Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Weeellll... it's really more of a Sydney idea...Have you ever walked into a room in slow-motion?

Y’know – like in movies? When the lead character is overcome with realization, or revisits a place of deep emotional significance many years after the event? The thing is that everyone else around them moves in slow-motion too, so you know that it’s just a cinematic thing – the character wasn’t actually walking very slowly into a room full of people, everything just seemed that way to him. Well, this afternoon I did exactly that.

I went to Manukau intending to get my hair cut. (a goal I didn't achieve) I got off the bus (where, last April, I’d met Nigel on our trip down to Palmy), walked into the shopping centre, and… looked around me, and… just… slooooowwweedd - ddoowwwnnnn…

I had been here once before. Nearly four years ago. After a coffee-shop, this was the very first place I had come to when I first arrived in New Zealand on the morning of February 28th 2004.

Back then, to me, this had just been any old generic shopping-centre, and words like “Westfield” had meant nothing to me, so I hadn’t remembered them.

There had been other culture-shocks that day too. I don’t think I’ll ever forget approaching one of the fast food stands there, asking for a glass of milk, and having to tackle the sales assistant’s disturbing question “Blue or green?”

I’m pretty sure I'd answered “Well, blue. That doesn’t sound as bad as green.”

Today I had no idea which of these stands that had been, but I did clearly remember the mall’s basic layout, enough to locate where I’d likely changed money, ironically had my hair cut, and spent 20 minutes in the toilet with a sudden nosebleed. (brought on by the flight, I guess) And the supermarket where I’d then bought tissues, remembered my budgie Ford, and failed to find sunscreen for our two cats. Today I ascertained that it had been called “Food Town.”

I’d been very tired that first morning – I’d only had maybe four hours of proper sleep, and that had been before the exhausting 24-hour flight that I was still on my own auto-pilot from.

That cup of coffee took a long time to sink in though - nearly four years, and only today was this place finally seeming to slow-down for me...



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