Friday, October 04, 2013

Further Flogging My Point: the Old Zealand Story

Just to further emphasize the point I was making below:

In the early 1990s, probably around 1992 or '93 it occurred to me that I didn't know where old Zealand was. As in, New Zealand must have been called "New Zealand" because somewhere else in the world was already called "Zealand." I knew where old Jersey, York, Hampshire, Mexico, France, Sweden, Amsterdam, South Wales, and any other "New"-place I could think of were, but I drew a blank with "Zealand."

It kinda bugged me, but not enough to spend an hour in the library trying to look it up. So instead, I just would ask people if they knew. It became a fallback question I would pose if the conversation lulled at dinner parties. For a while the issue was a small insignificant part of my life. When I was in law school the Prime Minister of New Zealand came to speak at the school. I went to the speech and raised my hand for the Q and A at the end. My question was going to be "where is old Zealand?" but he never called on me. I graduated law school in 1995 without knowing where old Zealand was.

In 1998, I met Ms. Noz in the Netherlands. She presented a paper at a conference in Veldhoven. I took some vacation time and met up with her in Amsterdam after the conference was over so we could travel around Europe together. At one point as I waited for Ms. Noz in the Amsterdam train station, I spotted it on a map that was posted at a kiosk. Mystery solved. It took me five to six years to find old Zealand.

Just now I googled up the answer in less than two seconds.

That is the world we now live in.