Shame on me, I know. I’ve been here for a month now and you haven’t heard a peep from me. (Aside from all my Instagram (mostly food goodness) pics). I guess I owe you a nice long introduction into what I’m actually doing here, who I am and so on. But let’s start with a little comparison first. Auckland/NZ and Germany, how do they differ?
I actually just remembered it when I wanted to upload this post. But it took some time because the Internet is slow. And that’s when it clicked. How could I have forgotten about it?! It is so ridiculous, aggravating and shocking that I simply had to put it right at the top of my list. Long story short: Compared to Germany (and the better part of the rest of the world I reckon) Internet is so expensive here! And limited! You cannot do this to me! So many exclamation marks! But I was really not amused when I first got here and found out just how ridiculously expensive it is here at the hostels; and in general. See, in Germany you pay a certain (little) amount of money and get a so-called ‘Flat’. That means you get unlimited broadband and data on your phone too. It’s not like that here. Woe me. I pay 40 NZD for 8GB broadband. Being from Germany, this is outrageous and so very sad. Because me likey Internet.
But I have to learn to live (not accept!) it and use as much free Wi-Fi as I can get. Another very lovely thing about cafés. And Auckland got quite a few hotspots, which I get to use with my mobile plan. But it’s soo sloooow..! There there, Lilly. You’ll survive.
(Sooo gonna use free wi-fi to upload this post. Sneaky little me.)
– No small forks
How do you eat your cake? It’s both cute and confusing at the same time. Except for ONE occasion (oh the joy!), people here use a spoon or a knife (gasp) to eat their muffin. Last Friday, I was invited to my flatmate’s birthday bash at a Mexican restaurant. She brought her own cake (nice, BYOC, I like that) and they handed out -huge- spoons. It’s just so much more enjoyable and long-lasting if you can eat your cake or muffin with a small fork in dainty, little bites. Not that it ever takes me 15 minutes to eat a slice of cake. Puhleez, I ain’t got time for that.
– How are you?
Ah, the good ol’ how are ye. I know it’s only meant as a starting point/general way of greeting. But I’m just not used to it (yet) and I -always- want to tell you how I really feel. Forgive me, I am empathetic like that. But we do have it in Germany as well, it’s just that I never understood it to begin with. Why should you say ‘Great, thanks!’ when all you wanna do is crawl into your bed and bawl out your eyes (as an exaggerated example).
– Plastic bags
Boy, do they like (and use!) their plastic bags. Whenever I go shopping, be it groceries or something else, and I tell them that I don’t want a plastic bag, I get a shocked “Are you sure?”. Every. Single. Time.
It’s not that big of a deal, really. Just bring your own re-usable bag. If you can bring your own beverage (and cake apparently), why not do the environment a favour and bring your own bag? And all the plastic bags at home are rather annoying as well.
If you can recycle, you can re-use a bag as well.
This is a bit tricky. Of course there is coffee in Germany as well. Lovely coffee actually. But oooh, my cherished and precious Flat White! Finally, we are reunited. One big company used to have you on its menu but they took you from me a couple of years ago! The travesty! And despair! But the long wait is over. Insert dreamy sigh.
To be honest with you, I was hoping that the coffee here is cheap as chips. But it isn’t. And neither are chips, sigh. But I’m happy to pay for a good cup of coffee (or the occasional Frappuccino). And psssht, next step on my career ladder: Barista. Aw yeah.
– Opening hours
The big shops are usually open 7 days a week. Well hello there. My trusted coffee shop near my flat is always open. 24/7. Someone obviously must have gotten my (fan) letters. I mean how cool is that?! But it can also be the ruin of myself and my purse foremost. Too much temptation, aah. I can do it. Did I mention that I’m sitting in that aforementioned café this very moment? Oooops…
– Order and pay at the bar
The staff is happy to bring you the food most of time but please pay when you order. I once made the mistake of ordering at the bar and going back to my place. Without paying. Oooh, the humiliation. (Okay, okay, it wasn’t that bad but it was a dead giveaway for me being a tourist.) Uh, and it happened in London. But the same thing goes for Auckland. No idea how the fancy schmancy restaurant go about it but hello, I’m a poor student/just started working. Ain’t got money for that.
– Sushi is everywhere (just like coffee)
Of course there are the good and the bad. But I made it my mission to try them all. And it’s so cheap! (Compared to Europe) It’s bloody brilliant!
– Auckland is hiiiiiillllllyyy
Okay, this one’s Auckland-only (I hope!). But wow, if you use anything like Runtastic to track your activities it should be set on ‘Hiking’ permanently. Phew, the first few days I was most certainly not used to it. But it helps burning of all those Flat Whites and Sushi.
– There are so many Germans here!
Well, this one’s not any different compared to Germany because duh, of course there are Germans in Germany. But 5 out of 6 being German in a Kiwi hostel room? Come on! I was so excited to finally be in NZ and everybody was talking German. Oh the irony.
But it’s just a fact that a lot of Germans do work&travel (as do the French apparently) and therefore you meet a lot of them at hostels or tourist sites. Now that I got my own place, the use of German has been reduced significantly. Rejoice ‘cause that’s why I’m here, remember? To practise and –perfect- (cough) my English. And to explore the country, drink loads of coffee and finish my dissertation. But I digress…Not gonna talk about Uni now lalala. I actually skipped a trip to Waiheke today to spend some time on my papers and I won’t watch any TV or do something else until I’ve achieved that. Tschakka. Writing a blog post though is actual writing and therefore permitted. So I keep telling myself.
Well, these are the first few things that came to my mind but I will add more in the future. Promise! But now I have to actually fulfil the promise I made to myself and get a little Uni work done…sigh.