Monday December 5, 2011
I often get asked if I would move back (or when I'm moving back) to Auckland for work. A few months ago, I thought about how hard it would be to leave what I have now - a good job, great friends, a good flat and flatmate, 15 minutes to anywhere in town, badminton on Saturdays, Strawberry Fare - and many other things. I thought about how awkward it would be if I went back to Auckland, but only because I hadn't been back since Easter and it felt like I'd drifted apart from people. I know I complain a lot about Wellington, especially about the weather and the lack of good Asian food, but the city is neat and compact, it has character and most importantly, after 4 years, it's finally feeling more like home.
I was in Auckland last weekend for a friend's wedding (I missed that big 5.7 earthquake too). Two of my other friends at the wedding were in a similar situation to me - they felt like they'd drifted apart from various people there and were wondering if it was going to be awkward seeing them again after so long. But it wasn't. We just slotted back in naturally and it felt like nothing had changed. It felt good. It was good to be reminded that strong friendships endure time and distance, and for that I'm thankful.
The wedding was amazing. The bride was an hour late - I know it's the norm for brides to be late to a wedding but Jo has never been known for her punctuality anyway, so it was a compounding effect. The ceremony was nice and the food was delicious. Jo had set up a candy bar for people to take away a sweet reminder of the day - such a great idea! I want a candy bar at my wedding. After cleaning up the church, we went to the reception restaurant to begin preparations for the night's dinner.
And what a dinner. Buffet style, unlimited oysters. I had 10! No regrets. The seafood was fresh and juicy, the roast pork, chicken and beef were sumptuous and the salads were light and refreshing. There was two different kinds of cheesecake for dessert - one was lemon, the other was some kind of chocolate concotion, I think. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it tasted like there was some kind of berry flavour. In any case, I was lucky I didn't overeat because it was time to break it out on the dance floor. Party rock - whoo!
I caught up with my school mates at Sun World for yum cha. And again, there was no awkwardness (apart from the natural awkward aura that Tom provides) - we just chatted like old times. Food was top notch as usual. We went our separate ways and I went to catch up with my sister. I haven't seen my nephew in so long - he's grown so much and he is still absolutely adorable. He's a bouncy baby and smiles back at you when you smile at him. It was so cute when he tried to grab the cat - I feel sorry for the poor cat, as my nephew is just clutching whatever his little hands can grip: whiskers, ears, fur, tail!
My flight was quite late so my parents and I went out for dinner at KK with some relatives who were visiting from Brisbane. I hadn't seen them in around 10 years and I was shocked to see how much the three girls had grown. I wouldn't have been able to recognise them in the street. It was good to see them again and of course, the food really hit the spot. Why can't we get nice things like that in Wellington!?
Photos from this brief but very enjoyable trip to Auckland in the gallery.