Tuesday, 13 September 2011

NZ travelogue: Moving house, literally!

I have never believed anyone who tells me that he never plans for his holidays, that he would just go to his holiday destination and then allow fate to guide him along. In my opinion, such random trips will lead to a disastrous holiday sooner or later.

Me? I always make sure that I have an itinerary ready. I may not have everything down to the details but I will have an eye on the time and a general idea of what to do and where to go. But most importantly, I will have planned on my nightly accommodations. A "Plan A" supported by a "Plan B".

As a result, nothing should really spring a pleasant or nasty surprise on the traveller unless something happens that is totally unexpected. I am pretty glad that nothing unpleasant happened on our trip to New Zealand's South Island. Except for time constraints that prevented us from fulfilling all our objectives - don't we always want more time on our holidays to do this and to do that? - I would think that we achieved about 80 to 90 percent of what we set out to do.

But there was one incident that caught both my wife and I by surprise on our first day on the road. About 15 minutes after we passed through Ashburton, the traffic in front of us suddenly crawled to a halt. Cars were pulling up by the side of the road.

I was driving and I got puzzled. Why on earth would that be happening? The Malaysian driver instinct in me suddenly took over. Without realising it, I began overtaking all those cars. And then suddenly, I saw why all those cars had stopped. It was this:

A truck was approaching from the other direction of the highway and it was carrying a small house! Really. It looked like a prefabricated house but nevertheless, still a whole house. A whole house, that is, which had been uploaded onto the back of the truck. It was a sight to behold. I had thought that this could only happen among the kampungs in rural South-East Asia but I could hardly imagine seeing this in New Zealand.

So what could I do but to join the other drivers and swerve myself out of the way of the on-coming truck? But of course, not before I grabbed the camera from my wife's grip - she was literally frozen with shock - and took this one precious picture...

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