Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Would you like tea with your baggage?After Fiji there was a wonderful week spent in Auckland, New Zealand. Upon arrival at Auckland International Airport I had quite a pleasant shock which at first I thought was a joke. A big sign was popping out from the custom's line which read 'free tea and coffee.'

I thought this was an offer if you buy something from duty free or if you signed up to some credit card or some tourism gimmick but it was none of the above. It was simply a warm welcome and free tea and coffee to passengers arriving from their worldly destinations.

It was served by the two friendliest ladies I met on my month-aventure. The tea counter is near the baggage claim area so while waiting for your bags to roll off the belt you can chat with the ladies and get a steaming cup of java or tea. After a few minutes I got the latest gossip on weather in NZ and who they were and all about how the free tea stand is the only one in any airport in the world (which I beleive to be true- I thought Canadians were hospitable).

We gossiped more on where I was from (they thought I was Brazilian from my now faded tan) and we chatted about Sicily and more about the coffe which was arabica. I didn't actually want coffee or tea at that moment but it was the whole interaction that made having the coffee so pleasant.

The free tea and the airport itself were all very civilized, not like the chaotic third world feel of the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) where you want to scream at how crowded and dark, disorganized and dirty it is.

I wrote down the ladies' names on a napkin and exchanged email addresses with them but I have since disposed of the napkin accidentally. Will try and get their address from J who will be traveling through the airpot on a ski weekend this coming weekend (for some people the holiday never ends!)

New Zealand is a beautiful country with some great food and people. More posts to come on Fijian and NZ adventures...


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