Well, where was I? Oh, yes, our first night in NZ and we were totally screwed. Two adults and three girls who had no where to go in a strange land. You guessed right if you think we were all panicking. I mean, our Uncle was there but he lived so far away and didn’t have a place big enough for us, and it was starting to get dark. By the way, did I mention it was the first time in our lives we had seen the Sun still up past 7pm? This place was odd to say the least!
But back to the point, seeing my parents worry, the hotel owner came up with a suggestion. He offered to stay my family in his small bar for the night as a room was going to be available in the morning with another Nepali family were leaving.
The bar was a dingy and dark alcove almost, with few sunken booths. Mum was rightfully worried that we had to stay there and we were all girls except Dad. I remember really not liking that place but we kind of had no choice. Then, almost by accident Mum remembered she knew someone else who lived in NZ, old family friends, and immediately asked if we could use the phone.
I don’t really know what was said so I’m guessing they were able to ask for a favor, ’cause in less than half hour, we were being hurried out of the motel/hotel and into a cab or the friend’s car, I’m not sure.
Pretty soon we were in the house of people we girls didn’t know, but they were nice and offered us dinner and stuff. They had three kids two, two girls and a boy. They awkwardly asked us if we wanted to go for a walk and curiously we obliged. I don’t know where we walked, but I remember we came across a zebra crossing at one point. Out of habit we stopped and waited for he incoming car to go before crossing. I mean that’s how Zohar crossings worked in Nepal – people gave way, not the card. Odd we knew, but that’s how it was. When the trio urged us to keep walking, my sister nervously put a foot upon a white strip and immediately the car halted. It was a bizarre scene for us to behold – the power of a common pedestrian!
We crossed the street and bought ice creams from the diary shop and walked back home. Me holding a whole heap of little coins in my hands all the way back and counting them and grinning like a fool. You want to know why? Because I thought I was rich holding hundred dollars or so in my tiny fist. Excited, I was to tell both my parents that I had s much money in change. Lol! Dada sat there and counted it for me again and told me, ‘No honey, you have $1.20 cents, not $120.’ Suffice to say I was mighty disappointed when I went to bed and refused to wake up before midday the next (nah, kind of had no choice over the jet lag matter, but still.)
Fair to say, our first day abroad was all manner of crazy, fun, exploration and disappointment. Was this the judge of things to come? Who knew. I was still just surprised by the terra cotta roofs!