New Zealand – first impressions

We arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday morning, dead tired from the flights. The only place further away from home we could possibly travel to would be Fiji. This is far enough!

We are staying at a hostel just outside the city center and instead of taking a bus from the airport we splurged on a taxi. My first impression of Christchurch and New Zealand – this is what California SHOULD be like. Lovely weather, clean streets, beautiful gardens everywhere, broad streets without a hole in the pavement anywhere. People are friendly. Prices are reasonable. California has the climate and natural resources to rival any in the world, but it’s all gone to hell with people only planning and living for the short term. Don’t get me started!

Anyway, our first story to tell from this trip:
We were walking back to the hostel from the city after having some dinner. The sun was just starting to go down. The streets were quiet in this residential area. Then on the right side of the road we walked up to an elderly man who had just pulled up on his motorcycle and still had his helmet on. He was trying to swing his right leg over the bike to dismount the thing. But he couldn’t quite make it. His shakey old leg just wouldn’t lift high enough to clear the seat. DB said “Do you need some help?” The old guy answered “I just had 3 strokes and just got my bike license back!” Dol took hold of his right foot and gently eased it over the seat behind and helped him steady himself on the ground. He was shaking like a leaf. I don’t know what he would have done if we hadn’t walked up! He asked where we were from and thanked us for our help. We walked away shaking out heads and laughing with black humor at the situation. That man is surely going to kill himself with that machine!