I enjoyed writing the miscellaneous Australia posts so much, I thought I’d do some for New Zealand as well. These will appear sporadically as I accumulate material.
One way that you know you’ve really moved to a new country: you replace the power adapter for your laptop :)
I finally got around to poking my head in St. Patrick’s, the church near my flat I’ve mentioned before. It’s pretty neat!
New Zealand does, sadly, have a bit of a graffiti problem. Some of it is artistic, or funny, or clever, and some of it is just annoying. Here some wag has written “Big Trees” on the sign. He’s not wrong, I suppose.
In New Zealand, you pay for power in a weird way (or maybe we’re weird in the US and New Zealand is normal, I don’t know). You pay a base daily rate and then an additional rate per kilowatt-hour used. What’s interesting about this is some companies offer a high base rate and a low rate per kWh (which is good for those who use a lot of electricity), while others offer a low base rate but a higher rate per kWh (which is good for vacation homes or folks who don’t use a lot of juice). I wasn’t sure what my average usage would be, but in order to help me choose I used Wolfram Alpha and wrote an equation to figure out which one I should choose. The equation suggested that for the lower unit rate to make sense I would have to use more than 24 kWh a day during peak hours. I knew I wouldn’t even come close to that, so I went with the low daily rate and high unit rate.
(Auckland is so temperate that central heat / air is not common. My apartment has no climate control systems whatsoever apart from opening a window or turning on a fan or vent. It’s amazing how much less power one uses when not constantly running a compressor motor or heat exchanger.)
Found this at the zoo. I’m just picturing zoo employees going “who ordered the La-Z-Boys?” and being confused, then when their backs are turned these disappear and show up in the monkey cages :D
I randomly saw Kim Dotcom’s car parked across from my apartment building. Turns out his extradition hearings were in the Chorus building right across the street.
The wall of one of my favorite Mexican places (yes, Auckland has decent Mexican places) has a lot of paraphernalia.
Amongst the sundry paintings and photographs are at least two of New Zealand’s favorite crazy Mexican painter.
Spotted in the stairwell of my apartment complex. I have no idea what problem this is solving or even what’s going on here, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t up to code.
I don’t know why the Vero Centre has that strange and unnecessary semicircle at the top. I refer to it as the halo building, but most of the locals seem to call it the toilet seat. Probably not what they were going for when they built it.
If you ever find yourself needing an old-timey lantern, I know a guy.
I talked about the coolness of the Devonport Library, but the Auckland Central Library is also wiggity wack. In the best way possible, of course.
Auckland has fibre optic broadband Internet all over the city, which is pretty nice. The RTP area of North Carolina where I came from is served by Google Fiber, so Auckland’s is still somewhat of a downgrade. But compared to most places in the US, what I get here is loads better. This is the lowest tier of fibre broadband; if I wanted to pay more, I could get up to 200 Mbps download!
(“Nathan, why did you take a photo of your screen instead of just taking a screen shot?” Because I wanted to text it to someone and I’m extraordinarily lazy. Shut up.)
I accidentally took the best photo of the Sky Tower ever taken by a human being:
About every month they change the color of the lights illuminating the Sky Tower at night. I thought it looked quite nice in purple, and snapped a casual photo as I was walking back to my apartment with my dinner. Because of the abject inferiority of my camera phone, it decided to take this sort of blurry soft-focus shot that looks like a painting. I don’t think I could replicate this effect even if I tried! Super cool.
Alright, I guess that’s enough random for this post.