Friday, September 19, 2008


Flashes of Auckland

Yes, I've been here for seven weeks already. No, I haven't come up with a nice flowing blog post about being an ex-expat and all that. Of course Auckland is the last place I ever expected to find myself living, but now that I'm here it's not what I expected, and I like it.

It's a beautiful place, this. Whether it's the greenery that seems to be in every suburb, the way you always seem to end up facing Rangitoto, or the sudden view from the top of our road of Great Barrier Island and the mountains of the Coromandel peninsula lit up by the low afternoon sun after a rainy day, I'm continually stopped in my tracks. I will shortly get a myself a compact film camera (now about $20 on Trademe) to carry around.

The coffee! I could cry, honestly, and how good the average coffee is in this city. Call me tragic, I'm an Epicurean and I like my food and drink, which brings me to: the food! Various flavours of Indian, Thai, old-school bakeries with yummy stuff like pecan muffins, cheap and tasty meat pies (to any Australians reading: you have no idea what I'm talking about when I refer to a good meat pie).

Shame about the drivers. Aucklanders, you can't drive. You're inverterate tailgaters, you don't know how to use roundabouts, you quite frequently act as if you don't know where you're going, and your inability to merge is the main reason your motorways don't work.

I'm not too thrilled about the cheddar monopoly either, or that fact that wildly exotic fare like haloumi seems to be regarded as some sort of gourmet shit that only yuppies eat, and costs $7 for 100g.

But I do love the tui in the trees, and the beaches, and the way to sea is everywhere. I'm very happy with the train that's 15 minutes walk from my door and runs straight into town (on which the conductors never get around to clipping your ticket about a third of the time). bFM is a reasonable substitute for Triple J, and my local camera shop has Reala on the shelf.

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