The One Thing I Dislike About NZ

It’s been a week that I’ve been back in Manila and I have been struggling to identify what I dislike about New Zealand.  Everything seem to be so likable in that country: the people, the culture, the color, the weather, the food, the sights, the fresh air.  And finally I come to realize that at least I dislike something about the country whose slogan is “100% Pure”.

While watching a top ten scariest commercial flights in modern time video on Youtube, I suddenly came to realize that the one thing I hated about New Zealand is this…

Though it’s not bad, its definitely no good!  Yeah Air New Zealand, though they offer really nice airline services and facilities, got a very tacky and seem to be tasteless type of an airline safety video.  Though the video seem to have high production value and definitely thinks out-of-the-box in terms of catching a passenger’s attention, for me, the present NZ safety video is downright corny and at times annoying.  Too bad, my recent Air New Zealand fight featured this safety video.

I was actually looking forward to this epic type of a video when the flight attendant told all passengers to focus our attention to the screen…

If it was this cool and iconic 2014 LOTR-based safety video, it would be the first time that I would clap so hard and shout “Bravo!” over an aircraft’s safety video right inside the airplane.  Hahaha!  I know that the idea of the safety video is to get across the safety information to people but passengers (especially those seated at the economy class like me) I guess also needs to be entertained.

But honestly, I love New Zealand…

100% pure

100% pure

Ang kyut no. Sana ganyan din sa PAL.

 

Bound for Israel: A Rare Airport Security Experience

snoozing inside el al air

snoozing inside el al air

Prior to leaving Manila (with a connecting flight in Hongkong) for an exciting adventure, I have been told by few friends on how stringent the security is prior to entering the Holy Land of Israel.  I was told that prior to being allowed entry inside the state, questions asked at the immigration could be very stern, firm and exacting.  Thus, prior to leaving my apartment in Manila, I internalize and assumed the thoughts of a beauty pageant contestant.  Armed with a smile like that of a docile idiot, I guess talking about hope, happiness and world peace would be the best answers for the Israeli immigration officer to allow me in.

But what surprised me about the exceptional and unique airport experience I had on travelling to Israel was the time when I and my sister (whom I am travelling with) needs to get our El Al (Israeli Airlines) boarding pass at the Hongkong Airport.

All passengers of the El AI flight were gathered and escorted to W1 desk where the boarding pass will be issued.  But prior to the issuance, I then have encountered the rarest airport experience I had.  All of us passengers would first have to line-up so that we would have to be interrogated one-by-one by an Israeli airport security (I suppose).  The questions were so plenty, we have not even landed to Israel!

inside ben guiron airport towards immigration for another round of interrogation

inside ben guiron airport towards immigration for another round of interrogation

shalom!

shalom!

Tons of questions were thrown at me and my sister – how are we related, who packed our luggage, when did we packed it, do we know someone in Israel, what are we gonna do in Israel, if we live together in one house, is the lock of our luggage is key operated or of a number combination, are the luggage keys complicated or plain and simple, etc.  It was so plenty, I never had the chance to incorporate hope, happiness and world peace in my answers.

To add more rarity to the experience, we were then ordered to show then surrender our luggage keys to the solicitous interrogating officer.  He gently explained that our luggage would have to be opened and rigorously inspected (because someone in transit might have planted a bomb inside) before it be towed inside the plane.  Thinking of rather being safe than sorry, we of course issued our respective keys and were told to claim the same at the gate prior to boarding. We were then pointed to proceed to the W1 desk for the issuance of our respective boarding passes.

The only usual thing I experienced inside Hongkong airport was the grumpy face and cantankerous attitude of the Hongkonese issuing our boarding pass.  While asking this Hongkongnese to make sure that I and my sister be seated together preferably at the aisle, I was actually thinking of rather answering the countless questions of the calm and mild Israeli security than that of talking to the rude and impolite Hongkonese airport staff.

thanks to my japan and new york exposure, riding the tel aviv train was a piece of cake

thanks to my japan and new york exposure, riding the tel aviv train was a piece of cake

safe & secured... on our way to our hotel

safe & secured… on our way to our hotel

When we arrived in Ben Guiron Airport in Tel Aviv, we again were barraged with multiple questions at the immigration desk before we were allowed inside Israel.  I was actually not irritated nor upset.  I in fact appreciated the rigorous (yet smooth) security measures that the Israeli Security carries out.  Knowing how crazy the world – the universe rather – that we live in right now, these safety efforts and security measures would really be something worth appreciating.

Gusto ko pa naman sabihin yung… “byuti wid a hart” Hahaha!