First week: Auckland

Hello, Internet, it’s Friday, October 12th, and I am on my way to Wellington today, having spent all of last week in Auckland.

Auckland reminded me right off the bat of St. John’s, so today, gentle reader, I give you a compare and contrast. Boxing-ring style.

IN THE PINK, WHITE AND GREEN! With a population of 200,000 on the high end, and a precarious position on the far east of the far east of North America, sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, ladies & gentlemen, ST. JOHN’S!!

And IN THE BLUE! Boasting 1.4 million residents and rocked by seismic activity in the South Pacific, please welcome newcomer, AUCKLAND!!

**epic entrance music d a da da DA da Da da da DA**

ding ding

St. John’s: Big geezly hills, resulting from an ancient meeting of tectonic plates and worn down by millennia of weather.
Auckland: ENORMOUS geezly hills, resulting from EFFING VOLCANOES. There is an island in the harbour that wasn’t there 600 years ago.
St. John’s: Not a huge city, but you are likely to get impossibly lost in it.
Auckland: Much bigger city. Much more impossibly lost.
St. John’s: Greenspace preserved and maintained by the city.

Auckland: Greenspace, public athletic fields, and friggin FORESTS maintained by the city.

St. John’s: 500 years+ of European settlement
Auckland: not quite 200 years of European settlement
St. John’s: largely homogeneous society – lots of white Christians.
Auckland: holy god no two people are the same colour it’s amazing
St. John’s: friendly strangers, no problem striking up a conversation
Auckland: friendly, but shyer strangers, who will not speak to you on purpose but also will not look at you like you have 3 heads if you talk to them.
St. John’s: 15C right now.
Auckland: 15C, but residents don’t seem to have a problem with it being 15C in the house as well as out.

St. John’s: fiercely protecting the waterfront from overdevelopment

Auckland: Look, an ocean! Let’s build skyscrapers next to it!

FINAL COUNT: St. John’s wins by a hair! Let’s see what Wellington brings!

(Edit: I LOVE WELLINGTON. MORE NEXT WEEK.)