Our last day in Queenstown, we went to Sherwood Hotel for breakfast.
A friend told me we should check it out, in his words: ‘someone has hipsterfied a cafe in the middle of Queenstown.’
It was surreal, that someone could actually cosplay a hotel.
We saw a girl Facetiming with her family in America.
We saw the chef making brioche buns for dinner.
We didn’t need to return the car until 2pm, so we visited the local farmer’s market with the best view in the world.
We bought a cheese platter made of wine barrels.
Ok, we bought several cheese platters made of wine barrels.
I saw this peanut butter in Glenorchy which I regretted not buying.
And with the power of mobile data, I managed to track it down at an organic food store on the other side of town.
Yet once we got there, I found out it was made from Australian peanuts, and the desire to buy, simply disappeared.
We had coffee in their cafe section, sitting next to the bread cabinet.
We returned the car on time, only to find out our flight was delayed.
I picked the corner of another stylish cafe/pub with electric outlet and started working, with beer-battered fish and chips.
An hour later,there was a ping on my gmail: our flight was cancelled.
So we waited for the airline to arrange accommodation for the night.
Spoke to an elderly French couple who told us it was their first time flying budget airline.
Fortunately they allowed an extra day for their connecting flight back to France.
They were both holding a book, both calm and collected.
By 6pm we were on the bus to surprise, surprise, Sherwood Hotel.
You simply can’t make this up.
We ate two meals and spent more than 12 hours at the same place.
As if fate attended the hotel’s marketing executive meeting.
We made dinner reservation for 7.30pm.
Chika was grumpy because the food was slow.
So we started chatting to the couple next to us from Orlando.
I corrected Jeff’s pronunciation of Roti Canai.
So now he is the Malaysian food expert in the whole of Florida.
We enjoyed our company so much that dinner finished at 10.30pm.
We promptly went to bed as the airport bus would arrive at 6am the next morning.
That was our unexpected last day in Queenstown.
I thought with internet and smartphones, we can never get lost during a trip, ever again.
We don’t need tour guides, we don’t need guide books.
Everything is searchable and manageable online.
We could pick and choose in isolation whatever we want to do, even in a foreign country.
But the internet can’t prevent flight cancellations.
And that’s when we actually interacted most with others.
Stayed at places we never intended to stay.
Ate unexpected food.
Saw a rainbow.
May your new year be filled with unexpected rainbows.
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