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Christchurch, New Zealand: Top 10 Favorites

After spending over 2 months here, we are getting ready to leave Christchurch, NZ.

It is sad.

We have really enjoyed being in a place that is comfortable.

Will Smith says that being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.  I’d be interested to hear what he says about feeling comfortable.

Being comfortable feels good.  Being in a place where we have felt physically and mentally secure (most days) is necessary for thinking and working, both of which allow for growth.

But discomfort is also necessary for growth.

What keeps us moving, even though it’s uncomfortable, is the desire to explore more, become more, know more, and do more.

That and the fact that our visas will run out if we don’t get extensions on them.

We’ve enjoyed getting to know Matt and Caden, enjoyed getting to spend time with Nicole (Jonathan’s friend of nearly fifteen years), and enjoyed having a place in New Zealand we’ve called home.

Here are our top 10 favorite things about having spent 2 months living in Christchurch, NZ

1. Nice People
The number of just NICE people we’ve met has been amazing.  From the time we’ve spent with Matt and Nicole, being introduced to their friends, to being picked up by a stranger who later invited us to her home to have dinner with her family, people here are just genuinely nice.  And that’s been really nice.

2. Ginger Beer at Dux Delux
They brew this beer with ginger.  And oh, how good it is.  I will miss you my ginger beer.

3. Public Transportation System makes it possible to get directions (including walking directions to the nearest bus stop) from anywhere, to anywhere, using the Christchurch bus system.  Seriously, the bus system here is on time, well thought out, well planned, and makes it possible to get from anywhere to anywhere in 1 hour or less.  I would imagine there are people here who complain about the bus system, but I don’t really know why they would.

4. The Saturday market at Lyttelton
We had a lot of fun spending many of our Saturday mornings going to the Saturday market at Lyttelton with Matt and Nicole.  If you are here in Christchurch, head over to Lyttelton on Saturday morning for a nice little harbor town experience and a great market with some of the best apples ever.

5. The Saturday/Sunday Market at the Arts Center

Sunday market Art Center Christchurch New Zealand
The arts center used to be the college here in Christchurch.  When the college got too big for the space they had, they donated the college and it’s buildings to the city.  The city turned it into art studios, galleries, a couple of restaurants, and an arts movie theater.  Every Saturday and Sunday, the arts center is host to a craft market and is filled with foods from all over the world.  All in one place, you can get a home-cooked meal from places as diverse as:

  • Thailand
  • China
  • India
  • Greece
  • Korea
  • Hungary
  • Lebanon
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France

There is also fresh homemade bread, and unique crafts on display.  We spent many  of our Sundays at this market.

6. Ginger Beer Soda
Lots of companies here make soda called ginger beer.  Think of it as sarsaparilla or root beer, but made with ginger instead.  This was our second most favorite New Zealand drink during our time in New Zealand, with real ginger beer taking first place.

7. Food Choices

Pick a food you want, and you can have it within 45 minutes of here, usually right within 8-10 blocks of cathedral square at the center of the city.  It doesn’t even matter what food it is (unless it’s Mexican.  Then you’re pretty hard pressed to find it.  Otherwise), any kind of food you want is yours for the eating.

8. Good, Reliable, Fast Internet
Once we finally found a good apartment, we had a connection that was good, reliable, and fast.  This is important to us both

  • personally for phone calls and staying in touch, but as importantly,
  • for all of the business things we do

We’ve been able to get a lot done by having a good Internet connection we can rely on.  For those of you who are sufficiently geeky and curious, from our apartment we got about 6-7MB/sec downstream and about 600k/sec. upstream.

9. Our Apartment
For you, a

  • garbage disposal
  • washer/dryer
  • dishwasher
  • nice toilet
  • decent sized fridge
  • hot shower
  • toaster

might just be every day normal items. But as we’ve traveled around, we’ve discovered that many of these items truly are luxuries.  We’ve loved living in a place that has had all of them, and nice versions of them, in one place, for us to use.

10. Feijoas
Here today, gone tomorrow. These were plentiful one day, and the next, they were out of season.  As a result, we never did make a video of eating a feijoa as the last one we had went moldy.  We ate 3-5 of these/day when they were in season, and will either have to learn how to grow them in a greenhouse in Colorado, or come back to have them again in New Zealand.

Bonus #11. Esquires Caramel Chai Latte
Esquires is a coffee chain here in New Zealand.  We first discovered Esquires because they had a 2 for 1 coupon in the Arrival Magazine.  (Pick up a copy of the Arrival Magazine in Auckland… it’s FILLED with great coupons for all kinds of New Zealand stuff.)  You can find coffee chains anywhere in the world… BUT, we’ve never had a chai quite so good as the caramel chai latte they serve at Esquires (even Bhakti chai in Colorado isn’t the same).

Bonus #12. Hokey Pokey
“That’s what it’s all about!” Hokey pokey is something like a mix between a malt ball and a butterfinger.  We’ve never seen it anywhere else, and it will be sad to leave hokey pokey behind here in New Zealand.

4 thoughts on “Christchurch, New Zealand: Top 10 Favorites

  1. Matt Kennedy

    In the couple of months we hung out here in Chch you didn’t mention even once this love for gingery drinks! If we had of known about this obcession we could have accomodated!

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