France the French way


The Smell of Paradise - New Zealand

Posted: 2011-03-23

Frederic Geffroy from Paris is a young Frenchman who has a strong connection with New Zealand. After reading about the Blog4NZ campaign to promote NZ tourism he wanted to write his own article in order to help. This is a intimate article written with love. We thank Fred for his lovely article supporting the beauty of our country in every form! 

My experience of "what is the beauty of the New Zealand" is quite small. Actually, I have some difficulties to find a special emotional event. A moment when I just realize how wonderful are the landscapes of the Kiwi's land. It is obviously. This is not the essential part.

Smell of Paradise - AkaroaI have to confess that I miss some part of the New Zealand history necessary to understand pieces of the  culture. But anyway, I'll never be a New Zealander. That for sur. Even if I try my best, eat fish and chips everyday and play perfectly the Crowded House songs, I won't be a truly kiwi.

New Zealand is more than tiny places hidden from the rest of the world, it is before everything people. They are the soul of the country. To be more precise, for me, it's all about one person. One single special person. I must say the one.

You may guess hearing my accent that I am French. You're right.

I'm Living in paris, studing art degree and running after the metro everyday. Nothing exceptional.

The special girl decides one day to have a long term holiday out her country. She uses to call that a gap year in New Zealand. France and Paris seems to be an appropriate place for a self improvement period. She was right.

Here she comes for the first day in our classes of 16 students. She's nice. She's cute and quite funny. It's amazing how fast she can integrates herself into the group. Her simpleness and devotion just convinced everyone she deserves a place on the crew. She's the kind of girl knowing exactly where she's going, what's her goal. And She was my aim.

I don't remember how it happens, but we finally get together. Lovely thing. The more time I spent with her, the more I felt attached to her. Paris was the appropriate play ground for lovers like us. I don't have enough fingers in my hand to list all the specials moments we had there.

Then, one day, she had to flight back to Christchurch to be graduated. My little kiwi leaves France after one year. I'll avoid the departure at the airport. Sad as you can imagine but hopeful in the same time. We promise to see us again on the christmas time, five months later. We had to be patient.

I think New Zealand is at the extreme opposite of France on the earth. 20 000 kilometers separate France and New Zealand. That's what we can call a distance relation.

Thousands of pictures and hundreds of skype conversations later, I started my long travel to New Zealand. Thirty hours of flight. I spent all I had on the plane ticket to Christchurch. That was the travel I was waiting for.

The plane landed smoothly on the ground. I tried to see through the small plane window of What is New Zealand. Nothing except mountains.

People in the airport seems to be nice. They were. Actually, they don't succeed in saying my name. Instead of Geffroy, they tells  Geffry.

Arrivals are frustrating. You just travels hours and hours to arrive and overcome the new ordeal of border controls before being allowed to access to the pure fresh air.

Moreover, I couldn't find my luggage on the moving carpet. Honestly, I was so exhausted that I didn't give a dam about my bags and passeport anymore. My head was already out of the building.

Papers and signatures later, I was now a free man ready to front New Zealand Beauty. In fact, beauty was just waiting for me out of the arrival door.

I remember. She was wearing a lovely flowered dress with pale color. It is the perfect definition of a summer dress. I ran to her and give the biggest huge ever. My head on her shoulder, I smell her skin. I was paralysed. It was such a incredible smell. A smell of something new, a smell of freedom and sun. A smell of attraction and passion. From this moment, It becomes the smell of New Zealand. The smell of paradise.

That's was my first contact with New Zealand and obviously my best. I'll never forget my arrival in Christchurch. She's for me the face of the country and the smell of a culture. I was charmed again by this truly kiwi.

My New Zealand is a lovely woman, beautiful, patient and hopefull.