I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULD WRITE SOMETHING ON MY MOST MEMORABLE TRIP AND HERE IT GOES.
Around June last year, I was on vacation in New Zealand, the most beautiful country on Earth or that’s what I believe it is. And on my way to the City of Sails, I wrote a poem despite the heavy onslaught of viral fever, cold, cough that resulted in phlegm, phlegm and phlegm.
Here is what I wrote:THE JOURNEY TO TAKE To a land I’ve never been To a land I’ve never seen A journey far too long In an airplane so strong Many people I may see Except maybe one, two and three… This journey I need to take A memory by Auckland’s lake Click many a photo some by the car and some by a toto Kuala Lumpur’s on the way But I won’t get to see its bay In the airport I shall stay Until I reach the City of Sails!!
I’m sure that almost everyone who has visited the most luscious green country in the world – New Zealand has some story to tell. Well mine’s not all that different. It’s a simple one.
However, the first day I reached Auckland is something to talk about, at least for now before I put down the rest of the wonderful moments and memories I collected during my stay there in my blog for all of you.
New Zealand is indeed the most beautiful country, not just for its scenic beauty but for the magical quality it possesses to make you curious to know NZ right till its roots. The origin, the story of its evolution is particularly the most interesting and will take a lot more than one WordPress post to talk about.
The country on landing seemed very much like the land right out of a J.R.R. Tolkien book and you are almost expecting to see “Hobbits” moving around. And why? Everything in New Zealand looks short and stout. The roads are broad. The trees are fat and rich. The country on the whole has a beautiful palette with all of nature’s colours in appropriate proportions. This is what they call Winter in NZ.Wonder how Spring must be then?!
Anyway once I was at the airport I found that the airport was like a one-way street. Nothing much to it. More like FIFO [ First in First out]. With ornaments and decorations typical of the Maori culture, the Auckland airport is petite and just about enough to cater to the air traffic of the entire country.
Unfortunately, my journey to New Zealand was not so smooth. It was difficult and indeed, the most memorable trip of all.
I was suffering from severe cold and fever on the way to NZ. I knew it was definitely not the Swine Flu. As I got it a mere 2 hours before leaving home to the airport. Could have been the excitement, the tension, the anticipation. Call it whatever. I knew it could not have been the Swine Flu coz I had never left my home until the day I had to travel. And yes, a lot of trust on my gut instincts told me very strongly it could not be swine flu and there was no way I wanted to get quarantined in any of the airports (Chennai, Kuala Lumpur – where I had 14 hours transit and Auckland) for two whole weeks to ruin the most awaited beautiful holiday of my life!
On arriving in Auckland, I just wanted to get the hell out of the airport. Didn’t want those creepy guys with the walkie-talkies stalling me for their lack of confidence. But alas! my sister and brother-in-law were running late to the airport. I walked back and forth from the domestic to the international terminal (so-called… remember I told it’s just a one-way street?!) and after 15-20 mins I decided to give them a call to find out if they were going to arrive soon. The fever was getting on my nerves. I was feeling weak. I wanted to just go home and clear my nose and throat off phlegm. But no sign of Rat or Ram.
I go to the telephone booth and realised “Silly! U need Coins”. So go to the nearest pie shop to get some change.
My call was getting rejected the first few times. And then only did I realize that there is probably an extra number you would have to add or something like that. In India, you would not have to add the extra 0 you dial when you are calling home from another country. I followed the same tradition and realized maybe that is not how things worked here and thanks to the lack of instructions on the telephone or the telephone booth, I decided to go to the nearest Vodafone store feeling like a complete jackass, feeling humiliated than ever, ask them “How do I dial a mobile phone number from the booth?” Luckily the guy in the Vodafone store seemed to be friendly and gave me instructions on how to go about it.
I thank him and give a call to Rathi thinking “If this is some kind of joke Rathi’s playing, it must be sick!” No answer. The phone keeps ringing. I hang up. About to scream but decide to give it another try. I tell myself “One more call… If she doesn’t pick up, I leave this airport.. take a taxi or worse book a flight back home”. So I try again and this time my B-I-L picks up and tells me, “We’re so sorry. There was heavy traffic on the way. We should be there in a few mins”.
I waited on a nearby platform and soon enough, as promised, Rathi and Ram showed up in a few minutes. I breathed a heavy sigh and was thankful to them and God for getting me to the City of Sails with minor hassles that anyone can deal with. We went to their place and I was relieved and then excited to kick start my trip in the most beautiful country in the world.