Flyway: New Zealand Air Talk

Alas! To the land further than the land down under! G and I took the 3.5hr flight from Sydney to Wellington and touched down safely (whew) after a bit of bumpiness. Turbulence has increased its scary effect on me. Strange, no? Most things become second nature the more you do them. Dealing with printed tickets instead of e-tickets; paying for extra check-in weight when I, with high probability, weigh less than any passenger over the age of 17; and absentmindedly going through security with laptop out, flip flops on, nothing in pockets and ready to go through the body scan machine (because it always happens to be me) all come second nature.
Native New Zealand greenery in Wellington Botanical Gardens

Even my first instinct after security is to mosey in the general direction of my gate and hawk for a place on the floor near an outlet to charge my laptop/camera/phone/iPod. Because I seem to always run my electronics out of juice, no matter how often I charge, casually looking for outlets in public places always attracts strange looks from nearby patrons. Try it for yourself.

Anyway, I digress completely: with the safe landing, I breathe a sigh of relief and realize my vice-like grip on G's arm has been attached for longer than acceptable. It's been a while since I have flown with anyone I know, let alone had him or her sit next to me. This was by no means the worst flight I had boarded, nevertheless, when G leans in to tell me, "Aren't you glad I didn't tell you that because of the short runway, wind patterns, and location between two land masses, Wellington airport is the most technically difficult airport in the world to land a plane,"* I lose it...just a little bit. If I was a slightly weaker person without the ability to reason that my plane has safely landed and this fact that G has bestowed on me is no longer valid, I would have had passed out on the spot.

Instead, bug-eyed, I responded with, "Uh... yes." I faintly recalled that G had told me this tidbit a while ago but gladly was able to repress it until he brought it up again. I knew that the old Hong Kong airport was famous for its incredibly difficult airstrip, nestled [un]comfortably close to HK's downtown skyscrapers. Question: there was a book recommended in the WSJ (I think) on the mechanics of flying written in the last 5-7 years in layman's terms; does anyone know the title of this book? Google has failed me so far.

Arriving late at night meant no time for exploring the city until the following day. Exploring involved walking around one of my favorite botanical gardens that I have seen thus far. Unlike the botanical gardens in London or New York, which are landscaped to perfection, Wellington Botanical Garden contains all native NZ bush that was more or less spared and subsequently turned into a park. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy immaculate gardens (helloooo Versailles), but knowing these greens were more or less the original state of being for New Zealand made it even more enjoyable.

This was the beginning of New Zealand autumn, which meant fewer  flowering plants in bloom, but nevertheless, the greenery was lush over the winding paths of the park. Monotonous in color, maybe, but certainly not in the variation of plant life. G was coerced into being my photographer and subjected to my reactions, which were not unlike a toddler in Candyland, to the plant life. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see any other official botanical gardens in NZ during my stay, so I hold the right to change my favorite after I've visited others.
*I stand corrected. There are several airports that are more difficult to land. An airport in Nepal is on the side of a mountain, is slanted, and gives the pilot only one shot at landing. 

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