There’s a building here 828 metres tall

A quick post from Dubai.

This post has nothing to do with the building – but that is amazing.

This is what I am going to post about  – New Zealand, from which (whence?) I am returning?

Things I noticed while in New Zealand:

  •  I could understand most people
  •  Plenty of smiles
  •  Plenty of acknowledgement – direct and indirect
  •  Discussions with people I had never met
  •  Having someone come out from behind their counter to heartily shake your hand because you had competed in an event that day
  •  Store owners staring conversations with you
  •  The amazing ease of getting around
  •  Stress free driving on roads I used to think were busy
  •  The realization that most New Zealanders really don’t realize what they have
  •  The thought as I walked around Blue Lake – that if millions of people a year passed it’s shores it would be as famous as most any other tourist attraction in the world (along with many, many other parts of New Zealand)
  • I thought about what this drawing of Olives meant

  •  The guilt of not contacting family and friends
  •  The futility of contacting family and friends when if its only a phone call I can do that from home
  •  The longing to see those same family and friends
  •  The exhaustion
  •  The celebration
  •  Not hearing the hum of a motorway at every stop
  •  Being in places where you could truly look for miles and see no sign of civilization
  •  Water you wanted to swim in
  •  Water that was just water (sometimes sea water, sometimes fresh)
  •  More people exercising per capita than I have seen anywhere else in the world (OK maybe I would include parts of Australia this, especially if you count the surfers)
  •  Late winter and it’s warm enough to be in a T-shirt
  •  Pretenders
  •  People of considerable warmth
  •  The sense of community which Maori and Pacific Islanders seem to uniquely bring to the party
  •  People willing to share some of their life/ their family with you
  •  Warmth (in all the other variations)
  •  Humour (which I understood)
  •  The beauty of Chrissy, Olive and Edie – constantly bringing warmth to my day
  •  It’s a long way
  •  Knowing this will always be home (And questioning if this is the same ‘knowing’ as Belgians ‘know’ Belgium is – I think not)
  •  Celebrating we have had the strength to leave it – to discover, to grow, to not cultivate moss.
  •  I had more time
  •  I slowed down
  •  I liked myself more (please that is not a gloating comment, it is perhaps however the most telling)

Lastly, the destinations on the departures board here in Dubai:

  •  Jeddah
  • Sana’a
  • Damascus
  • Newcastle(love the Geordies)
  • Beirut
  • Amman
  • Accra
  • Casablanca(come on Chrissy we have to go sometime)
  • Lagos
  • London
  • Colombo
  • Kuwait
  • Tehran
  • Glasgow
  • Madrid
  • Singapore
  • Riyadh
  • Karachi
  • Birmingham
  • Paris
  • San Francisco
  • Frankfurt
  • Seychelles
  • Doha
  • Amsterdam
  • Entebbe
  • Copenhagen

It’s 7 a.m., they’ll all be gone by 8:30 a.m

So will I.