Auckland City Girl

I’ve been in Auckland just over a month now. Long enough to get first impressions about the city and the life in it, to sort these impressions out, to think about them and to share them…

cartoon_picture_of_girl_writingAbout Auckland: Last year when I first arrived to NZ, Auckland was my first stop. Of course, I landed here, I needed to sort few thing out before my journey further and I needed some time to deal with my jet lag. Then, I hated Auckland. Of course, I missed home, I wasn’t sure if leaving it was the right decision, suddenly I was all alone in this huge city and I was dealing with my jet lag.

When I first applied for my job, I didn’t really expect to get it. So the fact that I would have to move to Auckland in case I actually get the job was not of my concern. But I got the job and I moved, from a small town to a big city. It feels like all  of a sudden I had to grow up, from a small girl to a city lady (well I’m still far away from the lady…). And I don’t hate Auckland, not anymore, but I don’t in particular like it either.

I live in North Shore. Narrowneck, my suburb, is sooooooo cute. My house is amazing and my flatmates are the best possible. Beach is just down the road, I  found pilates classes practically next door, I even enjoy running among all those little streets of Narrowneck and Devonport. The letter, a  neighboring suburb, is just beautiful. Gorgeous villas, nice parks, tiny shops, amiable cafes. Perfect for strolling around on my bike. And the city center is just a short-ferry-drive away. I’m loving it! But…

Yes, there’s usually a but 🙂 I feel lonely here. I miss my family, home and in NZ. I  miss my friends, home and in NZ. I miss Raglan. I miss the fact that I know everyone, that I cannot hide. I miss friendly locals having a chat with me. I miss nosy tourist asking always same questions (well, not really, but it makes my description more dramatic 🙂 ) . I miss friendliness received by people working in supermarket, bank, post office, petrol station and even those from the Indian shop. I miss the fact that I don’t have to think about parking and don’t have to worry about traffic. I don’t really miss a fact that for necessary errands I have to drive to Hamilton, but living in Auckland doesn’t really make these things any easier (shops during the week close between 5 and 6 pm and even when they are open driving to shopping centers takes me just as long as driving from Rags to Hams). And I miss the waves, the sound of them in the night, the view of them first thing in the morning and the feel of them at any time of the day (OK, I’m getting slightly too dramatic here…:)  ).

The point is, I really like it in Auckland, but I actually don’t (if that makes any sense). Maybe I’m just not ready to grow up yet… 🙂

About Raglan:  please read above 🙂

About always looking on a bright side of life: A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do or so they say… Sometimes we just can’t chose but accept the reality as it is and try to find small things that makes us happy. The difficult part is when the reality is actually just fine and you do enjoy it, but it’s just not your thing. It that makes any sense at all…

The other day I went with Gemma to a fireworks show. We took the ferry, ate huge cones of ice cream, walked to Auckland Domain and enjoyed funky projections on the War Museum building, a dance of people dressed in light bulbs and heaps of shiny and sparkling fireworks. Definitely the most expensive (nit in terms of a ticket price) and shiniest show I’ve ever seen! I haven’t really understand what story the show wanted to tell, but I don’t really get a modern art anyway… It was beautiful and I realized (once again) that I did miss such things in Raglan…

About circus in Raglan: Raglan does host some really good music gigs,  but that’s about it. We don’t even have a cinema and it’s quite annoying on a rainy Thursday night when you suddenly wish to go to see the movie to drive all the way to Hamilton. So I was frothing over a circus stopped in Raglan on their tour around NZ.

100% owned Kiwi circus, with no animals, proper old style circus arena, with clowns, acrobats and popcorn stands. The show was average. Clowns were funny, jugglers would definitely need some more practice, acrobats were good but nothing I couldn’t learn at home myself. There were about 10 people involved in circus. The owner who was selling tickets, hosting the show and performing. Clowns who were juggling in next performance and  assisting in the third one. And popcorner who was doing some acrobat moves on the stage (while he was not selling popcorn among audience). Really an average show, but because there are no such things happening in Raglan, I was like a little  kid, sitting in a front row, cheering like crazy. The clown even included me in one of his tricks 🙂 and made my day!

About my job: By now,  I am actually able to tell what I do. I create conferences. My boss gives me a topic (eg. NZ Building Law). Then I learn about this topic. Google is my best friend, Wikipedia my second best 🙂 I call people hoping they will be willing to share some information with me.  Sometimes  I get good information, sometimes  I have no idea what they are talking about (and I’m pretty sure they don’t know what they are talking about either). Every now and then there is someone grumpy on the other side, but most Kiwis are very friendly. Once I know enough about the topic (or at least I think I do), I write the conference agenda. And then I try to find speakers for individual topics. Sometimes this task is a piece of cake, another time I pull out my hair. Once the program is confirmed by all speakers involved, marketing team starts selling the conference and events team organizes the actual conference. And when the conference is on I run it. I’ll let you know how this goes 🙂

I really enjoy my job! Maybe because it really feels good to use my brain after a long time (though I did struggle at the beginning and simple task took me ages to complete it). But I think this is the good mixture of what I wanted to do. I like investigating, researching and learning about new stuff, but not too much (I don’t want to be an expert in NZ Building Law). I like the fact that I am constantly dealing with people, communicating with them, allowed to ask questions (and I have many of them). I get to meet new people,quite a lot of them  are very interesting. I get to fly to Wellington and other parts of NZ. And I do conferences, which I’ve always found fun to do.

What I find interesting is that nobody really says anything about my English. I guess Kiwis are just used to different ways of speaking English, due to multicultural society.

About my English: I don’t understand the concept of the word ‘the’. I just don’t. Don’t try to explain me the theory, because in theory it seems simple, but when I have to use it I always use it wrong. Either I don’t use it enough or I use it too much. But the word the is the most difficult of the principles of the English language, if you ask ‘the me’ 🙂

I will add ‘improve your English’ to my New Year’s Resolutions list. If it’s not already there…

About baking: Contrary to ‘improve English’, there is definitely ‘learn to bake’ on my New Year’s list. And that resolution causes my grey hair (not that I would have grey hair!). I think it even says ‘to become a baking expert’. Well, I am far away from accomplishing that one for sure!

In my easy-and-simple-chocolate-recipes book I have found instructions how to make a steamed chocolate pudding. I tried once. It tasted good but my cake was anything but firm. I literally poured it out of the pot and had to serve it in bowls… To be sure to make it right next time, I even bought a proper steamed pudding baking pot (wow, I must be getting old if I’ve started buying kitchenware…). Unfortunately, the result was even worse than the first time. Well, I didn’t know that it is that important to follow recipes… Because I haven’t mixed in the right amount of ingredients, the cake ended up being all gooey and chewey end eggy and still not firm enough. After my second bad attempt Wes was fed up with eating my failed cakes, so he decided to make the pudding himself. I observed it in misbelief when he actually got a proper firm steamed pudding out of the pot that even tasted as it should…

About summer: Amazing winter with heaps of snow  in one hemisphere and longest and driest summer in decades in other hemisphere. To  be honest, I do envy my friends all that snow back home (at least in mountains) but I really enjoy the heath and the sun we have here this summer. The country is fighting the worst drought since 1940s I think and it does look a bit sad- green color is gone, everything looks and it is burnt, animals are thirsty people are trying to save water at every step. Well  I hope it stays sunny for another weekend (just because we are going on a surf trip and music festival to Taranaki) and then I will join Kiwis dancing for rain.

Besides drought quite big news of the summer was a shark attack that happened just off the Auckland surf beach few days after me and Wes were surfing there. It was very sad to hear the news but what I liked was that there was no hatred against sharks encouraged. Poor animal made a mistake, the guy was at the wrong place at the wrong time and the whole thing didn’t end well neither for the swimmer or the shark. Will that keep me off of water? I don’t think so. I don’t have any desire to surf that beach any soon, but like it matters. I guess all I can do is knock on the wood…

About kiwi fruit: The Kiwi fruit that is currently available in supermarkets was grown in Italy, I noticed the other day. I think it tastes the same as ours 🙂

Let this be it for today!

One thought on “Auckland City Girl

  1. Auckland’s a tough proposition if you’ve come from a smaller town. When I was living in Japan the prospect of living in the really big cities like Tokyo seemed like a rough proposition compared to Auckland, luckily Fukuoka was similar enough. Being without family exacerbates all the differences too. Still, I hope Auckland starts to win you over a little more, bit by bit.

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