You were my very first taste of New Zealand and Mauri culture. When I arrived in your city fresh off a 14 hour flight and two hour bus drive, I was struck by the welcoming arms of your city. You embraced me as though I were an old friend even though you had never met me.
I loved your small town feel and the simple, kind gestures of your people. In the way that the man in front of me addressed everyone he passed on the street and how we placed our bus fare into the bus driver’s hand instead of inserting it into a slot. There was the power of physical touch – a reminder that we, as humans, have not yet turned to stone.
Yes, you smelt like rotten eggs but that didn’t take away from the beauty of your green hills or the magnificence of your geothermal wonders. Thank you for giving me my first taste of adventure – I’ll never forgot how alive I felt floating down the river amidst the fairy-tale like trees. Thank you for reminding me what it means to be human. Thank you for making me fall in love with stories all over again.
I don’t know if we’ll ever meet again in this life, but if we do, I know you’ll welcome me back with open arms…because that’s just the kind of city you are.