You know you’re in Tauranga when…

It’s always nice to get away from Auckland for the weekend. As much as I have grown to like the sprawling, ethnically-diverse metropolis of NZ’s “Big little city”, a few days out of the rat race is almost always a welcome relief. It was with this in mind that Ams and I headed back to our hometown Tauranga this weekend-just-gone, with nothing much planned but to catch up with friends and family.

A number of differences, many quite obvious and others… not so much, are quite clearly evident between Auckland & Tauranga. Bearing in mind my constitutional right to free speech, I shall elaborate.

You know you’re in Tauranga when…

1.       …you manage to travel across the city, visiting a number of urban, commercial and industrial areas – and achieve all you set out to do – in ONE DAY.

I almost forgot that, in Tauranga, should you spontaneously decide that you need to cross the harbor bridge and drive out to Papamoa – FOR WHATEVER REASON – you can quite easily achieve this, plus more, en route to just about anywhere. And this will involve little amendment to whatever plans you had for your afternoon. In Auckland this would throw your whole day out, especially if this involved visiting ANY supermarket in the greater Auckland region and/or attempting to “pop in” to any major chain of retail store.

2.       …your choice of Thai food is restricted to ONE awesome restaurant.

Collar & Thai on Devonport Road is awesome. That’s all you need to know in Tauranga. Auckland has approximately 1 bazzillion choices – all of which vary in quality.

3.       …teenagers doing “the laps” is a given.

Yes, as a youth, I momentarily partook in this small-town, adolescent pastime. It’s not something I’m proud of but, at the time, it was born out of boredom and maybe a little too much fizzy drink from Burger King.

I was reminded of this when walking the CBD with a friend. Some lucky teen had clearly been given the ill-advised clearance to take Mother’s car for a weekend spin and had promptly decided to fill the car up with mates and head for town. Minding our own business we heard a loud “Oi!!” shouted from the car window. Thinking we may have been spotted by a long-lost friend we looked towards the vehicle to find a spotty-faced teen pulling the middle-fingered salute with a big smile. Any thoughts of us feeling special were shattered when we noticed that this game continued as the car travelled further up the street. In Auckland it’d be “Oi!”, you’d turn around, lights out, wake up, wallet gone.

This list will definitely be added to as more weekends away eventuate. But for the weekend just been these were my most astute observations. Feel free to add in the comments section. Also, feel free to replace “Tauranga” with “Hamilton”, “Cambridge”… or even “Putaruru”.

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