I don’t know about others, but each time that I come back to NZ it creates a very real sense of weirdness for me. I was born and grew up here, but through divine providence I worked for Air NZ after leaving school which gave me the freedom to begin to travel. When I look back at this now I sure that the job at Air NZ was more than divine providence, because as soon as I travelled outside of NZ, I knew in my bones that I would leave probably never to return permanently. The wonderful thing about hindsight is that when you look back everything is very clear and obvious, but even living through my earlier years in NZ I knew I never fitted in. I always felt that I was viewing my life from a parallel, slightly disconnected viewpoint. it was all happening “over there”. When I left permanently 25 years ago it was with no regrets, it was clear that I HAD to leave. I don’t come back here very often, which is a conscious choice. I was here 2 years ago and this trip was certainly not planned.
The weirdness started as I sat on the airplane from Singapore to AKL, reading the weekend edition of the NZ Herald, the nationally distributed newspaper. Front page – nothing of any real note, then I turned to the second page. To put this into context, the weekend edition must have something like 200 pages and weigh 1.5kgs, so there is clearly a lot to write about. Well not really as it transpires. So, I turn the first page of this significant document and there on page 2, the top 50% of the page is devoted to………………
– if you thought about the monetary crises in Ireland (wrong), the events in Nth Korea (wrong), educational challenges in the developing world (wrong), human rights (wrong) – no, in fact you could read about some NZ girl called Kate who (oh my god) is getting married on the same day as Kate & William (heir to UK throne). Are they planning a double wedding? Nope the royal couple get married in the UK and NZ Kate and her partner get married here. Holy shit, has that made a difference to my life. Now I understand why they gave it the top 50% of page 2 along with colour photo’s.
It is the smallness of the place that does my head in. I always see it resulting in ‘small thought processes’. I know this is unfair because there are an awful lot of people who love living here and millions more who want to live here, but I just can’t because it feels like I would commit mental suicide. This of course is my own very personal perspective and I know for my friends who live here their reality is of course very different. But when I go through the local newspaper it does reinforce the feeling of – ‘I am only here 10 days, just make sure you don’t break a leg which keeps you here a day longer’.
I do have this feeling that in the future my 2 daughters could very well end up living here, which of course will be karma giving me the middle finger. Lets see what happens over the next few days and I will keep you posted.