This has been an extraordinary holiday. I've eaten...seafood, cheese, hearty breads, salads and all kinds of spicy Asian food, mostly. I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying about the next chapter and am feeling calm and centered, knowing that something magical is waiting.
Most surprisingly, I met a wonderful man here and we've fallen in love. He's kind, funny, sexy, and has the most amazing heart. His life is here and mine isn't so we plan to blend our lives somehow.
Wait - that isn't my holiday. That's Julia Robert's journey in Eat, Pray, Love, which I watched last night from the comfort of my couch, wearing my jammies. Ok, so I haven't bumped into Javier Bardem or fallen in love, but the eating and praying parts are true.
The food options here are amazing. Until you live someplace where your choices are very limited you forget how amazing it is to be able to walk into a grocery store and buy anything - raw or ready-made, that you could want.
Auckland has lots of food courts. Not the kind we have in American malls. These are more like the ones in Singapore, where there are a variety of small restaurants, usually Asian or Middle Eastern, around the outside of a huge room with tables and chairs in the middle. You choose your dish and dine. Or, take it home.
I've been overwhelmed in the food courts. Too many choices. The night I arrived back in Auckland, I went to the place on K road. It's not far, but all uphill so I felt I deserved something special. But what? There was Hong Kong style Chinese. Ooooh. Peking duck?
There was Indian...spicy and naan. Or maybe the halal Middle Eastern. Or Vietnamese? Or Thai? It all looked fresh and delicious and the blend of smells made my head spin. All that lusciousness on one place and I only have a few more days. What to do?
I ended up with spicy Penang Curry from the Thai stall. $10 for chicken and vegetables in a curry made perfectly to order. I was so confused by all the choices I forgot to get spring rolls. It didn't matter. It was delicious.
The first time I flew to New Orleans I sat next to a fellow foodie who said I should plan to start eating early and continue until late so I could taste as many delicious Cajun dishes as possible. That's how I feel here. Like Julia, in the movie, I plan to enjoy the food, walk a lot and not worry about the calories or feel guilty about the pleasure.
I have the eat and pray covered. The love I have waiting for me back in Samoa. I really miss my kids. I can't wait to hear my Year 8 neighbor yell hello as he cooks the family dinner over an open fire and I cook mine nearby on a hotplate.
Javier doesn't know what he's missing.