So back to that story…
I was finally on my final leg to Christchurch, and I had clean clothes on. I no longer smelled too badly, and I could finally stand to give my back and butt a break from all of that time in an airline seat.
This was the point where I knew I was in the right place. The stewardess team gave me a giant bottle of water and two cookies to get me back on track. Then we started talking, and they all were very excited to hear that I was, in fact, moving. We quickly compared notes on all their American experiences, and they told me that I was really going to enjoy it. They also had heard about “The Houston Flight” because it was the lead story on the evening news here.
What came next was an explanation of how nice people are here. It says:
Welcome to New Zealand! good luck with your new life here & hopefully things go much smoother for you from here on out!
from air new zealand 🙂
They filled it with cookies, snacks, and lollies (hard candy). It’s even funnier when you consider it’s a cut-in-half sick bag. But the story has been the same everywhere I’ve gone. Anyone I talk to has time to talk, any question you might have is met with a smile and local knowledge, and in general people have all just been genuinely friendly. I had forgotten what that’s like, but I have had a lot of cultural nervousness vanish.
When I got to leave the airport, I ended up taking a cab. It ended up being a good decision because rental cars were not cheap in any way. My mistake for showing up at peak tourism season. So the first 24 hours were on foot, mostly. It wasn’t so bad, because my motel is near a shopping centre.
And yes, I am re-learning how to spell my words. That’s ok, really. No one is too bothered by it as long as I use “zed” instead of “zee”. So as I’ve more or less arrived, my next task was finding wheels.