Traveling in New Zealand one day at a time

I am in New Zealand a week already and still don’t know what day it is. Every day I need help to find the answer.

The local paper indicates today is Wednesday, but my computer, which is on New York time, says today is Tuesday, election day. If today is Wednesday, how come I don’t know who won the elections?

Worse is the realization that Tuesday, Nov. 2, is gone for good. I lost it, having never lived it. I boarded an Air New Zealand plane in Los Angeles on Nov. 1, got off in Auckland 13 hours later, and it was Nov. 3.

Don’t worry, they tell me, you’ll get the time back when you go home. No I won’t. I will board a plane in Auckland the evening of Dec. 13 and get off 12 hours later on the morning of Dec. 13 – a really long day of travel but hardly compensation for a day unlived in November.

Anyway, that’s how it works when you cross the International Dateline. The folks in New Zealand say the key is to pay no attention to what day it is in the U.S. Eastern time zone. When I do that, New York and my home in Ohio are 6 hours ahead of New Zealand.

I will keep that in mind tomorrow at the awards lunch for the Society of American Travel Writers, which is meeting in Wellington.

By the time I finish announcing the 2011 winners of the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, on Thursday, the U.S. East Coast will be finishing dinner. On Wednesday


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