Day one in Aotearoa

After living five and a half years in Singapore (almost to the day) the time came to say goodbye and embark on a new adventure in a new home, New Zealand.

So my family and I arrived in New Zealand almost exactly a week ago and I do want to make sure i share some of my first experiences before they blend in with other experiences along the way. I was planning to type a one week worth of update but apparently I too much to say. so will do randome day update starting with Day One.

We arrived a bit past 11 am on a Thursday after a night flight that wasn’t bad at all. My son slept most of the way and despite the fact that My wife and I didn’t quite sleep but a few hours we still were kind of okay energy wise as we arrived. Customs and Immigration were very pleasant and fast and we are in New Zealand. While on the plane it hit me for the first time that i am on a One Way ticket. In my whole life the only one way ticket i got was from China to Singapore in December 2005 when i moved there. At the time i had never been to Singapore before but this move is different as i had visited New Zealand on multiple occasions for work reasons. It was a bit funny to think of the one way ticket and also a bit strange to have my family with me cause they normally don’t join my business trips.

As we arrive there is a gentleman waiting for us at the arrival hall with my last name misspelled, letter added and letter missing but overall looked close enough to know that he is our driver. We had lots of luggage, but the driver managed to fit them all in the car and still have enough room for us to sit. 20 minutes later we are in our temporary housing.

We are putting up in a 2 bedroom apartment in Auckland city, walking distance away from a park a couple of food places and supermarkets. when we arrived with all our stuff i was expecting a warm welcome (something like i get when i go to Asian hotels on business where there are five people around one opening the door the other is loading the luggage on a trolley and a third is ushering me to the reception while another is offering me a glass of welcome drink) okay i am exaggerating cause that only happened a few times in India. But well i expected some attention at least a help with the luggage. NONE. there was a receptionist there (she looks after the hotel guests not the apartments but i didn’t know that yet) so i asked if anyone could help is with the luggage, she looked at me puzzled and she said we have a trolley, so i said yes that would be helpful, (thinking of a luggage trolley) then i got a supermarket trolley. Anyway not too bad, still helped.

Got home got showered and everyone went to nap, but i decided to stay up to figure out how to get online and start coordinating some logistics. The first thing i tried to coordinate was getting my rental car ready picked up. Other than the complications associated with payments and credit card etc. i showed up at the Avis counter and I had to wait there for one and a half for my car. It appears as if the man that welcomed me in and looked at my license and passport is the same guy that had to wash the car, get it from the garage and drive it out, fit the baby car seat and swipe my credit card for payment. ONE MAN no wonder it took so long, but why wasn’t the car washed and ready to go when they already knew i am picking it up today as per the booking? Beats me.

More happened that day but i will spare you the details and just say that the highlight of the day was going to Nineteen day feast at my cousin’s place.


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