Solbit’s First Dinner Invitation

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

I got my first dinner invitation!  You have probably had a lot of dinner invitations already, but this is a BIG first for me.

A nice lady named Sue invited Papa and Nona to supper at her house here in Nelson, NZ.  When she phoned Papa, he accepted and asked, “What may we bring?”  She said, “I’m English, so don’t bring anything, but please be sure to bring your giraffe traveling companion.  What’s her name?”  Papa said, “She’s named Solbit,” but he didn’t tell her that I’m not a giraffe but rather an Iquanodon.


Sue gave me my first dinner invitation! (You know me. The other one is Sue.)

After he hung up, Papa went straight to his laptop, where I was already working on a new post for Tales of Plastic Jurassic.  He said that I’d have to get off my blog so that he could google “New Zealand etiquette.”

IMG_9884 Slaptop

Solbit has developed quite a typing technique on Papa’s laptop. You should see her hop!

“I know what New Zealand or Aotearoa is, but what’s etiquette?” I asked. Papa said, “As a wise fellow once said, ‘Etiquette is the art of being polite company.’ Each country has its own ways of behaving, and they expect others to follow those customs. Since we’re not from New Zealand, we need to learn what people in New Zealand want a guest to do at a meal. That would be ‘New Zealand etiquette.’  Once we know that, then we can be polite company at Sue’s supper.”

So, Papa googled “New Zealand etiquette” while I watched, and I learned how to be polite company at a dinner in someone’s home in New Zealand.  The night of Sue’s supper, when she called us to the table, I knew exactly what to do, and I was the first one to the table, too, but I did wait to be told where to sit.

DSC02635 - Version 2

This is a pretty place setting isn’t it?

You won’t want to know all about New Zealand etiquette now, but I have to tell you one thing.  Someboday made a mistake.

We learned on our Google search several things. One was that, when you are finished eating, you are supposed to put your knife and fork parallel to each other on your plate with the handles to your right.  Sue, her brother Chris (a really nice fellow), Papa, and I all did that. Guess who messed up? Nona.  I don’t know if she forgot or didn’t listen to Papa and me.  We waited until we got home to tell her about her mistake.  That was the polite thing to do.

We had a wonderful time at Sue’s supper.  I’m looking forward to getting another dinner invitation in our next country and learning the etiquette there.  By the way, how’s your dinner etiquette?

I’m your friend.



February 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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