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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Double Decker

It was strange leaving Australia. I felt as though my whirlwind memory lane adventure had officially come to an end. Although I did have a couple of friends in New Zealand, I had seen sooo many old friends in Australia that it became difficult to actually wrap my head around it. I think I’d had this romantic notion of how everything once was… and I was just chomping at the bit to see if some of the magic we all once had was still there. For some of us, yes.

For almost all of us, yes. It definitely had an element of magic to it.

I clicked immediately with almost everyone I reconnected with from my past. I think the most frequent thing to say was, "Did we REALLY do that?",.. like our past hooligan-style adventures were a mere illusion or dream.

But regardless, I felt like I was walking away from something I had dreamed about doing my entire life.

And just like that, it was over. 

I’d done it.

Like I’ve said many times, Australia held such a gigantic piece of my life... and my heart. This country down under contributed so enormously to who I am today and where I am in my life. 

Beyond measure.

Poof, it was gone. Well, maybe gone is the wrong word... but I was on a plane, on my way to New Zealand, and like it or not, my old times, new times, good times and memories were once again, behind me.

New Zealand was going to be fantastic too.  I knew it. I could feel it. I had a tour booked for the South Island and I was catching up with two more friends before heading home.

For the first time in my life, I was flying Emirates.

Everything seemed quite standard as I was boarding the plane. We waited in the departure lounge… normal… and then made our way down the covered ramp and onto the plane. Normal. The flight attendants were there at the door to greet us as we boarded… and then I stopped. There was something unusual about this plane.

It seemed like it had more room. 

It was bigger… if that makes sense. 

Now, I’ve been on a lot of planes in my life… but never one like this.  What was going on?  I stood there, almost dumbfounded… and looked around.

I was on a genuine DOUBLE DECKER.



Emirates is popular on the opposite side of the world… but not as big around the Western Canada area.  So not only had I never flown with them… I had certainly never flown on a plane that had a staircase going UPSTAIRS.  It was like a cruise ship. I was in pure awe. Shock. Amazement.

In my awe, I started babbling on and on to the flight attendants. It was all nonsense coming out of my mouth... along the lines of "WOW!!" and This is crazy" and "I’ve never flown on such a big plane”

There was method to my madness though. Although I was genuinely amazed... I was hoping they would find my naivety endearing and potentially upgrade me to first class. Right?

It was worth a try.

I think they were delighted with my enthusiasm... but alas… they did not escort me to the sky deck. I was stuck in economy class with the peons.

It was an early flight and for the life of me, I do not know why I booked those flights.  I always regret it. Sure, it's cheap, but it's NOT worth it.  Even though it left at 7:50, I still had to be up at around 3 am to get ready and get myself to Sydney International Airport.

There is an upside to arriving early.  You’ve got a full day to sightsee. 

But there is a downside.

BIG downside.

For me, anyway. I’m always exhausted. I need a nap… and I can’t check into my hotel until between 2-4 pm. That sucks.

I will never learn.

Because I’m bonkers.

I did get to Christchurch early and lucky for me, my room was ready, so that was an upside. My downside for the day was that I was so tired, I laid down on the bed as soon as I walked through the room… and I promptly passed out.

So my entire day was wasted.

At least I missed the rain storm.

Slept right through it.

I liked Christchurch. I spent my entire day there wandering around and getting to know this brave and resilient city.

I don’t know if many people remember, but Christchurch suffered a colossal earthquake in 2011, which pretty much destroyed the entire city. Beat it to a pulp. 

It was devastating to see not only the photographs of the city's collapse but also the aftermath of the rubble that remains. Yes, they've done a damn good job of rebuilding, but there is still so much more work to be done. As part of Christchurch's rejuvenation and recovery, new murals have started to appear all over the city. These spectacular works of art give a warm, quirky, vibrant and dynamic vibe... almost as if they are breathing life back into the city again. It’s becoming a very hip and chic place to be. I strolled through the botanical gardens, the indoor street eateries, the art galleries... and even jumped on board the hop-on-hop-off trolley that meandered its way through the main streets.

I liked Christchurch.

BUT... there was one thing I wasn't a fan of.

It wasn't so much the earthquakes that had me worried, although there are quite a few each year (small ones)... the one big thing that hit me, was the cold.

It was BALTIC.

My tan was fading at an alarming rate.

Ya… sure... it had been chilly in Melbourne and brisk in Sydney… but this was a cold I was going to be forced to deal with. Big time. I was ill-equipped to deal with these temperatures, regardless of any of the clothes I’d bought prior. I needed more. A LOT more.

Off to the shops... again.

And for anyone wondering… I still haven’t received a refund from the Sydney hotel.

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