|The Maori word for New Zealand|
is Aotearoa, which translates as
Christ, this country is a long
ways from, like, anywhere.
Even though he does not get a seat, Baby W has to pay something like $150 to get aboard the plane, which seems a little unfair. I'm going to make sure we get our money's worth by asking Baby W to wail a solid 3 or 4 hours in the middle of the trip. Also, I'm ordering TWO ice cream bars for him.
Actually, Baby W is an excellent long-distance traveler, just as Stella is. So far in his nine months on the outside, he's been to Washington DC twice, Pennsylvania three times, Seattle, Portland, Nebraska, and Iowa. On one of those flights, a neighboring traveler rolled his eyes and said it was just his luck to sit close to a baby and hopefully there would be no crying. Let me tell you something, buddy, these kids aren't so wide they take up all their seat and half of yours. They won't insist on trying to chat despite your repeated, increasingly insistent remarks about how interesting, no, downright fascinating your book is. And they won't get drunk on tiny $7 bottles of wine and sloppily hit on you. I think there ought to be a frickin' stampede to sit next to my kids.
|I'm sorry to say the number of sheep|
in NZ totally confirms stereotypes.
Also, the whole damn country
is full of hobbits.
Buying a ticket got so complicated I gave in and actually called a travel agent at AAA, one of the three or so remaining travel agents working in the industry. She tried to dissuade me from using her services by stressing heavily that they charged $30 to ticket, and when I said that was okay, she sighed heavily and didn't get back to me until 48 hours later -- and then it was to tell me that due to the long weekend she wouldn't be getting back to me with ticket possibilities for another four or five days. I would have thought travel agents were so desperate for business they'd be out buttonholing people at the supermarket who look like they could use a cruise, but apparently they're too busy leafing through their printed copy, no wait -- mimeographed copy -- of the airline pricing schedule to deal with actual customers.
I wound up buying my own ticket and I'm starting to get excited about going to New Zealand despite my ambivalence about the travel to get there. We'll go to the beach, enjoy the beautiful weather, hit the local tourist traps, and see lots of sheep. Then all too soon it will be time to get on the airplane and return home. That's okay, because I have a plan for the return flight home: I'm getting my eyebrows done.