Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NZ Day 1 - Christchurch


Air New Zealand's plane at Auckland International Airport, moments before leaving for Christchurch.

  • Flew from Narita, Tokyo to Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, on three different planes, which took approximately 21-hours of travelling combined, while transiting in Hong Kong and Auckland.
  • The stop at Hong Kong International Airport was just a short one - just forty minutes of transit time. Hence, didn't really have the time to explore the airport.
  • On the flight from Hong Kong to Auckland, the seat to my right was empty, so got both seats to myself and slept in thousand-and-one different positions throughout the night haha!
  • During the late dinner, requested for chicken and rice by telling the guy "Chicken and rice, please", but he misheard my "please" as "fish", hence he gave me "fish and rice" instead =.= Food was just okay; MAS still serves the best food, I think.
  • Spotted one of the famous landmarks in Auckland - Auckland Tower from the plane, just before landing at Auckland International Airport. Greeted by a clear sunny afternoon upon reaching Auckland. Temperature was just perfect, around 15 degrees with some wind.
  • Had a short conversation with the Immigration Department officer upon reaching the custom area. Was asked several common questions, including the purpose of this visit. He somehow managed to figure that out and told me, "So, that's the girlfriend, yeah?"
  • New Zealand is known for their strict regulations regarding food stuff that is to be taken into the country, but managed to go pass the security check without any problem, since I was just importing a baby bear (read: Duffy). Fake one, of course lol!
  • Checked-in at Air New Zealand counter for the flight from Auckland to Christchurch. Was shown the way from the international terminal to the domestic terminal - I just had to take a fifteen-minute walk along a blue line painted on the road, by a friendly lady at the counter. My first impression about Kiwis - they are really friendly people.
  • Felt like releasing the call of nature while waiting for my flight, so walked to the nearest toilet. That was when tragedy struck; was just one step away from entering the ladies toilet at the domestic terminal. The girl who was standing right in front of the entrance saw that and smiled at my stupid action haha! She must be thinking, stupid perverted Asian guy!
  • Started to spot hundreds of sheep on the farm before the plane landed at Christchurch. They were like everywhere! Now I've started to believe that the sheep in New Zealand outnumber the total population of the Kiwi here haha!
  • The airport in Christchurch was just a small airport, about the size of the airport in Penang. In fact, it doesn't have an arrival hall that made me lost, unsure where to wait for Mich, who was supposed to pick me up.
  • The solution - went to the information counter and asked for the location of the arrival hall, ignoring the possibility that the locals might not understand my broken English haha! Lost already; so no choice but to ask them.
  • Instead of them unable to understand me, it was the opposite. Found the Kiwi accent too strong and unable to really catch what that guy was talking. Was hoping only if they could talk a little bit slower in a more civilized English haha!
  • At the same time, somebody familiar appeared and walked across the information counter. It was Mich and instead of helping this helpless guy, who was struggling with the Kiwi accent, she just smiled and walked away haha wtf! What a great way to meet-up again after 605 days.
  • First thing I did right after that was guess what, to get a hair cut at a Korean-operated saloon in the town! Haha, I know this sound a bit awkward and funny, and the guy's accent didn't help at all as I couldn't figure out what language he was speaking, whether was it Korean or English haha!
  • Had dinner at Subway as they were having some promotion for the foot-long pork riblet. Asked Mich why that guy said something like "three seed" to her after making payment. Actually, that Kiwi was asking her, "Would you like your receipt?" Haha, my Kiwi English is officially a failed case!
  • After hearing Mich telling me about Riccarton Mall for countless of times, I finally got to go there for real! Although it was just a average mall, it was like a dream come true, to be visiting a place that I only got to hear and read prior to this.Something like visiting Shinjuku station for the first time a few years ago, after only getting to read them in our Japanese language textbook during our language course.
  • Shopped for some winter clothing. Shopping for clothes in ang moh countries is paradise for someone as huge like me. Later after that, did some groceries at Pak & Save.
  • Had some light desserts at Strawberry Fare with Gao Jing and a few of Mich's crazy batch mates. All were medical students, so it was all about medical talks, while an Engineering student was stuck there, not understanding a single thing =.=
  • Returned to Mich's place, whose landlord is actually one of my senior's sister. The world is just a small place after all, isn't it? Didn't really have time to have much rest, as we would set out for our trip around the South Island on the next morning.


sakura said...

hey ya,

It's been a while since I last visited your blog. Just a quick glance for now. Enjoy your trip with your gal ;)

Looking forward for more stories, hehe..

Kae Vin said...

again the point form blogging style like how u used to blog about korea =.=

sian la.

calvin said...

@ sakura:
yeah, i bet you must be busy back then *hehe*

stay tune for more entries from new zealand ;)

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
haha, these are just short, daily scribblings.
long, proper entries will follow soon :D