When I left for New Zealand, I ended up ditching my mp3 player as well. For folks who don’t know me, this is distinctly significant change from my normal pattern of life.
I am usually The One With *ALL* The Music.
If people are going on a roadtrip, I have 50 hours of music on an mp3, and anywhere from 25 to 60 C.D.’s.
I am virtually never without music.
However, not having an mp3 player has also meant that I no longer have headphones.
Headphones are a seriously interesting addition to social interaction, in the way that they sort of…absolutely prevent it.
Not having headphones has opened me up to all kind of delightful things, not the least of which being…people on buses.
The first woman I met on a bus has now turned into a potential job on a dairy farm, with possibilities of landing a spot on a yacht as a cook.
The second time I got on a bus, I met this amazing Maori woman, who fed me half of her sandwich for breakfast and gave me her contact information, just in case I ever found myself up in the Far North again, or I ever needed anything in New Zealand.
I have met jet-setters and farm-girls and faith-healing missionaries who can apparently see demons. (I’ve even run into folks that I’ve met before, which is really saying something, because I only know about ten people in New Zealand, so running into one of them at a bus stop is pretty much twelve kinds of crazy.)
Everyone seems to ride the bus here. A bus ticket isn’t the socio-economic indicator it is in the United States. In New Zealand, a bus is an economical way to get from one place to another.
It’s sort of what I love about airplanes, but better, because buses stop so passengers can get off and stretch. 😉