So It Begins

Yesterday the first wave of BLAST-Pol folks got together in Christchurch, New Zealand. Juan and I traveled at the same time, but only shared a flight for the Los Angeles to Auckland leg. In total, it took about 20 hours of flying, and another 10 hours waiting in various airports. Nick and Elio had arrived the day before.

Here are a few important and interesting things I learned about New Zealand:

  • Air New Zealand has the best pre-flight safety video I’ve ever seen, by a wide margin. I had trouble not laughing the whole time.
  • New Zealand is amazingly gorgeous in the spring, especially when seen from above. (Due to a poorly packed camera I don’t have any pictures, but if you’re really disappointed, the internet can presumably be used to fill that void.) Especially for the Auckland-Christchurch flight it’s very desirable to have a window seat and a clear day.
  • Finally, and most depressingly of all, juggling bean bags are not allowed in New Zealand. Mine were confiscated by BioSecurity! Not only do they have an intimidating name, but they’re a remarkably thorough bunch. (Note: if I had thought at all about this, I would have realized that the bags are stuffed with seed, and thus very clearly against the rules.)

I don’t have any pictures to post, but I may add some later.

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