George is one big guy. Originally from American Samoa, he’s been driving cab in New Zealand for over 20 years. “Business is slow. All those park-and-ride places. Almost no one ever takes cab any more.”
But he kept smiling. “Four daughters, one boy. The lights of my life.” Big man. Big grin. Enormous teeth. “They all in America now. But we stay in touch.”
I step out of he cab. He’s already opened the trunk – well, boot as they say here – and has my bag ready to go. I pay the man & give I’m a handsome tip. “Thank you, sir, God bless.” He seems genuine. Or maybe he spun me a yarn about a cabbie’s life. No matter. I like the man. Big guy. You do not want to be sitting beside him on a plane.
The 9+ hour flight from Hawaii was mostly uneventful, except for some sphincter-puckering turbulence. I was lucky & slept through most of it. I don’t normally sleep well on planes but I did last night.
George dropped me at he Rendezvous Grand in Auckland. Pretty posh. Undoubtedly more expensive than I would have chosen for myself, but whatever… The desk staff let me into my room early which I was thankful for, so I got a chance to freshen up a it, have a good breakfast (breakfast #2 today, first one was on the plane) and go for a stroll.
Auckland. New Zealand. I love his place, I really do. This is my third trip and I’ll undoubtedly return after this visit. Something about his place and these people really make me feel at home.
I’ll be connecting with my friend Theresa early next month, so for now I’ve got a week of tourist stuff. Art gallery tomorrow. Maybe a trip to Rotorua on Saturday. Easy hike on Rangi’toto Island on Sunday.
A good home-cooked Middle Eastern dinner from a restaurnt called – what else? the Middle East is now bubbling away contented inside me. I’m back at his too-swanky place for the evening. It’s just after 8 & I’m bushed.
I’m already looking forward to tomorrow. Can’t wait to see the city again. Love this place.