The trinity of hospitality

11.30 P.M.
We have just arrived to New Zealand, and stand opposite the passport control booth in Christchurch airport.

 

Visitors permit - stamp in a passport, Christchurch, New Zealand

Visitors permit - stamp in a passport, Christchurch, New Zealand

The first cultural trinity learnt there:

Hospitality, the New Zealand way
Officer asking to show him the return tickets (out of New Zealand) just before entering the country.

Faith, the New Zealand way
Government, believing that possession of the above mentioned tickets can actually deter the possible illegal immigrants from staying.

Progress, the New Zealand way
Lawmakers, obviously thinking that it is not possible to fake the tickets. You know, those electronic flight confirmations sent by email. Usually containing not much more but dates, names of passengers and confirmation code in a simple .html file.

Somebody said to us, before coming here, "New Zealand is all the same as England, just 100 years ago".

I sincerely do hope that he was joking.