As of this week, we’ve been living in Auckland for three years.
The particular date we arrived — 5 November — is hard to miss because of two very interrelated factors:
- It’s Guy Fawkes Day, a truly bizarre holiday wherein people in New Zealand (and other Commonwealth countries) celebrate, in various explosive ways, the anniversary of a guy trying to blow up Parliament with a bunch of dynamite; and
- It’s completely legal for anyone to light fireworks from private property in Auckland, and oh do they ever, despite the inevitable fiery mayhem that ensues.
And so I’ve been joking since the day we arrived that the country sets off fireworks in celebration of our coming here.
Last year, on the two-year anniversary of our arrival, I wrote up some thoughts on pestestrianism, public health care, and paying income taxes… and forgot to share them. These days I have absolutely no idea what life is like back in the U.S. (and I doubt my experiences in the Bay Area Bubble were ever representative of what the entire country goes through!), so the intro feels even more relevant than ever.
The longer we live here, the harder it is to know whether the things I notice are really reflections of differences between the U.S. or New Zealand, or whether they are simply reflections of how the world has changed in the last two years. More likely, the things I notice are reflections of how I have changed since moving here? Continue reading “Three years in New Zealand: some reflections”