Thursday, October 26, 2006

Journey’s End

Jason went home this evening, ending his three-week New Zealand holiday. He wrote: “To say it has been an awesome trip it an understatement. I can't wait to come back.” In fact, he’s already planning a trip back in a couple years.

I’ve always found it a bit sad to be the person left behind when someone leaves, but there is one little unusual aspect to this one. We’ve been friends for so long now (let’s just say a LOT of years, and leave it at that) that should we not see each other for another seven years we’ll be able to pick up in the same sentence we left off with today. It’s a rare bit of constancy in a temporary, throw-away world.

It was interesting to see
Jason’s reaction to things, his interest in things I’ve come to take for granted or things I never noticed in the first place. All of which is probably to be expected when we’re visited by someone who lives somewhere else.

One question was definitively answered. Ignoring slang, which always varies from place to place, I asked him if he thought my accent was any different now that I’ve lived in New Zealand just short of eleven years. He said no, though it was somewhat different over the phone, probably, he said, because there weren’t any familiar visual clues. My partner and his family disagree, so I suppose there never will be a truly definitive answer to the question. It’s just that this answer matches more closely what I’ve been thinking all along (that my accent is basically the same, but with some slight changes).

The main reason I’ve devoted so much time to talking about the visit relates to something I said in my first post, that it was important “to know where I am in order to understand a lot of things I talk about”. It’s just as important to know something about this place, and this visit gave me the opportunity to talk about some places in this country and to show them.

Speaking of which, the photo accompanying today’s post was taken this morning from Prince’s Wharf in
Auckland looking toward Devonport, with the ever-present volcano Rangitoto in the background. The ferry on the right of the photo is sailing to Devonport.

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