Feeling: PUMPED, JUMPY, ON EDGE.
Took a fair while saying a teary goodbye to my mum (what is it about Auckland Departures gate and reverting back to being a child?), only to be right back out to empty my drink bottle of its H20 remaints. I swear they used to have sink facilities inside the door! So goodbye to Mumma Deb take #2, before heading through.
For the first time in all my customs experiences, the line was mercifully short. However this threw me heavily off kilter, having to remove all my liquids, gels (all encased in snap lock bags I’ll have you know) and take off my multiple shoulder bags at pace. I got in a fluster when the security dude asked me to remove my jacket as well; at the last minute this morning I changed my attire from my long, flowing skirt to a pair of tights, but left the purple crop top on. So belly was bared to all and sundry, and I think there may have even been a bit of sneaky nipple in my haste.Then the lovely securely dude informed me my unsealed powerade Deb had just bought me was not allowed through, so I had to sit on the bench and scull the shit out of it. SO much peeing on the plane.
Fast forward to being onboard: I was ecstatic to discover I had the window seat, only to find it was right on the wing so views were extremely limited. No fear! I was happy with my patch of scenery.
My two seat companions: Susan, a lovely, strait-laced and serious woman from Rotorua, off to Ireland to explore her family history. Susan had not been on a plane since her 1080s three-week jaunt to the USofA, so she was like a toddler at Disneyland as she gazed around throughout the flight. Poor Susan had never used wifi before and worried the entire 10.10 hours about how on earth she would connect up her laptop upon reaching the transit lounge.
German Walter had the aisle seat. On his way to his homeland for the annual family catch-up, his wife was seated a few rows up in a bid for a peaceful flight. A gorgeous man, he told me all about his two sons with one being adopted from Romania and currently in search of his birth mother, told me yarns of his own kidnapping in Romania many moons ago, and invited me round for German sausages (and he meant from the butcher, not what you may be imagining) and sauerkraut on return to NZ. Firm friends!
I have a love of reading that has been unrivalled by any activity my entire life. And I had a fantastic bulky book at the go. However, I made myself leave it to the side and actually talk to those around me. Sure, I could’ve been lost in the world of my novel, but it was so much more rewarding to hear the tales of Susan’s search for her grand grandad’s cemetery plot, American trekker Marie’s forthcoming hike in Tibet, Megan, the 19-year-old off to Austria for a university exchange and the blonde mother and daughter from Whangaparoa, in matching harem elephant pants, off to Sri Lanka to beach it for three weeks.
When travelling in a group or even with one other person, the treasures of others people’s stories often go unshared and I believe it is one of the most interesting parts of a trip. But this is not just limited to when travelling; I now vow to start asking and revealing the stories of everyday people in my life at home, and not just be caught up in day to day living. I rush around and don’t give people the time of day they deserve, and this is going to change.