I had a bit of an adventure today, while I was getting another parking permit. On Market Street near 5th/Powell, every day a large group of homeless people, a few druggies and random other people meet to play chess or gamble. But mostly chess.
So I ended up playing chess with some random guy on the street, and fielding questions about my accent ("hey, yoh've got ahn aaccent... where yoh fram" - no kidding!), moas or the lack of them thereof, Wellington weather and (from the druggie sitting next to me casually rolling what looked suspiciously like a joint) whether New Zealand was next to Amsterdam, whether I had ever been to Amsterdam, what drugs were common in New Zealand and whether New Zealand had the "best weed".
I left as soon as I could.
The guy I played chess with was nice, though, and pointed out all my mistakes nicely and said that if I played one game a day for a few weeks, I'd soon be able to beat most people since I already knew the basic moves and some (very unsophisticated) strategy.
Here is how the board looked afterwards...
(Blaise, this is for your edification entirely. Please refrain from commenting how much I suck at chess. You already know that.)