Several weeks ago I flew from Tonga to New Zealand for a so-called “visa run”. Sailors usually prefer to sail to another country and return several days later with a fresh stamp in their passports, but December is the middle of the Polynesian cyclone season so long passages are best avoided. That’s why I decided to fly to Auckland for a few days.
This was not my first visit to the land of the long white cloud, but nevertheless I enjoyed this trip as a little child. My soul is so extremely restless that wants to go on holiday even when long term traveling. Or maybe sailing for me is no longer traveling, maybe it has already become my ordinary life.
This is actually quite obvious when I think of what I do in the places where we stop. I don’t lie on the beach sunbathing, I don’t join tourist trips and don’t buy souvenirs. In the morning I visit the market for fruit and vegetables. I shop for bearings and brushes. I wait for the big container ship to bring me a package. I plod to the petrol station with an empty jerrycan. I search for a welder. I burn garbage. No, there’s really not much holiday-ish stuff in my everyday life.
So Auckland was my vacation and it brought me much needed freshness. Every change is a vacation, they say (a coworker on a farm in Australia once told me: weeding after a long day of harvesting tomatoes is actually a holiday).
I was looking forward to everything I normally lack. Hotel rooms with warm showers. Crowded streets. A theater play. Fast Internet. Good restaurants. Irish pubs. Cold evenings.
The first thing I bought in New Zealand was fruit. My readers often envy me the abundance of tropical fruit, but believe me when I tell you that in the last decade I have had quite enough bananas, pineapples and papayas to last me a lifetime. Don’t even get me started on coconuts …
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