Caf� Affair and I gave my first presentation in a public place. Again, the meeting went well, with much interest shown by all those attending.

This article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green Dollar

About the book

James Taris web sites