New Zealand arrive Nov 2010
The flight was worse than usual, i had a huge (but not fat) kiwi-male next to me whos elbows protruded into my seat-space and monopolising the armrest. Not his fault, agreeable courteous chap. A highlight came in form of a funny safety-instruction video, in which a good looking bloke passes a woman frontally between the seats, and she then with a sigh lets herself fall into a seat and immediatly an oxygen mask drops down for her to recover breath. The women in the cabin laughed out loud.
Takeoff from Honolulu, the Chicago of the Pacific was smooth, nice view over the nuclear warship and u-boat base of Pearl Harbour, and Hickam military airbase, The stewadesses were no teenagers any more, very nice. Jupiter together with the Half Moon hung well in the sky and later I admired the Moon setting hot-blood-red.
The (american-made) food was awful and quite inedible. The movies were 95 per cent american hollywood-crap. I watched one named "Bullit", a 1960s "thriller"', which can be recommend. While fast forwarding through an Australian Aborigines movie "rabbit-proof fence" the audio-visual computer crashed and locked me out. A steward had to come to reset my in-flight entertainment system. Boot-up time was a long 5 minutes, and there were no geeky and honest, entertaining linux boot-messages, just a daft "please wait".
There was no chess amongst the games (how low brow! Some airlines you can even play against another person on the plane!), no live satellite radio (BBC) and no flight-cam view and of course no internet on this boeing 767-300 (with winglets, maybe NZ-NCX). The music selection was very good compared to other airlines, but worse that on previous Air NZ journeys. A stand-ap comedy channel sorely missing. Three years ago we were thoroughly entertained with George Bush jokes when flying into the Empire, but no more. Maybe airlines that make fun of the wars will be targeted for underpant and shoe ignitors.
However, ther was a usb-memory stick recepticle, so one could bring one's own selection of "pictures, music and documents" like educational audiobooks.
By now we are well past Apia and have crossed the equator and the datelin (good-bye Tuesday) - 367 miles past Eua Island.
I am listening to "name taken" by massive attack. Next song is aotearoa by minuit and if i could fly by oceanlab, araras by entheogenic (blue room channel).
The lights turn on, stinking USA-catering breakfast . Choice of scrambled eggs and fruit. My seat neighbor ate eggs and everything, even my spare sugar, i had the fruit. Grapes tasted poisonous, but yoghurt and pineapple were ok.
New New New Zealand
Stepping out into the fresh air, blue sky, sunshine, charge sim card, and try a new route: Instead of the stupid private for profit airport bus for 17 nz dollars i take a 3.40 Manukau City bus to Papatoetoe, and the train from there for 5 dollar 10 to Britomart. Much more charming ride, with all the pretty pacific island schoolgirls. One, bright as a button, tells me the last two books she's read, and explains to buy the ticket with the conductor inside the train. Like in old England. Great train, comfortable, clean and very scenic through the industrial zone, home-backyards narrow gage, adventurous.
SUPERB train journey. Welcome to Auckland, bottom of Queen Street.
The bus up queen st stopped at a traffic light and all the school girl started to giggle and the whole bus looked into the Whitcolls shopping window where some actors impersonated robot-like the blond bimbo and cowboy character from toy-story. "she is real" .. Very funny, the bus was entertained when they moved robotically, but waved goodbye all smiles.