Over the years, I’ve sometimes forgotten about a day that was very important in my life: On September 12, 1995 I entered New Zealand as a tourist and the rest became my story.
That date mattered because the New Zealand Immigration Service (as it was called then) counted it as the starting point when they calculated the total time I’d been in New Zealand, and that was important when I applied for residency. Still, I often forgot about it because Nigel and I have always focused on November 2, 1995, the date I arrived in New Zealand to begin my new life, and, anyway, after I became a permanent resident after a policy change, the earlier date seemed even less important.
However, the bigger reason that I seldom remember is because of the events of ten years ago today: This date in the US is September 11, and those 2001 events were obviously a much bigger deal than what turned out to be the first (and least significant) of the milestone dates in my life in New Zealand.
A sidebar to this: I actually set foot on New Zealand soil about a week earlier. I was on my way to Melbourne for the first part of my tourist trip and spent a couple hours in Auckland International Airport as they serviced the plane. The airport concourse I was in was wide open and rather nice; after 9/11, they built a glass hallway—glass walls and ceiling—to separate travellers who were departing, arriving or transiting. The concourse wasn’t designed for that, of course, and was basically ruined by the security-mandated changes.
At any rate, it’s worth noting this date’s importance in my life, but it’s also worth noting that I only began to remember the date after I started this blog. And that relates to another anniversary on another day, a topic for another day.