Other than the ‘keeping it on the left’ thing, there are a number of differences we have noticed in the way they do life here in New Zealand that differ from the way things are back at home in Canada.
For one, pedestrians do not have the right of way; vehicles do. This significantly affects ones safety as a pedestrian, and it is very important to not only look both ways, but make sure you are looking the right way before crossing the street! On the plus side of this, j-walking is definitely not an illegal offense here; it is just done at the pedestrian’s own risk.
When pedestrians are given the signal to go, though, they GO. It is pretty much a free-for-all at downtown intersections, with people crossing every-which way.
I’ve noticed a definite lack of the use of heat tools here in Auckland. You don’t see a lot of people with straightened, or even styled hair- a lot of people tend to use the wash and go method, and I am beginning to understand why. With the rapidly-changing weather here in Auckland, it can literally be sunny one minute and raining the next, followed by periods of intense wind. After experiencing a couple days of this weather, I understand how the use of heat tools can seem somewhat futile. I mean, you take the time to nicely do you hair in the morning, and all your efforts are out the window with the first unexpected rainshower. Heat tools… not as practical here.
One of the first things we noticed upon arriving in Auckland were the trees. Brendon, having worked 3 summers at a tree farm, has developed quite a fascination and interest in trees, and has since passed this fascination on to me. We were both intrigued by the interesting varieties and unique specimens of trees here in Auckland.
Stores and cafes all shut down pretty early here, around 4:30pm, which must make it hard for people who work during the day to get stuff done. Grocery stores stay open a bit later, along with restaurants. There are laws here against working overtime, and I wonder if the early closing has to do with that. I am also curious to know if the overtime laws contribute to healthier and happier families over here, with parents who are not working as much.
Oh, and we were surprised and slightly concerned to find eggs in crates on the regular store shelves and not in the refrigerated section. Apparently, eggs don’t need to be refrigerated here.
Just a few of our observations in our first week and half here in Auckland!