First Impressions of New Zealand

I have lived in New Zealand for one month. In no particular order, these are my first impressions thus far…

  • Auckland is so spread out. Making a city that hosts 1.4 million people feel, small.
  • There are so many cultures here. Honestly, I thought Denver was transient. Auckland takes it to a new level with so many people from all over the world. Already I’ve met people from Belgium, Italy, Spain, India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Morocco, and other countries.
  • I knew it was going to be expensive. But it’s very expensive.
  • The people are so friendly. I often talk about how when I would walk some of the streets of L.A., no one would look into anyone else’s eyes. It was like they were too busy/angry/hurried to notice people around them. The people of Denver were friendly, which was nice change of pace for me. The culture of Auckland is the friendliest I have ever encountered.
  • You need a car to leave the city, buses and trains can only take you so far.
  • THE BUS WILL DRIVE BY IF YOU DON’T WAVE FOR THEM TO STOP. (I learned this the hard way.)
  • Maybe it’s just the district i’m living in, but everything is at the mall. The post office is at the mall. The good restaurants are around the mall. Driver’s license, at the mall. Need a phone? Go to the mall. Grocery store and car insurance are there too. Even the banks are. I’ve been to the mall more times this week than I’ve been in my entire life.
  • There doesn’t seem to be any classic “New Zealand dish”, other than a meat pie…which is fine.
  • There are a lot of American fast food places.
  • Meetup app is taken very seriously here. When you RSVP, you must show up, or write a note about not making it, otherwise you can be kicked out.
  • The Sky Tower is built to be seen from all over the different districts throughout the city. It’s a delight to see from every angle.
  • They drive on the left side of the road.