Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Big50 Day 40: My Spiritual Home

I've mentioned several times now that I consider Wellington my spiritual home, but have never really defined that.  So that is what this post is going to be about.

I was born and raised in Papakura, a town in South Auckland, which officially became a city in my last year of primary school.  Unfortunately, it's now been assimilated into the Auckland Super-City, which is pretty crap.  I represented my school at the city incorporation ceremony and was so proud to be a part of such an important event.  So it's sad that the ceremony is now meaningless.

Anyway, Auckland is a very big city and is the main entry hub into the country.  Most flights from outside of the South Pacific go through Auckland, and so it's where most tourists are introduced to the country.  That's a shame, because Auckland is a pretty soulless city, and is far from representing the beautiful, wild country that I love.  There's also a pretty strong rivalry between Auckland and the rest of the country.  The rest of the country has a slur (JAFA) for people from Auckland, and Aucklanders have a reputation for thinking that NZ "stops at the Bombay Hills" (a range of hills south of Auckland).  Non-Aucklanders also think that Auckland sucks up more than its fair share of national resources.  To top it all off, a lot of non-New Zealanders think Auckland is the capital!

While most of my family is in Auckland, and I miss them desperately, it's Wellington I really miss.  Wellington is a small, compact, picturesque city, with a lot of green space and a lot of old architecture.  As the capital, it is the political hub and knowledge base of the country - but it's also the cultural hub: the national ballet and symphony orchestra are based there, and it has several theatres.  I really miss the ballet and the theatre!  Wellington also has a strong cafe culture.

When I moved from Auckland to Wellington, I just immediately felt at home.  The style and culture and size of the city all suit me and my preferred lifestyle.  It's Wellington I long for, and Wellington we will eventually settle in (it's still closer than Oz, Mum!).  Of course, it doesn't help that I've recently made several new friends who are all in Wellington!

Where is your spiritual home?  Is it the same as your current home, or where you were born?  Have you ever lived in a different city?

This post is part of my Big50 blogging challenge series.

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