I’ve been in Auckland almost three weeks now, and I’ve learned some pretty surprising things about how things run in this town! I don’t know if these things apply over the whole country, but I guess I’ll find that out later. I’d like to take this time to share them with you.
1. Flagging down a bus. Auckland has a very extensive bus system that makes it very easy for anyone to get around the city or the outer suburbs. There are so many bus stops that drivers do not stop unless you flag them down. Very similar to a taxi except much cheaper. It’s actually a very efficient system since time isn’t wasted on unnecessary stops.
2. No Taco Bell. There is pretty much every other major fast food chain present here, including Carl’s Jr., which is like the worst one. If Carl’s Jr. made it, Taco Bell should be given a chance.
3. Assigned seats in movie theaters (aka cinemas). I really love this. At first I thought, “Excuse me? Isn’t it a little too fancy for ‘Oz, The Great and Powerful’ to have assigned seating?” But then I realized how great it was! No more showing up 20 minutes before the movie starts to get a good seat and having to sit through all the dumb promos and previews. I don’t know why we don’t do it in the U.S.
4. No Pepperidge Farm products. No Goldfish. No Milano cookies. Sigh.
5. Crossing the street diagonally. This one is my favorite. At a few very busy intersections downtown, pedestrians are given the little green man in all directions. This means that all traffic stops while we cross the street. Which also means you can cross the street diagonally! It is a big thrill for me to walk through the middle of the street, and I take the opportunity to do so whenever possible.
What do you guys think? Is there any chance some of these ideas could make their way over to the U.S.?