My First Impressions of New Zealand
“Touchdown, Auckland” were my two words after our plane landed in Auckland on June 5, 2017 at 10:05am. A significant milestone for our family. After all the waiting, stress and anxiety, we’re finally here – our new home.
It was winter when we arrived and I could feel the chill in the air when we got of the plane in Auckland. It was a new experience for us coming from a country where its basically summer all year round. It wasn't as cold as I expected though, it was tolerable, we didn't even need to wear our thermal jackets.
The immigration officers were friendly compared to Singapore; they'd even give us a smile while stamping our passports. Next stop was customs. Customs though were strict, even more so than in Singapore. That was the first time I’ve experienced that kind of security check. But you won't have any problems unless your bringing something illegal. As for our case, everything went smooth.
At the arrival lounge, we were greeted by our friends, April, Ed, El-el and Ryan, who are there to pick us up from the airport. We then took a picture with the famous iconic dwarf figure from The Lord of the Rings movie. Once we got out of the airport though, only then we noticed the chilling wind of winter running through our skin. In the Philippines, air conditioning is a must have or you'd faint from heat stroke in some days. But after what we felt that moment, I understood why tropic countries like the Philippines are go to places especially in the winter.
It took us an hour drive from the airport to Schnapper Rock, Joed managed to rent us house there until we could afford our own. It already felt like home to me. On the way, we're in awe by the scenery and I've noticed there weren't much people out but hey, who would want to walk outside in this cold weather.
Entering the driveway to our new house, all I could think of was how spectacular the view was - a real sight for sore eyes. Waking up and seeing this everyday just makes me thankful for the blessings and hard work Joed and I had to invest in.
After we settling down our things, we decided to visit Albany mall, a nearby mall even though it was cold outside. I was surprised to see few people in the mall even though it was a holiday. Normally, in the Philippines and Singapore, the malls were crowded during holidays. We ate at the food court, and yes the rumors are true, New Zealand's foods are pricier compared to Singapore.
After a long and exhausting day from our 12-hour trip, and as soon as evening came, we got all snug together ready for bedtime. It was an overwhelming kind of feeling to be spending our first of many nights in a new country, our new home.