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Let’s see if I can tell you a little about me.

Hi there. My name is Eva Acharya. That’s ‘Eva’ with an ‘E’ as me and my friends used to say in Uni, and that’s not really to sound interesting or suave, but rather because there was another ‘Eva’ with an ‘I’, which was really odd, since it always went as I-va in my head. So ever since then, I clarify my name as Eva with an E.

Everybody calls me Eva, ’cause let’s face it, can’t really shorten a short name. Though here in Aus, they seem to have a knack for shortening names rather bizzare. There used to be a guy named David in my biology lab class. He used to sit opposite me and couple of friends. As the semester went by, David became Dav-O. Yep, Dav-O! There was also a Gary, who became Gazza. The oddest way to shorten a name, replacing an ‘O’ with the last syllable of their name. Another odd one was Mez, who became Mezza! Went the long way I guess.

I’ve been a nomad relatively speaking. I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and no, I don’t mean the hiking equipment store Kathmandu. As far as I know, the city of Kathmandu has quite a number of centuries on the store – so there! :p

After less than a decade, my family decided we would like to try New Zealand for a change. My sisters and I were glad our parents knew where New Zealand was, ’cause we three sure had no clue! All we knew was, we had to fly there. Yay! I had a fascination with flying at that point having only flown once before. Suffice to say I had a ball even if I understood not a word that was spoken since we left Nepal.

We almost didn’t make it to NZ since our transit was in Hong Kong, where not one airport staff understood English sufficiently when we were trying to find out our gate number. We were told we had no connecting flight! Mum almost had a heart attack and Dad got angry! Of course, I didn’t understand what he was telling them, but turns out the flight centre had accidentally misspelled our last name and that was why we weren’t turning up in the system. Alas, all was sorted and we boarded our flight. I got a goodie bag because I was small, and I guess they wanted me to behave in the 9 hour flight. My middle sister was 12, and she almost missed out on the goodie bag because the cut off age was 11 or something, but the air-hostess was nice and gave her one anyway and told her to say she was 11 if asked. :p what she didn’t mention was that we were tiny (as most Nepali kids are compared to others). Although I don’t think I used the items in the bag much except the coloring page. I wasn’t a toy person.

I loved the whole experience, from tiny toothbrush to music from my armrest, to the TV I could barely see. Ever since then, my love for flying has compounded. I’m weeks away from a trip and the thing I’m most excited about is the flying!

My first thought upon seeing New Zealand from the window of the plane as it descended was ‘Holy moly, we’ve come to a village!’ (Creative license used for I did not know the phrase holy moly). Only villages had terra cotta roofs in my country. Cities crawled with multi-storied houses with terrace roofs and balconies. But all we could see outside the window were terra cotta roofs! Village!

I remember that first day very vividly. Dad’s younger brother, who had been in NZ for few months came to pick us up at the airport, which was much bigger than the airport in Nepal. From there we went to our hotel, and my first thought on the road was ‘Wow, it’s so clean!’ and ‘Where’s the rest of the traffic?’ I think I might have stared out the window the whole time.

When we got to the hotel, we were to discover that the hotel had accidentally booked us in from the day after our arrival and had no more rooms left. So technically we had just left our home, travelled over half the world, almost got stranded in Hong Kong because of a blunder, only to discover we had no where to go the first night we arrived…