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November 9th 2012
Published: November 17th 2012
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week 1

Week 1 – In which our heroes arrive in a very far place, acclimatize, and see more green and blue colors then they thought were possible.

We arrived to New Zealand and already a week has passed.

The flight

Usually parents dread flights and cite the flight as an excuse for not traveling with children. We, on the other hand, understand that the flight, no matter how exhausting, is a onetime event that just needs to be overcome. But this time around we were worried. Two back-to-back 10 hour flights is not easy even for an adult traveling alone to endure. We were facing over 36 hours door-to-door of sleep deprivation, baby holding, children crying hell. After a day of work. This should surly rank as inhumane and unjustly cruel together with waterboarding and torture.

Our first dilemma was where to sit on the plane.

Option A: sit in the front row and get a bassinet for the baby. The downside is that in this row the arm rests for not raise condemning the 2 older children to sit up rather than lay down for the whole time.

Option B:
Auckland skylineAuckland skylineAuckland skyline

slightly Photoshoped
sit in the back and let the children lay down at the price of us holding Zohar the whole way.

We choose option B months ahead and pre-reserved seats. At the airport, on a momentary hunch we switched to the bassinet row. VERY GOOD CHOICE. I cannot imagine holding Zohar for such a long time and not sleeping on the way. Liya and Ariel had no problem sleeping while sitting. And the front row had much more leg room so that when awake the children could play a bit on the floor.

The flight ended up to be bearable, which under the circumstance was absolutely the best we could hope for. All children spent most of both flights sleeping without us needing to resort to the drugs (i.e. cough medicine) we brought with us just in case.

Some place over Indonesia during the 2nd flight marked the first time that Hagit and the children crossed the Equator. We did not do any ritual or ZOBOR but we did mark the achievement with a quiet prayer that the kids will keep on sleeping.

Jet Lag

Hagit does not believe in jetlag. She keeps teasing the Jetlag
Bay of IslandsBay of IslandsBay of Islands

Dolphin flowing our boat
Gods proclaiming that if you just ignore jetlag, then jetlag does not see you too..

We arrived at noon. All we had in mind was not going to the hotel for fear just collapsing upon seeing our bed. We drove around Auckland taking in a few view points and playing around in a playground near the Pacific ocean but by 4pm it was clear that the day was soon ending for all of us. With everyone’s last ounces of patience we got to our hotel and without showering fell asleep.

The night turned into a nighttime musical-beds game. We started the night with me and Hagit in one bed and the 2 children in the other. Ariel joined us after some time. This prompted me an hour later to join Liya instead of being kicked the rest of the night. Liya joined Hagit and Ariel sometime during the night. Hagit moved in with me some time later creating a full circle.

Next, came the feedings. Every one of us woke up in a different time to eat. Zohar woke up every hour. And there is nothing spookier then a 2.5 year old sitting on the floor in pitch dark eating BISLY. Ariel ended the night on the floor still holding his empty bag J

But generally Hagit was right – by the 2nd night every one slept a full night and our jetlag problems were behind us.

The first impression of new Zealand was in the car and it was good. The first radio station I turned to has playing Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Perl Jam. A good rock radio station is something that every North-American town takes for granted but is not at all obvious in the rest of the world where many time music stations are either stuck in the 80s, play soft pop (i.e. GALGALTZ music) or (even worse) play European rock ballades

Being on the other side of the globe many things ARE upside-down and backwards in NZ.

This was my first time driving on the left side. At first I followed the advice my father gave me a few years ago after he returned from England – “remember the driver is always in the middle of the road”. Surprisingly, it took less than 1 day to switch hemispheres in my head in such a way that
Auckland playgroundAuckland playgroundAuckland playground

fighting the jetlag
even on the sidewalk when encountering a pedestrians coming in front of me a moved to the left.

Time is also backwards in New Zealand. Mostly, a 11 hr difference between us and home is convenient. We talk to the grandparents twice a day just like at home. Morning and evening. And the grandparents talk to us twice a day, Evening and Morning. Everyone knows that US elections are held on a Tuesday. But it was Wednesday in NZ when the polls opened and almost Thursday when we got the results. I could not decide if that means that New Zealanders live in the no-so-distant-past or in the near future. But surly they don’t live in the present.

Road game

Having to pass few hours on the road each day me and Hagit invented the following game.

When you see a camper van (of which there are many) the first person to yell ITZKO gets a point

When you see a regular van converted into a 2 berth camper the first person to yell ITZKOLE gets a point.

In both cases the camper must be driving and not in a parking area.

Auckland playgroundAuckland playgroundAuckland playground

fighting the jetlag
the 2 confused allows the other to yell the right name.

In other case calling out falsely gives the other a point.

It might not sound fun but this game is very addictive. Even after we both said we will stop playing we continued yelling ITZKO even at campervans on TV.

Quote of the week:

“?Forkאפשר לקבל “ (“EFSHAR LEKABEL fork? “ “Can I get a fork?)

Liya practicing English and combining Hebrew when talking to a waitress. The waitress understood and the fork was supplied.

Additional photos below
Photos: 65, Displayed: 26


The ducks chased us for over 1/2 kmThe ducks chased us for over 1/2 km
The ducks chased us for over 1/2 km

at Wenderholm Regional Park.
Bay of IslandsBay of Islands
Bay of Islands

Dolphin flowing our boat
Hole in the RockHole in the Rock
Hole in the Rock

Bay of Islands

17th November 2012

Mixed feelings
I admire you. I hate you. I'm so jealous. I don't envy you one cent. I wish I were there with you. No way I'm leaving home. I know exactly how you feel. I have no idea how you're doing it. ...Just keep doing cool things and writing about it.

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