Smoke and mirrors – Auckland to Wellington

Maithreyi Nandakumar

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I feel a little fixated on the weather in the Antipodes – Sydney airport en route to Auckland was being lashed by rain and now in New Zealand, the temperature in the evenings drops to shivering. The airport authorities Down Under however, are surely fixated on fruit. Even within Australia, all fruit needs to be dumped before leaving the plane. As for New Zealand (after having watched Border Security on TV), we pored over our landing cards, agonising over what to declare and what to keep schtum about. Would the new purse in the suitcase count as animal skin (what about our wallets?) and our wooden souvenirs from the Outback be liable for the hefty fine ($700 NZD)? The genial giant of a Maori Immigration Officer laughed away our worries but the man in customs made us show the heels of our boots and wanted to know where it had stomped recently. When the fruit-sniffing…

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