On my flight back from new Zealand I had an encounter that made me realize why some people hate flying. It was my second flight out of the three I had to do. It was also the longest flight out of all of them. It was a full 11 hours and that meant it was time to sleep. Unfortunately though that didn't seem to be in my deck of cards for this particular flight.
I get on the plane, I take my seat and I wait as everyone else gets on board. I'm already pretty tired but I decide to stay awake and wait for them to take off and to serve food. Eventually everyone gets on board and the guy sitting next to me has not one but two cell phones and the entire times he's next to me he's on the phone with people. When he sits down he's talking away. When they make announcements for safety procedures his phones buzzing. When they tell everyone to turn off their phones his phone is STILL ringing. The lady that was giving us the safety instructions told him at least three times to turn off his phone.
Soon the plane takes off and I settle into my seat and watch a movie as I wait for us to get to where we needed to be and for them to start serving food. The guy next to me gets up and decides he's waited to long .he comes back with some kind of alcoholic beverage. I'm not sure what it is but I can smell it. In a few minutes it's gone and I go back to my movie trying my best to ignore him. He was pretty intoxicated already so I figured he was gonna pass out in no time at all. Unfortunately I was wrong. For the next hour he's yawning obnoxiously loud and won't stop trying to stretch. He gets up several times to go to the restroom and in all of this time he's stumbling around almost ready to fall over.
Eventually they serve food and after that drinks. He gets a vodka was an orange peel. The guy was pretty drunk as it is so when he got this other drink I can say that I wasn't all that impressed.
Within the next hour the guys toppling over and is stretching so far that he's about to fall to my side. Very loudly and unhappily I maneuver him away from me and tell him no. This guy was so obnoxiously drunk that he had everyone around him paying attention to him. I got a few states that I'm sure was to make sure I'm OK and I just tried my best to not ask to move. I was exhausted and I wanted to sleep. I can say that for the next hour I had a hard time falling asleep and it wasn't until he was securely in his seat and buckled in that I felt ok to get comfy. I was afraid that if I fell asleep that he would come over on my side and get in my space. Several times he got up, he stumbled into the aside, scratched his ass and his torso revealing his skin under his shirt and so on .It was so bad that I pretty much was needing to be drunk myself .
And I can say that once I got to Atlanta that I did get good and drunk .now I do understand why some people do hate flying. Of course that's one of many but being beside a drunk person is just not fun. Especially when your alone and just trying to get from point a to point b.
So if you are a L.O.T.R's or Hobbit fan that I must tell you that you have to go see Hobbiton. When I arrived I really couldn't believe my eyes. It was literally just like the movies and I was sure that I was in a dream. All these years of watching the movies, sitting on the couch just mouthing the words as the movie was going on, and just enjoying some much needed bonding time with my father as we sipped our drinks and watched the endless battles and I was finally standing in the one place where many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners happened. A place where magic comes to life for all us to relive in our homes whenever we wished.
Yet here I was, standing in the one set that they decided to keep alive. The Shire was made into a real place only just recently. They first build Hobbiton back in 1999 and really it was build to be a temporary structure only used for the L.O.T.R's films and then when the Hobbit movies were made they decided to make the 39 Hobbit holes into a more permanent structure. This was done in 2009 and to this day it is now a huge attraction. I remember our tour guide asking us at the beginning if anyone wanted to recreate the scene where Bilbo runs out of his home and shouts "I'm going on an adventure!" and I was the only one who volunteered . I did it was much enthusiasm and to be honest I had been wanting to do that since I saw the film for the first time.
The tour really is quite magnificent. You get to hear all the stories, you get to take photos, adn you get to enjoy the feeling of being in the Shire while your surrounded by Middle Earth. Its quite extrodinary and I couldn't help but smile the entire time I was walking around. There are so many Hobbit holes and there are so many wonderful feelings you get as you take photos and hear the guides tells stories about the Shire, the construction and Peter Jackson. O
f course at the end of the tour it ends at the Green Dragon where we got to taste some of their selections of beer and enjoy the magnificence as a whole. Really I would do it so many times. I would tour this place time and time again and I really dont think it would ever get old. Its just amazing and seeing something that you grew up with in real life, is like nothing I have ever experienced.
So I think there may be a slight drug problem going on. I say that because of the questions that they keep asking me as I switch flights. Maybe its an international thing or maybe its just a precaution but honestly I am not sure. I know that on the radio stations that they were warning people about not taking cannabis because it was unsafe to take the drugs. They said that it was casing problems and I am pretty sure that they were saying it was laced with something else that may not be so friendly to the people consuming the cannabis. Of course they didn't say this directly but they did hint at it.
At my fun excursion through customs at Auckland airport I was asked a set of three questions that was not asked two weeks ago. They were the following,
1)Did anyone pack your bags for you?
2)Do you know what is in your bags and what you packed?
3) Is there anything in your bags that you aren't aware of and shouldn't be there?
I answered them honestly and of course I know what is in my bags since I did have the pleasure of packing and repacking them at least five times in the past two days so yes I do know what is in them. Along with that I am positive that there are no drugs and that they are more then happy to search. Of course it might be unpleasant due to the smell but they can do that if they want. So they check in my bag, I get directed to security and when It comes to my turn I do all the proper procedures. I take out my laptop, I empty my pockets, and I put my camera bag up for the scanner. I then walk through and they guy tells me to have a nice day. I thank him and grab my bags. Once that is done I turn to rush to my terminal and next thing I know i'm getting asked to come to the side. Unhappy about this I stop and the lady has me put my bags down. She swipes her detector over me and then asks to see my laptop. I do this and she takes a swab of the laptop, the laptop bag and the camera bag. I put everything away and wait as the computer sits and thinks. She seems disappointed as she tells me everything is good and I can then continue on my way.
Then comes Fiji. I get off the plane, I have my stuff, the passport is out and the boarding pass it inside. I get to the line and the lady stops me, asks me the same three questions they asked at Auckland. I answer them the same way and she puts a stickers on my passport and directs me to the right gate.
So i'm not sure if there is a drug problem but I have a feeling there might be. Of course i'm sure at L.A.X I will have more of a time because I am more then positive they will want me to open my bag. I do have a bottle in their that is a surprise for someone I know and I am sure they will ask me all the questions they already asked. I brought almost $450 back worth of souvenirs so I know that will raise an eyebrow or two.
But of course when that happens that story will come. For now, I will leave you with this to wonder, is there a drug problem going on? Or is it something else?
If I had to say anything at all about this experience it's that it was to short. Two weeks in new Zealand is not enough time and I knew that when I booked this trip. I feel satisfied but not satisfied enough. I've been driving all over, I've seen so many beautiful things and I've had an experience of living in a camper van, which is the ultimate dream for me. I've met so many people, I've been to many places, I've skydived, paraglided, and hiked. I've had many conversations, I've seen so many L.O.T.R and Hobbit film locations, and I've been living in what feels like a dream .
New zealand is a wonderful country that I am so happy to have experienced and I am looking for a way to come back. Perhaps a working visa is in the works .I'm not sure but it's a thought and a process I'm working on. This has sparked something in me I can't quite explain.
The journey is never over for me and as Bilbo said when he left his little Hobbit hole that morning
"I'm going on an adventure"
And of course he didn't know what he was in for but and neither do I but I can say that I am looking forward to what is to come. I'm going to be doing loads of research and finding a way to make traveling a more permanent job. This blog is a help in that but I do need a more stable foundation until this all takes off.
So please stay tuned because I have many more stories , YouTube videos, and photos that are on the way .I'm excited to bring you my side of things, to show you what I saw while I was here and to maybe inspire you to be like Bilbo and take the leap to go out of your home and go on an adventure because my God, is it worth it.
There is this bird that I had heard about when I was on my flight from L.A.X to Fiji. The reason I heard about it was because of the guy I was sitting next to had mentioned how if you camp in certain area that you have to be careful because there might be a nest of these birds around the campsite and if you let them they will literally tear your car apart. He had seen it happen before. I took it into consideration and I imagined what this bird looked like. It seemed like the kind of bird that would be quite strong, and would have a really sharp beak. Of course he didn't have any pictures so one could only be left to wonder.
Throughout the trip I kept my eye out but I ended up mostly staying in campgrounds where they only had ducks as your friendly bird neighbors. Then comes the Milford sound tour. Were about halfway through the drive hen the bus driver informs us that hes pulling over for this one spot that is particularly popular. He tells us that he is gonna give us about twenty minutes to take photos, stretch our legs and etc. He even tells us that if we have drinking bottles we can refill our water from the stream.
So we take a look around, were enjoying our time, the view is spectacular and of course we see this shape dashing around. Its quite large and has some interesting looking wings. Our driver is telling us that this bird is quite destructive and to take care. They aren't exactly friendly birds and yet they seem to love the attention. People are gathering around them and are snapping away so I take my camera and make my way to this creature. Apparently its a parrot and its only found in New Zealand. Its name is Kai. The bird is quite rare to see at this time of the year and apparently people come from all over to see this bird in action. The problem most people face is that this bird only likes the cold so when it starts to get in the warmer months the bird retreats up into the mountains.
Luckily for me though I brought the good camera and I was able to get close and get some good photos of this beautiful destructive creature. As we were all taking pictures we watched as they flew to the roof of one of the cars and started to literally tear the seals off of the windows. We were all amazed that they were making quick work to find their way into the vehicle in question. The driver then told us that sometimes they like to go under vehicles and tear up break lines, fuel lines, and the rubber off of your tires. He has even seen them tear apart objects that people have just put on the ground.
The saying came to mind, "Beautiful but deadly" as I watched them go to work. These Birds certainly fit that saying.
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