Arrival - New Zealand

Um, I'm in New Zealand!! My flight got in at 610am Auckland time. The sun started to come up just after we touched down. A sunrise is always a great way to start your day. I was seated in row 49, but disembarking was surprisingly fast. It probably helps that the plane was at least a quarter or more empty. In my area almost everyone ended up with their own row for sleeping, which I think is just fantastic. I slept a good 7-8 hours on the flight which I think helped me to remain calm when my bag didn't shown up. That's right, my bag that has all my hiking stuff for my day long hike tomorrow has failed to show up. Oh and they haven't found it yet. For some reason I almost laughed when it happened. Maybe because I had jokingly referred to my mini backpack I was carrying as my "just in case my bag doesn't show up bag." I always carry at least one change of clothes but this time I brought more stuff thankfully. There was also a couple failed to receive their bags as well. They had flown into LAX from NYC on American, I had also flown to LAX on American but from Boston. They were Kiwis so it was slightly less of a problem for them because they were in fact going home. The gentleman who filed my paperwork was very pleasant and gave me a sorry you're bag didn't show up goodie case. I thought that was rather nice of them. It has come in handy too seeing as my shampoo was in the other bag. The goodie bag contains q-tips, a tshirt, deodorant, brush, toothbrush & toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, laundry detergent, and it all came in a reusable carry case. I did end up having to pick up some bug spray and some flip flops for the shower since I am in a hostel. On my flight to the south island my brain started involuntarily doing an inventory of the bag. It was then that I realized I couldn't shower until I had some flops, or jandals as they seem to be called here.

 I had this weird experience all through my transit where I didn't have to wait in line at all. There was no one in line at bag drop off or security in Boston. At LAX, after I walked what was I am sure at least a half mile between terminals, there was no one even in sight of the Air New Zealand desk, and again no one at security either. Upon arrival in Auckland, there was no one at customs and immigration. I have never seen a check point so empty. Then the same thing as I changed my ticket for the south island to the earlier flight since everything went so fast and I had no bag. Again no lines. I was thankful of course but it was a little twilight zone-y. All through my journey I encountered the nicest people. The check in agent in Boston (for real), the Air NewZealand check in guy at LAX who carried on a lovely conversation with me when he found out I am vegetarian. We talked for about ten minutes about being vegetarian and his recent foray into it. He was the sweetest and just so happy. My seat mate on the long haul, fellow traveler probably around my age excited to explore. We had an enjoyable chat about travel during landing. The guy who helped me with my luggage issue, the car rental guy who let me pick up my car three hours early and didn't charge me, the jetstar woman who changed my flight, all just so nice and happy. Not bad for transit.

"Ladies" - hostel bathroom door sign