Before all is lost in my foggy mind, here goes:
It all began some time last year with an old friend from college announcing that she was getting married. In New Zealand! She mooted the idea of vacationing to New Zealand and while we were there, find time to attend her wedding.
When fellow traveler, Ma Hen, took up the suggestion seriously, my heart jumped. Unlike friends who dream of going to US or UK, I’ve always wanted to step foot on NZ. It must have been the image from childhood of a certain brand of milk that has picture of cows grazing on an open land on its container.
And so, we began to make arrangements. This time, blissfully married Ah Gang wasn’t part of “we”. Another avid travel companion joining us shall be known as AD. The three of us had traveled together previously. We were college mates. And we know each other long enough to know and tolerate each others’ quirks.
We contemplated on when and where to buy the flight ticket. Ma Hen was against the adventurous idea of taking a certain low budget flight to Australia and then a connecting flight to New Zealand. Thus it would be one of those national airlines. After taking into consideration of transit flight, and airfare, MAS got our vote.
Next was when to buy the air ticket. It was either during the MAS fair or the MATTA fair. Based on past experiences – MAS fair have cheaper tickets. We had to wait for the wedding date to be confirmed. If the MAS fair was still on, we would buy tickets during the MAS fair.
Thanks to cyberspace, we got the wedding date as immediate as she fixed it. The race is on. We were on the lookout for adverts in newspaper almost every day. Just to make sure we didn’t miss the short window of MAS fair.
Then on 10th February 2009, instead of meeting and going together to the ticketing counter, we went online and met in a private chat room. We logged on to MAS website, searched for suitable date and booked the flight tickets simultaneously. Thanks to a rectangle plastic card, we successfully purchased our flight tickets online.
Only thing left in the travel checklist was the ground arrangements. Ma Han had already established contacts with family members residing in NZ. Not wanting to trouble them much, we knew we should arrange for tours and sightseeing ourselves. The plan was to hunt for best deals during the MATTA fair together.
However, it was not meant to be. The Sunday that we were suppose to meet, I was diagnosed with chicken pox! Needless to say, Ma Hen and AD went hunting without me.