Friday, June 10, 2016

Kia Ora Aotearoa 2015

We were having a really prolonged time of haze in Malaysia when we left for New Zealand. After 3 months of inhaling smoked air, the breath of fresh air that greeted us in Auckland made us jump and down, literally.

Can you detect my overly excited face here?
No signs of haze, alhamdulillah
Our first stop was to meet with a friend who was studying in Palmerston North. She picked us up at the airport and booked us a shuttle bus. We received some negative greetings from the driver as soon as he knew that we were Malaysians. The driver apparently had some family in Ipoh, Malaysia and seemed very familiar with the Malaysian political scene, which clearly did not interest us at all (we were trying to have a vacation here dude!)

Later we were dropped at the car rental centre to pick up our rented car. The car was okay considering the price, comfy enough for the four of us. The important thing was that that the car literally took us around New Zealand, both North and South Islands, so thank you car!

My friends at the car rental centre

While I still cannot get over the euphoria of finally being there in New Zealand
We started our trip by of course heading to the supermarket, which later became one of the most favourite part for me throughout the whole trip, so much that sometimes I opted to stay in the car because it became so time consuming for us, hehe.

Being Malaysian especially me (first time visiting an English speaking country as an adult) I became too excited over the array of groceries and food that they have stocked at the supermarket. We went from aisle to aisle and snapped every picture of tomatoes, cheese, oh my God everything!

Adorable little ripe tomatoes
kiwi in Kiwi??
Drooling already...
After stocking our car with all the needed groceries, we headed to Auckland city where we booked our first accommodation. It took us awhile to finally reach there because believe it or not we were stuck in jam, in Auckland. It was as if we brought our KL vibes to Auckland.

Finally we arrived late evening to our small stay where we booked two rooms with a small kitchen area. The building was actually part hostel for uni students and part hostel for visitors like us. It was situated right in the middle of the town of Auckland, where from our window we could see students, and workers rushing to their daily lives.

We settled in and took a few minutes rest before getting ready to have dinner with my friend, Agkillah which I have not met for years. Agki was pursuing her doctorate and she is not even yet 30! Such a genius, that girl!

Later that night, I had one of the yummiest lamb shank ever in my life. It was probably the most expensive meal I paid during the whole duration of the trip but it was worth it. It was good to finally catch up with Agki and sharing stories of our life in the few hours that we had.

We went back contented and slept for the first time after our 11 hours flight (transited in Gold Coast for one night) and arriving in Auckland. What a blessing!

Was nice meeting Agkillah after so many years

The lamb shank I was talking about (lots of halal restaurants in Auckland, peeps!)


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