Auckland, home #25

Just a final reflection on my six week journey to six different cities, firstly I have to say it was wonderful to breathe some clear, cool air again – such a relief. I think I’m more suited to this temperate climate and it’s really great to be home – no wonder so many people say they would like to live here if they could. The 23 hours of flying was so arduous but I did some yoga stretching in the crew areas and that really helped.
People ask me what the highlight of the journey was and I think it’s that first time I step out and stroll around a new city. This is after the usual business of finding the accomodation and dumping off the bags – after that I can relax, grab the essentials: phone, glasses and wallet, and wander around with no plans and no schedule just soaking up the atmosphere. Everything is different; the money, the language, the signage, the shops, the clothes people wear, the transportation and the architecture – it’s my favourite time.
First impressions on returning, New Zealand feels like a real first world country coming from Israel. We are so lucky, it’s a little bit like Stockholm in that it’s modern and well-maintained, although with less bikes on the streets. I know there are all sorts of problems here but there’s also a consciousness, an awareness, and dialogue – and a great contributor to that openness I think is Radio New Zealand National. I listened to it wherever I went and the level of journalism was always so refreshing. In a way, I think RNZ is helping to shape the hearts and minds of society here in the same way as Fox News and CNN were shaping the minds of Americans. I also listened to the BBC Radio 4 but it’s hit and miss with re-runs of the (unfunny) Goon Show and such-like, but also with wonderful specialist shows and comedy like The News Quiz. My main news feed was The Guardian.
I’ve made all sorts of resolutions but one priority is to keep walking because I did so much of it while overseas – in Auckland it’s too easy to jump in the car to go everywhere – so must keep the walking up and it helps that Julia already has a good routine going, and we’re planning to do more fitness things and hiking and getting around the country. It’s also a relief to take a break from sightseeing and get back into doing practical things, back into some routines and the business of running a production company.
So, signing off for now . . .