Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back to Christchurch

This weekend we're in Christchurch for a friend's wedding (which was good, and the first wedding I've been to where the priest started with an earthquake warning). This morning I went into town to check out the restart mall (which I never got round to seeing whilst I lived here). It's actually very cool, nicely designed and with some interesting shops and cafes. I actually think it is an improvement on the centre, pre-quake. The city centre does still feels fairly post-apocalyptic, and it looks like it will for quite a while, a shame really.

It's actually very nice to be back down south. The air is cooler and so much less sticky, the sky seems bigger, and I feel more relaxed here than in Auckland, maybe familiarity, or maybe something about all the European trees (plus it is autumn, my favourite time of year, Hagley park was very nice). On Monday I am going out to the mountains to climb at Castle Hill, I am very excited.

Even with 90% of the city rubble, I still prefer Christchurch to Auckland, and not just because of all the nice things around Christchurch. I think I dislike big cities. I definitely dislike the climate in Auckland, and it lacks the quirkiness of things that NZ does so well. They say Auckland is a Marmite city, either you love it or hate it, and I think I am starting to not love it. The only thing I disagree with the stereotype on, is that I've actually found people in Auckland to be friendlier than elsewhere, perhaps not as polite, but it definitely feels easier to make friends. Perhaps because people have not lived there their entire life, so have more open social circles. Perhaps just because the Project wall is a good place to meet people. The only trouble is, because it is a big city, everyone lives so far away, so dropping in for a cup of tea is a bit tricky.

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