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2007 July 23 » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

From the mouths of babes

23rd July 2007

From the mouths of babes

Precious (3yo) was just looking at old family photos from when I was about her age. My parents, who currently both have nearly silver hair, would have been around 25. She looked at her grandma and grandpa in the photos and asked “Who painted their hair?”

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

23rd July 2007

finally something familiar

I went to the supermarket today. By myself. A place called Food 4 Less. I could have written 10 blog posts by the time I left, I had that many things happen. But I’ll settle with just one for now :)

I needed to buy apples. I looked at all the apples. All the unfamiliar apples. Did you know that there are different varieties of apples in different countries? I never knew that until I left the United States when I was 21. I always thought there were just Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. And those horribly tart ones that always grew on our tree.

Anyway. Apples.

I finally found a familiar apple - Royal Gala. I looked at the little sticker and, lo and behold, it was grown in New Zealand. I bought the most expensive apples in the store because they were familiar.

And folks, that’s what we call culture shock. I think we’ll be having a lot of posts like that in the coming weeks.

Next time I should write about the look on my face when I realised that there are TWO ENTIRE AISLES of a GIANT supermarket dedicated to frozen dinners of some description - fried this and that, pizzas, entrees, burritos, chicken stuff, fish stuff. All so that we can avoid cooking. And the irony is that there was only one variety of brown rice. I had no option to price-compare with. Just one lonely bag of brown rice.

I guess I don’t need to write that post after all because I think I just wrote it!

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

23rd July 2007

The great blog giveaway, Kiwi style

Comments are now closed. Draw to be done approximately noon Pacific Time.

In honour of our recent move to the United States, I am giving away a combination package to include the best of both of my countries. For the lucky winner I will post away to you a package of Pineapple Lumps, fresh from New Zealand on Saturday, along with a package of Butterfingers purchased here in the US. My giveaway is open to anyone in the world. I’m happy to ship overseas.

What in the world are pineapple lumps? Here’s a picture:

Some Kiwis would say they’re just pure heaven in a chocolate wrapper. I think they’re pretty tasty, too. And no, they’re not really pineapple :)

Butterfingers are my favourite candy bar available in the United States. Wow. They’re good. Really good :)

So, leave a comment and join the draw, which will be held on Friday. For lots more blog giveaways, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer. Should be lots of fun!!

posted in Uncategorized | 285 Comments

23rd July 2007

Letter to Air New Zealand

I wrote the following letter to Air New Zealand this morning:

I am hoping that this message will get to the appropriate people as I want to write of the excellent service I recently received from Air New Zealand.
I am a mother of three children under 4 years old and we flew on NZ8 from Auckland to San Francisco on 21 July. Although my husband was supposed to fly with us, he was detained and so I unexpectedly was flying alone with my children. I love them, but that was still a challenge :) When I checked in at the airport I let the customer service rep know that I was a mother with three children and the first question she asked was if I needed help.  She explained to me where the special assistance desk was and that someone would help me with a stroller and would walk me through security and immigration and onto the plane. Because of this special service I was able to bypass very long lines. We pre-boarded the plane and from the moment I stepped on I knew that we would be okay. The head of the flight crew, Craig Johnson, saw me coming down the aisle and he has obviously been forewarned about us because he said “You must be the mother of three children.”

Throughout the flight I was regularly asked if I needed anything. The flight attendants helped my daughter, who was sitting furthest from me, with her food when needed. At the end of the flight one flight attendant even help her get her shoes on!

But the icing on the cake was when we were leaving the plane after the 12 hour flight was over. My nearly two-year-old was at the end of her patience and was clinging to my leg, begging to be carried. We had exited the plane and had a long walk to the arrival hall. I was carrying the infant and could not have carried her. The flight attendants were walking behind us and one of them stepped up and offered to carry her. Because of the long walk and the weight of my daughter, a few of them alternated carrying duties until we reached the immigration area. This was obviously above and beyond the call of duty, but done out of the kindness of their hearts.

From this point a member of the ground staff met me and escorted me through immigration and helped me retrieve our many bags and then arranged for a porter to help me through customs and out to where my family was waiting.

I have always enjoyed my flights with Air New Zealand, but NZ8 was by far my best experience. I appreciate the willingness of your staff to go above and beyond what was necessary in order to provide me and my family with what we needed to make our move to the United States a little bit easier. I want to again mention Craig Johnson and his flight crew. Please let them know that I think they deserve a raise :)

posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments