“Mistakes Make the Best Stories”
I saw that saying on a woman’s t-shirt in Melbourne, I really wish I had taken a picture because it seemed to represent my life trajectory so well.
I wound up staying a bit too long in Rotorua because I had no idea that the full bus going to Auckland was also the bus heading to Hamilton (sigh). During my wait though, I met this lovely lady who lived in a city nearby and was waiting for her returning home bus.
When I started being worried about my bus not coming, she offered to look after my luggage while I went it the bus ticket office. Sadly, the woman mending the desk told me my bus was coming in a few minutes. She was wrong. The “Auckland/Hamilton” bus had already been out there for 15 minutes and I let it leave without me. It would also mean missing my 4:30pm train to Auckland. I didn’t cry over that part though, due to issues with my Wellington to Hamilton trip.
Getting back to the lovely lady, she talked to me about what the city was like 50 years ago, and how she has been a widow for two years now and was travelling on her own for the first time, to see her brother in Rotorua. I told her she really appeared to me like a seasoned traveller (classy, walkable sandals, leather coat, rolling suitcase, etc.) and she got a kick out of that. She said that she looked at what her daughter was doing when she travelled, and then tried to imitate her. “I looked, and I learned”. [Ndlr. We need more of that in the world.]
I hope if she so chooses, that seeing me travel on my own will help convince her to do it again. We didn’t share our names, but it didn’t matter, she gave me a nice hug as she was leaving, and for a bit less than an hour, we had a nice meeting of the souls.
I was then stuck for 4 hours waiting for a 3-hour ride to Auckland, in an overheated bus. In the end, had I planned this ahead of time, it would’ve been the easiest way for me to get more time in lovely Rotorua and travel to Auckland. But I hadn’t. I was therefore not dressed for getting around in 30 Celsius weather, which led me to feel and smell like melted cheese for a good long while (sigh). Oh well.
Note: Do you know what happens when you get into an unknown city at 9pm? You wind up walking for 15 minutes to get to a neighbourhood grocery store, when there’s a big one on a cross street,5 minutes from the hotel [facepalm].