The Golden Bear brewery on Mapua wharf fills an ideal role as a social hub of the community.
Given that New Zealand's a village and Mapua is thus the equivalent of your own house, you're not surprised to bump into people you know in the same way that it's no surprise to bump into the wahine when you head to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
The other night, it was neighbour Don Wylie, Arthur, a retired farmer and acetylene addict whose massive Clydesdale sculpted from horseshoes graces Nelson airport's terminal building, potter Darryl Frost and landlady Elspeth Collier and her partner Kim.
And you meet nice new people too.
"Metro", an Auckland monthly that balances occasional good journalism with fluffy society stuff has a running gag in identifying paparazzi victims at media events as "Vistors from Hawkes Bay".
In other works: country bumpkins
By chance, I parked myself next to Andy and Ness and after both laughing at an outrageously gross joke in the Gig Guide that we were reading separately, they asked me whether it was my local.
Because it wasn't theirs.
Andy and Ness were Visitors from Nelson - about 30 minutes by car - vacationing for the weekend in Mapua and anything but country bumpkins
What a pleasant evening!
Both geologists - which allowed me to impress them (probably not, actually) - with my knowledge of the subject (comprising the 2 expressions Prof Heliospheric taught me - metamorphic and katabatic) - but neither working in their field.
Andy ( a Brit) is MD of Southern Wilderness, which operates gourmet walking tours through the numerous national parks in the area and Ness is an incipient midwife.
And she really IS from Hawke's Bay......