Friday, 29th of January

Upon arriving at the airport I went to the information counter and asked the nice people there for the best way into town. There were two quite old people there, both perhaps of retirement age. They were very friendly, and well dressed in bright yellow jackets, and they really wanted to be helpful with the gentleman even offering to give me a lift into the city if I could wait another hour or two, but, actually they offered very little information of any use at all, and even told me information which was incorrect or out of date on more than one occasion. Partly due to this inaccurate information in the end I only got to see my brother for about half an hour. Still, I did get to give him his birthday and Christmas presents from last year, we had a chat about life and work and the last year, I met some of his workmates (who are all bicycle couriers in Sydney), I gave him a hug hello and goodbye, and then went to get on the train back to the airport!

It would be easy to say the trip into Sydney from the airport was a waste of time and money as in the end I spent such a small amount of time with Sam, my younger brother, but actually I enjoyed the adventure of finding my way around a new town, and seeing somewhere different, and also just being in the warmth of the summer sunshine again was refreshing. Also, I found people to be really kind and helpful, and I enjoyed being able to speak freely and openly with anyone there.

Finally, in the early evening, I walked aboard the last airoplane to take me home to Wellington. I sat down in the aisle seat. The seat next to me was empty but sitting next to the window seat was a young woman with long dark brown hair. She looked to be in her late twenties or maybe early thirties. I said hello and chatted a little, making the occasional silly comment just to show I had a sense of humour and did not want any serious conversation. She listened and smiled and seemed open to conversation but did not really develop the conversation at all, so I took the hint and closed my eyes and had a brief snooze… but I kept waking myself up realising I was snoring! That was a bit embarrassing, so I took out my headphones and watched the start of the in-flight movie, which was one of Sandra Bullock’s movies from last year. She was playing a very silly character. She seems to enjoy playing silly female characters such as the one from the Ms. Congeniality movies, and even though she does it well I am sure she can do different roles just as well if not better. I really like Sandra Bullock as a person and as an actor though, so I kept watching the movie, and thankfully it became better. The other actors were also all really good. It was called ‘All About Steve‘. Sandra Bullock’s character falls in love at first site with Steve, a guy on a blind date set up by her parents. The story becomes funnier and funnier, and more and more absurd, and then of course right at the end it was both quite funny AND serious. Overall it is a good romantic comedy because it is so light-hearted it is impossible to take it seriously. I am a bit concerned that it shows women to be either quite silly or very desperate for a boyfriend, if not both, but then again, to be concerned with this would be taking this movie far too seriously!

Anyway, just before the end of the movie the young woman next to me on the airoplane started chatting with me. We actually had a great conversation and got to know each other quite well in the last hour of the flight. She works in a mine owned by Rio Tinto in Western Australia. She had actually been brought up in Wellington, but was going to meet up with her ‘partner’ (or long-term boyfriend) who lived a couple of hours’ drive from Wellington. We talked about life overseas, and work, and working in the mines, and New Zealanders living overseas, and sunglasses, and wine, and movies, and facebook, and ‘inappropriate behaviour’, and missing home and family, and reading books, and learning to enjoy reading, and different types of books. Then the plane landed, and we said goodbye, and she raced off to meet her partner, Nick. She was very funny and a very interesting person to talk with. She is also only about 27 years old. I hope I get to chat with her again one day. It would be interesting to see where she is living and what she is doing in another ten years!

I collected my bad and walked through the gate, and then dropped my bags again to give my mum a big hug. I also got a really nice, warm, big hug from her fiance, Adrian. They had both come to meet me. Then we drove home to his place, very nearby the home where I had grown up. We had a cup of tea and a brief chat, and then we went to bed. I slept very, very deeply!

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