Top tips contrast: Auckland vs Berlin

So, some of our friens moved from London to Berlin recently, exciting!  Jo’s been blogging about the experience which makes me realise I’ve not really written much about my and Juliet’s move from London to Auckland.  We’ve been here since October 2011, so 2½ years now.

Anyway, for a start, here’s a compare and contrast with a few of Jo’s top tips for Berlin:

Looking where you’re stepping

Not a problem here, which is really nice.  For whatever reason, dog (ahem) mess on the street is amazingly rare here, I’m not sure why.  I think dog ownership rates are comparable with the UK, but I literally can’t remember the last time I saw it on the street.  Maybe people usually walk them elsewhere?

Also, it’s not uncommon to see young guys walking around barefoot in the middle of town, which kind of boggles my mind – broken glass on the street is pretty rare here too, fortunately.

Look out for cyclists

Not much of a problem, because there’s hardly any cyclists.  Cycling is becoming more popular in Auckland, but it’s from a pretty woeful baseline.  This is partly because Auckland sprawls and also loves its cars, but also it’s a hilly city.

Carrying cash

EFTPOS (NZ specific debit cards) is accepted pretty much everywhere here and is quick and convenient (so using it in the pub doesn’t get you dirty looks).  I think the EFTPOS system must impose lower useage charges on the retailer, because even paying for a loaf of bread in the dairy (corner shop) seems to be no problem.

Come visit me

But best to do it in summer (December-February, or a month either side if you’re feeling lucky).  The Auckland summer seems pretty much endless – it was shorts + t-shirt weather pretty much every day between November and the middle of April, but it’s finally moving into autumn now.  I have found the winter here a bit of a drag – the weather’s not too bad (mostly like UK autumn), but not having Xmas / New Year to break it up means it also feels endless.  The suggestion of a national holiday for Matariki (Maori new year) would be a good plan.