13.02.2015: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
We were just about halfway through our trip when my Dad asked me, “have You contacted Earl and Jo yet?” Mr. Earl and Mrs. Jo, who used to belong to the same line of work as my parents, have been family friends for a long long time. They visited us once in Singapore and we visited them once too in New Zealand, during which they brought us around Auckland and even to their home on Waiheke Island. While on the island, my favourite memories were sleeping and waking up to the crashing of waves, the al fresco meals on the veranda which came with such a breath-taking view of Onetangi Beach and beyond, and the seemingly endless drives by the vineyards. It was a dream. Who would have known that, 12 years on, a short call to Mr. Earl, an impromptu decision and a 40-minute ferry ride later, I’d be back on the island?
We took an evening ferry to Waiheke island, and upon receiving instructions from Mr. Earl, took a bus to Onetangi beach, where their house was located. There was a guy who boarded the bus with us, and who introduced himself to us as Steve. He was a Kiwi who grew up in Auckland and had a passion for water sports — sailing in particular. It seems that he had been to Waiheke more than just a couple of times, for he pretty much knew everything about the island. The picture below (apologies for the overpowering sun, but I just had to capture the view!) features the houseboats of Waiheke, in which, according to Steve, people live without addresses. These houseboaters simply go by with the name of their boats!
Halfway through our bus ride, we realised that we were heading further and further away from Onetangi, the place which this bus was supposed to head to and where we were to meet Mr. Earl! We informed the bus driver about this and he said that he was not aware that we had wanted to go there — we learned then that one must always tell the bus driver where they’re heading. Being the nice guy that he was, he made the extra effort to turn back and drive us to Onetangi. We told this to Mr. Earl when we alighted and met him, and he went right up to the bus (see below) and mouthed ‘thank You!’ to the bus driver.
We tried parsnips for the first time that evening (life-changing) and caught up on all the years we’ve missed out on. It was so heart-warming being amongst such genuine, kind-hearted souls and feeling as though we have found a home away from home.
I’ll end off this post with two of Mr. Earl’s famous quotes, which they have written on a little whiteboard in the kitchen:
“It’s good to do nothing, and then rest.”
“Start off slowly, then eeease back [into] busy doing nothing.”
He’s an extremely well-established businessman, so these quotes must hold some virtue. 😉