Seeing as this is my last day in Auckland and I have some time to spare indoors, I’ll recap my learnings in a foreign country before forgetting:
– Tipping is unheard of (I learned about this before I arrived, but forgot the customary non-tipping policies).
– You pay at the front of a restaurant after eating; the bill doesn’t come to your table. I’m still unsure how it works if someone tries to dine & dash (I think everyone is very honest around here, which is great)– I wonder if you get blacklisted or something? It’s not like they take down any information from you while you eat, haha.
– You have to signal to a bus when you want to catch it; if you don’t, it’ll pass you by. Learned this the hard way.
– Auckland is the “big” little city of NZ, so it has a lot of similar chain places that CA does– Starbucks, Carl’s Jr., Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, IMAX theaters, etc.
– Food is one of the most expensive parts of living in NZ. At a midrange restaurant, entrees are at least a good $5-$10 more than what you’d typically pay in CA.
– People aren’t on their iPhones/smartphones nearly as much as people in CA, which is nice. A lot of Kiwis (like myself) run around with earbuds in, listening to music, but not too many people are yakking away or texting while out and about (and especially not at restaurants).
– Clothing and shoes are crazily overpriced.
– Kathmandu is the equivalent of REI and The Warehouse is the equivalent of Costco out here. And I was mistaken… there is no Target, just Target Furniture Hypermarts. 😦 Sad…
– As much as I wanted to get away from any Asian influences, there are a TON of Asian shops around here. I’ve seen Daiso Japan stores and just about any Asian restaurant imaginable owned by all Asians, obviously. Sometimes the Asian food outnumbered the regular cafes on Queens St. that I saw yesterday… scary 😦
– Coffee and tea is supposed to be amazing out here. I think I need to go have some right now to cure my cold and sickies…
– Sheep are not in the metropolitan areas like Auckland (maybe more of the rural areas, like east and south Auckland)… it would be like having sheep in LA. 😉 I do want to befriend some sheep, though. 🙂