***Reposted in the original form from a previous blog
My New Zealand adventures have begun…
I’m alive and am now for the first time on the island of New Zealand. We had a bumpy plane flight to Vancouver BC. From Vancouver, we flew 14 hours to Auckland, New Zealand. This is the longest amount of time that I’ve ever been on an airplane. No worries though. I had some books packed and some new issues of Newsweek to catch up on.
Unfortunately, as Providence would have circumstances, I sat next to a gentlemen on the flight who would fit the cliche description of a “jabberbox”. The man would seriously, no overstatement, not stop talking to me. My idea of a 14 hour flight is a balanced one: a lot of sleep, conversing with neighbors, watching a movie, and reading. The fact was that it was difficult to do any of these things except listen to this guy talk about himself. In a way, I felt bad for him. According to him, he had just stopped chemo treatment and had gone on and on about having back problems. He had a wide array of medication and this was probably one of the root causes of his behavior. Either the drugs or a disorder of some kind which should probably make me feel more compassion toward him. He got several dirty looks from others on the 747 jetliner and one person told him directly to “shush” up. With these occurrences, I found it difficult to be mean or direct to him although I probably needed to be. By the end of the flight, he had given me all of his contact information. I said “thanks for the thought” and proceeded to give him none of my contact information.
I cannot complain about that ordeal though. I’m in New Zealand after all. We landed at 7am on Sunday. Somehow, November 7th, 2009 will never exist for me. I boarded a plane on the 6th and now am living on the 8th.
I will be doing most of the driving. They drive on the opposite side of the road here and the steering wheel is in the passenger seat. Right hand turns have become interesting but I’m getting used to a backward kind of driving. The item that I’m having the toughest time with is the turn signal. I keep hitting the windshield wiper button which drives me crazy. The blinker is on the right hand side.
Anyways, enough of that stuff. We drove through Auckland and saw the sky tower which was huge. The tower literally seemed like it was piercing the sky. We saw a beautiful waterfall which was 26.2 meters long…Whangarei Falls. I also went driving around near the beaches and saw incredible views of islands and clean, bluish-green water. Unbelievable beauty here. Numerous Bible verses about the beauty of creation come to mind.
Tonight, we are staying in Paihia. This is near the Bay of Islands which is north on the north island of New Zealand. I look forward to continuing to explore. I felt thankful today that I have the opportunity to be here and experience what I have and am going too.