Auckland Airport – circa 2016
I was delighted to see my daughter waiting for me at the exit of Auckland International Airport.
“You have grown so tall – and – you look so pretty…” I said to her.
My daughter smiled – she gave me a warm hug – and – she said to me:
“It’s been 3 years – I am so happy to see you, Daddy – I was eagerly waiting to see you – but – you took so much time – your flight landed more than an hour ago…”
“Immigration didn’t take much time – my bag arrived quickly too – but – there was delay at biosecurity – an old lady ahead of me in the queue had brought home-made pickles, sweets and mangoes from India – and – she was arguing and was refusing to pay the fine…” I said.
“How stupid – don’t they read the biosecurity rules before coming to New Zealand…?” my daughter said.
“Forget all that…” I said, “where have you booked me – in the same hotel where you work…?”
“No hotel - you are going to stay at home – our home…” my daughter said, firmly.
“But – your mother…?” I said to her, with a bit of apprehension.
(When talking to my daughter – I had always addressed my wife as “your mother” – even when we were married…)
“Mother…? You don’t worry about her…” my daughter said to me, “it is your house – and – I want you to stay with us at home…”
“Okay – shall we go by “Airport Shuttle Bus”…? We can get down at Mount Eden Village Bus Stop – and – walk down to our house in Epsom…” I said to my daughter.
“We are driving down in our car…” she said, with a confident smile.
“Car…? Has your mother come…?” I ask, feeling uneasy.
“No – I am driving…” my daughter said.
“You…? But you are just 17…” I said to her.
“Have you forgotten the rules…? I got my driving license last year. Of course – it is a restricted one – so – I can drive only during the daytime – from 5 AM to 10 PM – next year – I will get my full-fledged driving license…” my daughter said.
And – we – my daughter and I – we walked towards the parking area.
To be continued in Part 2
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