I didn’t go to church this morning but instead spent the morning finishing off packing for Christchurch. My dad was probably more anxious than I was, as he constantly kept reminding me to get things sorted!
I could only just fit everything in my bag, but surprisingly it only weighed 13kgs (with the maximum of 23 kgs!). My school bag was about 6kg though! I’d have to empty it when I got to my aunty and uncle’s house in Christchurch before taking it to the hospital tomorrow.
My mum gave me a bit of a haircut before she went off to pick Aonghas and Hamish up from church and drop Aonghas off at work. I had finished my shower and my dad and I were waiting anxiously for my mum to come back, as the flight was going to depart at 3pm and my dad had wanted to leave by 1.30pm!
Finally she came home, and we quickly got in the car and headed for the airport. We got there with about 10 minutes before the half hour close-off time. The airport had changed quite a bit! They have these new self-check-in kiosks! All I needed to do was scan the barcode (my dad tried shoving the piece of paper into the slot!) and then the luggage label printed! As soon as that was done, I dropped my luggage on the conveyor belt and made my way to the departure gate.
As I was lining up to have my bags x-rayed and my body scanned, my mum and dad kept constantly reminding me not to leave anything behind, to make sure I did this and that!
I managed to get through the barrier all right, except there was a beep that made me jump! I started heading to the gate before realising I was going the wrong way and ended up having to walk back the other way to get to Gate 28! I could hear the woman’s voice on the intercom announcing that Flight 535 to Christchurch was about to close and so I started running! I was out of breath by the time I got to the lady at the gate! She scanned her ticket and I walked out onto the tarmac to line up to board the plane.
I was seated at 10D which was an aisle seat, right next to two guys. I have to say I was probably the tensest person on the plane! I was praying before take-off, whenever I heard some weird sound and before landing that we’d be safe! The last time I had been on a plane was when I was younger and our family flew to Wellington for a holiday. That was over ten years ago! Since then I’ve watched numerous disaster movies and the Mayday documentary series on air crashes which have freaked me out! Oh and don’t forget 9/11…
The flight was actually non-eventful. Just after take-off the safety video was played with the flight attendants showing us the emergency exits. After that, the only thing on the video screens were some random trivia questions! Half-way during our flight we were served a drink (I chose water!), and a snack, which I chose the vege chips. There was very little in it but I suppose you can’t expect much! As we flew over the northern part of the South Island, the weather was great! It was sunny! The pilot however announced that Christchurch’s weather would be a lot more miserable than that!
The little girl soon walked down the aisle handing out the lollies before the plane started lowering for landing. I was gripping the armrest with my heart beating. I was so relieved when the plane landed!
When I got off the plane, I followed all the people out, as I had no idea where to go. It was not too long before Aunty Jill spotted me! She and my uncle went over to the luggage carousel to find my suitcase, which was one of the very last. After we grabbed it we headed to their car and they took me past Christchurch Hospital to show me where it was, and then to the Bus Exchange, where Aunty Jill and I got out to have a walk around and grab some bus timetables. She doesn’t catch the bus that often so she had to make some enquiries at the help-desk as well. The Bus Exchange is sort-of like Auckland’s Britomart. It’s right in the middle of the city, and it’s surrounded by shops! Hopefully I get a chance to check them out.
The weather was miserable as the pilot had earlier claimed, and so we quickly got back into the car and they took me to their home, which turns out to be at the top of a dormant volcano! They have great views of the bay and their house is quite new! I am sleeping in their son’s old bedroom as he is now flatting. It’s right next to a toilet and bathroom and mini-lounge which they said I could watch TV whenever I like! According to my uncle, they had been living in this house for the past five years or so. They had it built themselves, so that the parents could have upstairs and the two kids (one who has moved out) could do everything they need to downstairs.
I didn’t isolate myself downstairs in the bedroom for too long though, as I went back upstairs to watch the news with Uncle John and Aunty Jill before Aunty Jill’s friend Jean had come over. She was going to give me a ride to Christchurch Hospital in the morning so it was a good opportunity to meet her in advance.
Aunty Jill had cooked some (I think) Satay chicken and rice and made some homemade buns for dinner which was really nice!
After dinner we watched a bit more TV before we all decided to go to sleep, and I just spent some time in the bedroom reviewing my job application and CV, and thinking of possible answers I could give at the interview the next morning!