Home > NZ > Fast facts from Auckland

Fast facts from Auckland

It’s been a month since I landed here. I have also just finished all my travels for this month. That gives me plenty of time to write about my observations and here they go.

  1. Auckland is 166 years young(?) and they have a heritage festival annually, which I just missed as I was travelling. Well, if Indian cities were to do it…
  2. After several years of asking the all-important question “What’s the time there?”, I find myself answering it proudly that NZ is one of the first countries in the world to see the light of the day.
  3. I would have said more ‘thanks’ in this one month than I have ever said in my 25+2 year life. When I get down from the bus, I say ‘thanks’. I reply “Good. Thanks.” to “How are you?”. No wonder, Bombay ranked top in the stupid Rudest City poll of Readers’ Digest. Our sense of courtesy is just different.
  4. For the first time in my life, I spend (NZD!) before I shall earn (INR?). Taking a student loan to go on a holiday is something to boast of! I can also live on credit.
  5. 75% of the places are named after Captain Cook or Abel Tasman. Okay, I exaggerate.
  6. For the first week, 90% of the people I talked to were Indians. The ratio changed inversely when I started travelling.
  7. Of all the accents, I find that the Brit one is the easiest to follow.
  8. I have helped myself to a few Kiwiana things – pavlova (very yummy), hokey-pokey icecream (love affair in a cone), fish’n’chips and kiwifruit (originally the Chinese gooseberry).
  9. I have pampered myself to all the flavours of flavoured milk (strawberry, hokey-pokey again, banana, lemon,…) and some icecream too (passionfruit, almonds and maple). I recall seeing Anchor milk ads on Sri Lankan TV when I was back home and now I am experiencing its richness.
  10. There’s this Saffron restaurant in Ponsonby, Auckland which serves a South Indian brunch over the weekends – unlimited dosas, idlis, vadas, pongal for just $10.50 (truly value for money) and I simply love it.
  11. Backpacking is the way to travel. I got a YHA (Youth Hostels Association) card here for 40$ and it costs Rs.50 in India. The discounts you get by being a YHA member are amazing and the backpacker dorms are also quite fantastic.
  12. At Auckland, I got my Aussie visa in 5 min, after waiting in a queue for 45 minutes. To think of my NZ visa story
  13. Most of the tour bus drivers try to pull fast ones on you. But they are very friendly and nice. They seem to do that little extra to make you happy. Our tourism industry would do well to study these.
  14. NZ is clean and green. The only smoke I see come from the cigars and some wild forest fires.
  15. Mix Kerala green with Goan beaches, Manali snow, add unique geothermal zones like Taupo/Rotorua, the Kauri trees, some fantastic train journeys and you get NZ. I haven’t seen Queensland, supposedly the only thing you should aspire to see here. That makes this comment very very stupid. But NZ is a nature lover’s dream. Infinite activities to do if you have THE TWO must-haves for travel – T & M.

You can all see I am having the life of my time (intentional error). Next post up, a wild Kiwi walk.

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Categories: NZ
  1. A
    28 September 2006 at 4:20 pm

    Now I am beginning to wonder – what is the deepest shade of green I can get to?

    LOL abt all the thank-yous :-)! I used to wonder why on earth people kept saying “hi” or “how are you” to strangers, all the time, everywhere, when I first landed in the USA!

    I feel like eating hokey-pokey ice cream now – if not anything, that name sounds so cute!!

    Continue having the life of your time, dude! And where is the next picture set?

  2. 29 September 2006 at 8:01 am

    haha 🙂

    yep. i am not sure if hokey-pokey is marketed in america, but it sure is in japan. so you should either come here or go to japan 😉 reasons to travel!

    the next pic set (having the most pix) is up, but needs some annotation. i’ll send the link once i finish the edits.

  3. sk
    2 October 2006 at 3:56 am

    Niceee. :–)) I am sure you have seen/experienced a lot, and had a life of your time in the short while you have been there. ;–) THese are going to be evergreen memories. Its okay to splurge once in a while, its certainly worth it. 😀

    So oor suthi mudichacha? Is NZ accent close to Aussie accent? That is hard to follow with all their slurring. :–))

  4. Yoganandan
    22 February 2007 at 4:05 pm

    U must be lucky to travel to one of the most beautiful countires in the world and i too had the dream getting a PR from this country, but now due to certain personal reasons i dropped the idea of moving from chennai.

    But still i have the dream of travelling to various countries with least expenses, could u pls suggest me a way.

    Several Thanks for the pains and trouble u are going to undertake for the sake of this blogger.

  5. 22 February 2007 at 6:14 pm

    hi yoganandan,

    thanks for dropping by my page. can you leave me your blog URL?

    backpacking is the way to travel with least amount of expenses. you can get backpacker cards to get discounts in travel and other activities. working abroad is probably the best way to also see foreign countries. an indian passport is not the ideal identity as there are loads of restrictions on work abroad when you hold one. different countries have different levels of expenses and when you earn in indian money, it’s not all that easy to backpack in foreign currency. for stay, value-for-money youth hostels (the name is a misnomer) are found in most countries and any one with a youth hostel card gets special rates too. in india, check out http://yhaindia.org. also travel in the off-season as that helps you get better deals. these are some tips that come from the tip of my hands. have fun! happy travel.

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