The longer I am away from home, the more I realise that it is the little things that are important. When someone asks me about what I miss about home or even tips for if they are moving there themselves it is the silliest bits of information that float to the top of my mind. So, for anyone moving to Auckland or any homesick Jafas that want to reminisce here are my little bits of importance
Getting up to pay at cafes & restaurants
So in the UK you always have to ask for the bill, that is unless you paid before sitting down. It is a fine situation if you have an on-to-it waiter, but sadly they are in the minority. Most of the time what happens is that you either get brought the bill the second you finish eating which just makes you feel like they are asking you to leave. Or you sit for hours (not kidding on this one, I’ve sat for an hour before) waiting for someone to notice you and finally let you leave. In the magical capital of Auckland however, when you are ready to leave you simply get up and pay. This makes dining entirely on your own schedule, as relaxed or hurried as your heart desires.
I miss this one most of all. When I live in a city full of amazing public transport (FYI public transport in Auckland is balls) its funny that I miss having a car so much, but it just makes life so easy. In Auckland the car is king, no longer to you have to lug your shopping home on your arms or be on a tube for 90min to get to brunch. And since the magic of Auckland is all the fun stuff outside the city (Brick Bay, need I say more) being about to go on a mini road trip makes the world your oyster and a flat white only a heart beat away.
Brunch is taken very seriously in Auckland. Of a weekend, after a bit of a sleep in but before you have to think of anything serious you go to a cafe and get your fill of pancakes, eggs bene, bircher muesli, or a full English. Not only is it filling in a food way, but it is such a relaxing way to spend time with friends.
Front page news
I really miss the news in New Zealand. I kid you not, the front page news was once a cat taking the bus in Devon (in the UK). In New Zealand a house fire will make the headlines, and a murder will be a front pager for a week. I love that it is such a safe country that almost any deviation will be analysed with excitement.
No bloody lawyers
In New Zealand there is a government compensation scheme for injury called ACC. Essentially if you are injured there is no American style ambulance chasing, ACC is there to help not only pay for treatment but also in some cases compensate for your lost income. I know the system isn’t perfect (any there are plenty who will take issue at this entry), but I love the point of view it is coming from.
So Auckland may be the size of Greater London, but last time I counted it only has a million people. The business part of Auckland is called the CBD (central business district) and realistically this is only a couple of streets near the waterfront. So the true heart of Auckland is actually splintered across the many suburbs, each with their own style and substance. To truly explore Auckland make sure you hit all the mini cities (google Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt Eden et al)
World famous in New Zealand
Kiwis fecking rock. We were the first to climb Everest, we split the atom and were the first country in the world to give women the vote. We may be a small country on the arse end of the globe, but we are beautiful, peaceful, progressive and damn feisty.
To read more New Zealandy goodness – including where to get the best coffee in Auckland, check out my posts by clicking on the Polaroid below!
This post was in conjunction with Giffgaff for their The Top Things to Know About Your Hometown campaign which you can read more about here.