Archive | 2007

Gina explains Maori

23 May 2007

If a Maori looks at you, he primarily sees the representative of a long chain of ancestors who are standing behind you. When Gina said that to me I was thinking of that old school video clip of Michael Jackson, where he is followed by a long snake of figurines of himself. Do you remember this one?
Maori are very conscious of the fact that they could not exist without their parents. This is constantly emphasized during the marae ceremonies. These are not really comparable with the ceremonies in a church. From the view of an outsider the ceremonies in a marae looks less strict and formal. More friendly and merry. For example; if it’s a cold outside everyone will enjoy sitting inside at the marae against the walls on mattresses and in the middle is done what should be done. And please not too long because afterwards there’s provided a nice lunch.

Gina explains maori

Marae and mini church together

A Maori has no problem to win a pakeha as spouse or get married ‘in a white family’. It is not seen an increase or decrease of status, like in a lot of other countries. In previous centuries the Maoris were interested in marrying foreigners to bring overseas knowledge in their tribe. But nowadays that advantage is elaborated. Being the white member of the marriage there is no need to adapt a new religion or break with your family, like also is obliged at some religions. Even better: they are pleased to build a tiny mini church beside the marae, if you feel the need to do your own ceremonies.

And then; how blond the offsprings may be, as long as there exists a Maori blood line the child is linked to Maori ancestors. Exactly the same as a “real” Maori child. Blood lines goes beyond skin color. That’s not to say they deny skin color. Certainly not. A person’s race is simply called by name. No politically correctness here, because it is not a term of abuse. You are brown or you’re pink ?! And you have a special hook-nosed? The fact that there is no so-called mitigating term for a person’s race, shows that one party does not feel inferior to the other party. That applies to both sides. Maori are proud of what they are, but being proud doesn’t mean they have anything against the other. This is very hard to explain in the Netherlands. Dutchmen has difficulties to handle the word ‘pride’ if it is used in relation to country or heritage.
At first I thought the word MAORI printed on hats, t-shirts and suspenders was something folkloric, something to sell in the tourist shops, but it is not! Maori’s are wearing it all the time. Can you imagine a white Dutchman in the Netherlands wears a t-shirt with the word “DUTCHMAN” printed on it?
No. In some weird way that’s not done.
At the other hand: Here I cannot explain that in the Netherlands you get frown brows, if you are wearing a patch of the Dutch flag on your clothes. In the Netherlands the word pride (country or heritage related) is too much interpreted as “I’m better than you”.




Vanity press

10 May 2007

vanity booksI missed out the last art contest of this year. More than a week before the closing date I had sent the picture of the ice landscape to Christchurch, but I got it back. With a note attached that my entry had arrived too late (?!)
So, a giant crate of 40 kilo can be shipped to Hong Kong in 2 days, but a letter within New Zealand would take more than a week??? Yeah … right.

A while ago I got a book, called Dreamscape. It contains 40 artists of a certain genre, with the intention to catch the interest of specific galleries and art collectors.
Of course, I’m not stupid. Many requests of publishers of art books already have been flipped through my spam filter. When a publisher emails me that I am his ultimate discovery for their great contemporary art encyclopedia … that happen to have just being in progress, but there is still one spot available … And furthermore I’m told that the previous books have been blockbusters and the artists all became famous …
Little detail is that you -as the ultimate discovery- strangely enough is addressed as ‘dear Clogs. P’ or as dear Lincpat (my digital nickname since the internet was born).
Another small detail is that it will cost you $ 4000
For that amount of money you get a moderate printed book where your images are printed among hundreds of other desperate souls. Yes, artists are also a target group with their own weaknesses.

Dreamscape however, is published in the Netherlands by the man who also prints my giclées. He is the only person I have that much business confidence in to hand over my precious digital files. The difference is; his book is about one particularly style/genre. Art lovers mostly have a particularly style they love. Art book lovers too. I believe that art book lovers rarely buy books with ALL kind of styles, because than the biggest part of that book is filled with stuff they don’t appreciate.




Hong Kong replied

6 May 2007

It had been six weeks since the Hong Kong people had emailed me for the first time. After their cancellation for a meeting, I didn’t want to show any sign of too much eagerness, so I waited for them to re-contact.
This week I received an email back indeed. They asked me if I was still interested. And they wrote that they had organized to get some crates of New Zealand art to Hong Kong to fly on 8 May. I could put on the pallet my stuff too. That was sounding very positively decisive, but first I wanted to get an agreement about my wishes. To get my paintings at the airport was too short time anyway.

A commission of 40% instead of 50%, I think is more than sufficient. In exchange I was willing to pay for transportation costs myself (but of course I didn’t say that), because for me that even turn out better than paying 50% commission with free shipping.
Furthermore, I had raised some business things; including my pet peeve that I wasn’t willing to hassle about discounts to customers. How many times have I heard that gallery owners give discounts and then want to pass that on to the artist(!) In such cases the artist often agrees like a sausage already dangling in front of him. I don’t want to do anything with the favours of a gallery owner to his customers. Selling is his job. Painting is mine.
The next morning I already got a reply … all I asked was okay.
That same afternoon we quickly wrapped up three of my oldest surviving paintings and called the courier. The Hong Kong gallery already put the images on their website.
The only thing now I have been tolerant in … is that I have not a real agreement on paper with a signature.
Dangerous, isn’t it?
hong kong repliedhong kong repliedBut yeah, I know where they live …

In the meantime, I painted these wooden shoes for Gina, wit a Maori pattern:




Exquisite corpse: Morning before the bbq

25 April 2007

An excorps is 1 drawing created by 2 artists, in this case Peter van Oostzanen and me.
Peter first drew half a paper (on the right side) and covered most of it before sending it to me.
Working from the small visible part of his drawing, it was up to me to fill the other half.
After completion, the best part of course is the revelation of the hidden section.

I had never done it before, but I think especially for surrealists it almost never turn out wrong. On the narrow strip that was visible for me I saw an almost complete bird and a tail. The bird looked as if he just was beaten. Or had a hangover.

Exquisite corpse

This was the visible part I got …

Exquisite corpse

… and this was what I added.

Exquisite corpse

This was the hidden section …..

Exquisite corpse

And here the full scene 🙂

Happiness

16 April 2007

The Hong Kong gallery couple cancelled the meeting after arriving at the New Zealand airport. They could not fit me into their schedule. I assume that when they are back in Hong Kong, they will email me again to inform me about the next steps.
Before knowing this I had tried to make the house guest-proof. A big spring-cleaning including hand washing a curtain.
The smell of the detergent brought me all the way back to the first weeks in New Zealand when our washing machine was still in the sea container. Those days I had to wash everything by hand and apparently I was pretty happy with that, because the smell memory of today brought me in a kind of serene mood.

happiness

For the same reason I love the smell of the repellent spray against sand flies, because it reminds me of working in the vegetable garden for the first time in my life. The discovering I was able to produce my own veggies had made me happy.
Also the song of the tui (a New Zealand bird that can create the fascinating sound similar to the metal cymbals of a drum set). The first summer he continuously had ‘drummed’ in our garden, but this summer I had rarely heard him. The few times I did hear him, I popped right back to the happy first weeks.
Now I’m wondering … could a person only be happy with retroactive effect? Is it because happiness is made of the same elusive stuff as smells and sounds? I thought in those early NZ days I was not happier than I am at this moment, but maybe I should have to conclude: How happy I am now … I only can smell next year.

The big cleaning was not for nothing, because later that week a family member from the Netherlands came to visit us. It was the son of my grandmother’s sister. We have met 34 years ago.

I’m not sure, but when we shook hands and I automatically turned my face to do the ‘European 3-kiss’ I noticed my uncle shrank for a moment. That’s fair of course. Let’s be honest; the European 3-kiss is quite a stupid habit if you are hardly familiar with the person. I just hope it’s not something worse than my 1 clove of garlic a day 🙂

Half an hour later I wiped a few spikes of hair out of my eyes and suddenly I had a white substance on my hand … Oh fucque! Just before uncle’s arrival I had forgotten to spread out the sunscreen on my skin. I only had squeezed out two round white dabs on my forehead and then hastily picked up the phone to give my uncle directions to find our house.
During that hand shake he must have thought that I had a brutal form of forehead acne. Or I was married twice to an Indian guy, or so.




Art cars

The Opel Kadett (1975) was the very first car I owned in my life. I didn’t call myself an artist yet (it was 1990), I was just working in an accountancy office and still living in the Netherlands, in Alkmaar.

Somewhere in that period I visited the Maritime Museum ‘Prins Hendrik’ in Rotterdam. They showed a special theme about the camouflage of ships during World War I.
On the way back from the exhibition the idea came up to paint my old (green) car in the same way as the ships.
I tried to make it look unbalanced if you look on the back side of the car, by painting a kind of oblique shape around the license plate, the rear lights and the back window. The wheel openings turned out especially well; they looked like they were cut out in a square form.
It took me 2 weeks in total (after work and in the weekends) and probably 200 meter mask tape to paint the car white and then add the black paint.


Still untouched ... Between the shrubs you see me working on the hood The first one ... art car ... and after all, the most effective one. After a few years of fun, I had to let her go ... dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment ...

In advance I never had thought about people’s reactions, but sometimes there comments were quite amazing.
Most people were just positively surprised. In fact … often I even got unlawfully right of way, so people got a few more seconds to observe this weird thing. I am an introvert person, but safe in my cookie tin I was excited about the funny reaction and thumbs up.
On the other hand, obviously the car sometimes raised some negative feelings to some people. Because I was living in the inner center of the city, I always needed to park my car in the second ring. One day in my favourite parking street, a furious woman came out of her house yelling out that I never may park that nasty, dirty car in her field of vision any more. She screamed that it was a shame! She was under the impression that the black parts where the sooty reminders of a fire.
Another thing I noticed were the empty parking spots beside my car. Even on a busy day the free spaces beside my car stayed empty the longest. Maybe people were afraid that some lunatic would jump out the car and do the same thing with their cars …. 🙂

Book 'Stripes' by Linda O’KeefeHere is an illustrated article about the camouflaged ships.

Once in a while I get requests of people to use the images of especially this car, for different projects. The last one was for a book about stripes. And use as material for an exhibition about WW1 ships at ANMM Australian National Maritime Museum.

After a few years of fun, I had to let her go … dying in front of the junk yard, grabbing attention till the last moment.
All in all … having this car was a quite amazing period. Looking back, now I can say; those stripes were the first steps of my change of profession from book-keeper to artist.

After the black & white Opel I didn’t want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time, so I made a blue ‘zig-zag’ one.

After the black&white Opel I didn't want to drive in a plain car any more. It was too funny to get right of way most of the time.

Then our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off….. the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

Our boxy little Fiat Panda was just the right car for an intricate tartan pattern. It took some careful planning and a couple of days of concentrated painting but in the end all my efforts payed off..... the car looked like a shopping bag on wheels! In 1992 we travelled to Hungary. The car was small enough to park under an abandoned trailer.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

This visually distractive pattern is based on the use of opposite colors. Fortunately the Citroen was red to start with so that made painting a bit easier. It still was a lot of work creating the sharp edges needed to maximize the effect. It was hurting the eyes.

And this … this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.

And this ... this was no joke anymore. My pride and joy till today.

Hard to get

31 March 2007

The New Zealanders Mark & Chin Chye own a gallery in Hong Kong and via email they let me know they were charmed by my work.
As far as possible by the internet, I did a thorough digital ‘investigation’ and there seems to be no hoax-alert. The space looks large and the gallery seems to be focused on sculptures and of course I will be only one of many, but it is a city of 8 million people on a few square meters. And certainly not all penniless.
Next week the couple is in New Zealand and possibly we could organize a meeting.
Before however, I shall briefly gauge their ‘attitude’ to my new policy. For example; a commission of 50% is really too much for me. Because recently I wrote here -right on this blog- that I was thinking to quit to deal with galleries.
Now you need to know that some principles are born to be thrown overboard, but to throw myself right in the arms of the first popping up ‘new Fisher’ … is a bit objectionable too, isn’t it?

So, I wrote the Hong Kong people about a few points we needed to talk about, with the negotiating commission as the most important issue. They wrote back that there is room for negotiation about everything and they wanted to meet me as their schedule permits (next week).
Once I was a gallery-owner myself and those days I couldn’t help to handle from the view of the artist.
In any case, it is unprecedented that the Hong Kong people will insure my artworks and the costs for shipment on their behalf. That’s promising!

hard to getAnd about the ongoing contests and awards … I had sent an image of Populus Flucta to the Norse Wear in Napier. But today I received a letter that it was unselected.




Wellington

19 March 2007 (New Zealand)

Because all the highlights of New Zealand are located far away from each other, every tiny collection of rusty old things or every better designed garden, immediately is touted as THE centerpiece of the day in the info-guides.
Sometimes these highlights can be somewhat disappointing for tourists who are used to a much higher degree of amusement. However a few go-getting entrepreneurs are trying to brush this up with Bungee jumping and Zorbas to adrenalinazing the face of New Zealand, you better stay away if you just love the polished perfection of Disney World.
Wellington
I love Disney at times, but I also appreciate the New Zealander who tries to make something out of nothing, without being bothered by the expectations of the spoiled tourist. Or even don’t have a fainted idea of what those expectations may be.
Above all New Zealand is famous for its breathtaking scenery, but did you know that nature is also quite boring? Magical and incredibly beautiful, but if you are not susceptible to a lot of shades of green, you won’t survive the boredom. Just like that dreadful Lord of the Rings.
Frankly, I find New Zealand personally a great place to live, but for that fairy tale feeling I more need pictures of the Far East. But you better do not live in a fairy tale, because then where do you have to go on vacation?
Wellington
Together with Frank’s parents we slowly have been driven to Wellington in our car. Wellington is located at the lower tip of the North Island. After 1 week Frank and I went back to Whakatane by plane and the parents booked the ferry to explore the South Island.
But now, what were the highlights of our little trip?

The first stop was the Waitomo Caves, or the glow-worm caves. You can see the glow worms hanging on the slimy ceilings of the caves, while you are sitting in a boat sailing through small waters. Frank and I already had seen them on our first trip in 2003, so we stayed in our hotel and let the parents do the event. That didn’t matter because that morning we had seen the most fantastic stalagmite in the world. A long time ago the concierge of the hotel had created a huge yellow/brown/grayish sculpture of silicone sealant, right in the corner of our bathroom! Over the years it had gotten a glossy patina of mucus and that had attracted a variety of pubic hairs.
I’m sorry I didn’t think to use my camera at that moment of discovering.

Mount Ruapehu is a high snowy volcano. At the foot, in the village of Ohakune they sell skis. There wasn’t much to do, but it was so quiet and peaceful. An atmosphere like in your childhood days on a warm autumn day when you played truant, and there was no one else on the street.
Wellington
In Whanganui something happened to me of what every superficial woman is hoping for … a rival fellow woman recognized me wearing the only piece of designer clothing I own!!! Only sold in New York and Los Angeles (and Tauranga), for the price of a decent used moped. I was proud! I had bought it prior to the first art contest, at the time that I was still confident of winning. Anticipating the series of speeches I should have to do on stage. Haha.
Sad, isn’t it? But the contest attempts aren’t over yet.

Wellington itself was a city like so many other cities. The highlight was the botanical garden with a small fish pond in a greenhouse. I stuck my finger in the pond and left it there for a good ten minutes to let it be kissed by a few dozens of fish. That mentally excited me to such heights, that at night I ordered the second bottle of beer in my life. The first was in 1982.




Marae part 1

3 March 2007

Two weeks ago Frank’s parents arrived at the airport for their second visit to new Zealand. After they had stayed with us for only 1 day, they had to return to the Netherlands because mum’s brother was suddenly deceased.

One week ago we visited a marae. We were the only white people. Our friend Gina is a maori lady and she was keen to show us ‘her’ marae. She had this special date in mind because on that particularly day a group of students would practice an official ritual to welcome foreigners and for their first trial they wanted us playing (being) the foreigners (together with a number of visitors who were Maori descent). “Having scary whites in the audience would make the test-ritual more real”, she said, full of humour as Gina is.

marae

marae

The welcome is accompanied by spoken recitation and singing. We didn’t understand anything of the words because it happened in their own language, but Gina whispered what was said. Such as: “Now the 2 missing guests are mentioned, because they had to bury their brother.”
Gosh, I was impressed that they compassionately included Frank’s parents in their speech …

Maori rituals are not really comparable to those we know from a church. The Maori culture is not strictly a religion, but more a kind of preservation of their history. Through song, stories and dances their knowledge is transferred to the next generation; especially knowledge of their extensive network of origin. Where most nations worship their gods, Maoris worship their ancestors. They have great respect for the chain of generations going back to the time we were able to save our asses with a bat.

MaraeMaraeWith that in mind I suddenly began to worry about their opinion on deliberate childlessness. My ego to interrupt a million years old chain with my own interfere! Maybe they could see it to me. And they will eat me … “As it is not admitted in so many words; there are the people thrown into a cooking pot back then, when New Zealand was still called Aotearoa”, Gina cackled diabolically.

After the boring (not understood spoken) part of about 45 minutes, the hosts stood in queue like as at a reception. The guests had to walk along the line to shake hands or press noses. I think about half of the approximately 30 hosts dared to give me a nose. The purpose of the nose press is that you take in a collective breath.

Then everyone went to a larger building next to the marae. There were long tables with food. Now I clearly could estimate how many people were there. Perhaps 200. Everyone was talking and directly started to eat. Meanwhile, the group of students performed a dance that looked a little less formal. They were not wearing the grass skirts that you see at the tourist Maori feasts.
MaraeMarae part 1The whole event seemed to have no ‘leadership’, but it seemed like a well-oiled machine. After dinner there was a group of ladies in the large kitchen doing the dishes and we’re going to help. Hoping they wouldn’ t throw us in the freezer for the next time. We and the Maori’s made jokes and fun about the common prejudices and they were absolutely not offended.




Hammy

18 February 2007

And than … after the art competitions Wally & Molly I continued to Hammy.
Hammy is Hamilton. A nice town in the middle of the North Island, where the ‘Painting and Printmaking Awards’ were be held.

hammyA few weeks ago I had sent my painting Polytrichum Antrum to the jury. Not because I considered this one as a leading contender, but because I had no other painting available at that moment. According to me it doesn’t matter which painting I send. Every time I’m full of confidence that I gloriously will win … and every time the jury has completely different thoughts.

hammy

The preview just before the official opening.

I try to find a pattern; The winner of Wally did frantic attempts in the competition circuit during a few years. So after a while his name became familiar at the juries in this small country. I think I should follow his lead and next time try to get Wally’s attention with one of my monster sizes!
The winner of Molly’s competition was a local celebrity who drags away one or more prizes every year. But I don’t think I will give Molly a second chance to get a real Van Lubeck next year. The exhibition afterwards was a bit of a ‘different genre’ of what I’m looking for.

hammyHammy was in professionalism as well as in location of the exhibition and the amount of the prizes close to Wally. To my pleasure my painting was in the final selection, along with 50 others, chosen from 200 submissions. However, I even didn’t win 1 of the 6 bottles of champagne. Let alone the grand prize of $ 15,000. What I did get was the notice of ‘visitor’s favorite choice’. Isn’t that better than a choice of the jury?

hammyLuckily later that night, on the street, I got a sincere compliment of a drunkard, about my glitter blouse …
That was the most satisfying end.




Molly

28 January 2007

From the contest Wally we smoothly move over to Molly.
Molly Morphet is an art contest in our own Whakatane and in the local papers I just read that 184 entry forms have been received. Less than Wally, but the prestige and amount of prize money also is smaller.

mollySo, today we have delivered ‘Cyphomandra Vitra’ at the back door of the War Memorial Hall; the community center where all the village highlights are happening.
This week, a jury will view the 184 entries and then 60 of the best paintings will be hanged for a short weekend exhibition. The refused artworks need to be quickly removed before the exhibition weekend, otherwise they will be trashed. Friday night will be handed out a grand prize of 5000 dollar and some smaller prizes.

The paintings from the exhibition in Dunedin are returned home.
All of them. Yes dear readers, the career of an artist is paved with disappointments! The gallery owner asked me to keep them for a longer period, but I wanted them back because of this art weekend in our Whakatane. Imagine that 1 big customer fancy an impulse purchase.
These things happen. Isn’t it?!

Well …
It’s Friday morning now …

My painting is not selected by the jury of Molly. They even weren’t willing to hang it!
While in the selected artworks, sometimes more than 1 painting per artist had been selected!
Tsah! What a humiliation!

Phew, I take it as my painting looks too professional. Or at least ‘too unusual’. Because … amongst the selected works there was no kind of art I had never seen before. Of course Art doesn’t need to be innovative per sé, but I still prefer something modern which is original, above the thousandth Bob Ross landscape or another more aquarelled children’s face.
There were a few really nice things (about 2 …) but also a lot of canvasses which made me cry (and not because I was touched).

But okay, I got it. The conclusion is; I better don’t join in to every contest out there. For an art contest at the local mall you apparently have to submit ‘local mall art’. I didn’t realize that. I thought I easily could bump away the other artists, just like an elephant.
So now I understand, I’ll have to compete against these art school types. It is difficult to accept, but rather a fight against a knitted hedge trimmer (like seen at Wally’s) than against inadvertently disabled Bambi in a bright green field of non-opaque paint (sorry, no photo).

Tsss, that arrogance of Mrs Van Lubeck, huh?!




Loose trifles

13 January 2007

After more than a year living in New Zealand, I have written about most of the things that were remarkable to me, comparing to what I was used to in the Netherlands . There are still a lot of loose trifles that I could not squeeze into a story, but I will mention them below.

Loose trifles

No restraint to publicly disgracing thiefs.

The New Zealand children are super polite! When we walked the neighbour dog and she suddenly began to bark meanly at some oncoming children, they thanked us after we called the dog to order … Without any trace of mockery!

In the Netherlands many people are have a guy who comes monthly to clean the windows. In New Zealand many people have a guy coming monthly for lawn mowing. I never have seen a window cleaner in new Zealand and never have seen a lawn mower company in the Netherlands.

Here on television they are still advertising for Abba and Boney M.

In New Zealand there is much less of a disposable culture. Everything is used to the bone and then fluffed up and recovered. After there is nothing left to recover, it appears on the online auction or at one of the hundreds op shops (opportunity shop). In every little village you find 3 second-hand stores at least.
For example; a television advertisement for refrigerator rubbers is not uncommon. Of course it makes sense because you don’t throw away a fridge if only the rubbers are wore out, but at the same time I think: What has been the road to start a company in fridge rubbers? And apparently earn enough money to pay for a television ad. And why do I never have seen worn out fridge rubbers in the Netherlands?
Talking about rubbers and ads … Usually we quickly press the mute button as soon as the ads are starting. So lately, without sound, we saw a very worrisome advertising; A girl in a floral bikini wiggling on a white beach, along a sparkling sea and graceful sipping on a cocktail. Between scenes, there was a scary wrinkled hand flopping on such a thin rubber white glove. We began to be a little apprehensive about this combination. Not lessen after it abruptly zoomed in to heavy pink cow udders. …
Oh yes, of course! It was an advertisement for milk gloves. And you could win a prize to Haiti if you bought 100 gloves. Hence the bikini.

Because carelessly disposal apparently is not in their nature, I caught TV presenters wearing the same clothes for 3 times!
Ok, they wore them a few weeks apart, but I noticed it anyway!
Or is that just weird of ME? The fact that I noticed?

At this end of the world they shamelessly still sell duvet covers and upholstery with … the Playboy logo on it!
And no, the funky phenomenon ‘camp’ has never arrived here, so that can’t be the reason. They are deadly serious about it.

How to wipe out the front of your store from a bunch of teenagers, in an effective and peaceful way?
Here in our village is an eating place called the “Two Dollar Pie Shop” where during the day teenagers hanging out at the door and occupy the sidewalk. The shopkeepers in the neighborhood complained that their business is declining because passersby are tired of their begging for a dollar. Customers began to avoid that part of the street.
The retailer got an idea to wipe out the infamous hangout; Nowadays on its exterior always blares the same CD of Nana Mouskouri. He can’t hear it inside. It helps. Now the students hastily buy their dough and look elsewhere for shelter.

Here parking attendants put a chalk mark on the wheel of your car to make sure you’re off within the specified time. There are not much places you need to pay parking fee. The only parking restrictions are the signs that says how long you are allowed to occupy the lot. In larger cities, of course there is paid parking if you want to stay longer than 2 hours in the center.
Loose triflesThe photo shows a parking meter in Tauranga (in our Dutch eyes a cross between a large village and a small city). The parking meter is a flat box with small boxes behind a glass screen. On the front you can find the number of your lot, and at the back of the slots you can put in your coins.
So … at the front side you can see if someone already paid for your parking spot that day … (or is it just me?)
Most slots , by the way, look as if they already are violently dishonored.