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New Zealand

April 4th, 2010 Comments off

This is my last travel post. Arriving home in New Zealand is a strange feeling. I was strangely elated to be back in the land of the long white cloud, where a properly inflected “Mate.” or “Aw, bro.” is an acceptable complete sentence, and where barista’s will actually make my “long black” instead of pushing buttons on a machine. It’s nice to have a working EFT-POS card again as well.

Compared to Europe, New Zealand is empty. Auckland airport at 3pm on the Wednesday before Easter, with plenty of people trundling around in preparation for the break, simply felt barren. After the endless cavernous halls of Singapore Changi International Airport, Auckland airport felt a bit small. Of course, if you want a really small airport, trying Faleolo International Airport in Samoa sometime, which is a hut, with stray cats.

I think the trip away was good for me, if for no other reason that I now appreciate some things about New Zealand a lot more. Like the fact that a single layer of clothing is sufficient most of the time. Or that I can afford to live in the middle of the city. I missed the laid back attitude and friendliness of people. Since landing, I’ve chatted to the customs clerks, to random people in the airport, to people on the plane from Auckland to Wellington, to people serving me in the supermarket, the liquor store, the cafe staff… Maybe it’s because for a month I was a foreigner, but nobody seemed to do that in Europe.

Already I miss some things about Europe too. Particularly music. I was getting into Waldeck before I took off, which I randomly heard one day on a shoutcast stream. I couldn’t find the CD anywhere in New Zealand. In Europe, I heard it everywhere. If I’d been there for one more day more, I could have heard the Flogging Molly‘s in London. I did go see Phantom of the Opera though, having bought my ticket the day before. Try that in Wellington.

So, I’m back. Hopefully a little wiser, a little more accepting of differences, and a little more appreciative of what I have at home.

In retrospect, I did one make right choice. Around June last year, I decided I was going to move to London. Then I got a girlfriend, and that didn’t happen. This was probably a good thing. I like London, and if I stayed in Hamilton, having never moved to Wellington, it would have been awesome. But I did, and London would have simply been Wellington, but more so.

Will I move over for a couple of years anyway? Maybe. Ask me when the jet-lag wears off.