My neighbors moved out today. In itself this isn’t entirely surprising. People move all the time. But they only moved in right before Christmas. Moved in permanently, at least. They’ve owned the condo for eight years, making a fifty-one hour business-class trek from the UK to Auckland every December, and returning in March.
They promised themselves for the better part of a decade that as soon as they could, they would come and live full-time in New Zealand. And they lasted four months before they cracked.
This isn’t unusual. Telegraph writer Peter Foster made the move to idyllic New Zealand in 2009, to create a new life for his family, and in 2010 they moved away again. At least they made it a full year before they bailed.
Foster was clear why they left; the same reason my neighbors are leaving.
I’ll never forget the daily walks on the beach, the afternoons foraging and exploring and the evenings fishing off the rocks. Each and every experience, even the skylarks on the school run, has been wonderful, magical – and yet… and yet. Whisper it softly, but bliss is, well – I’ll say it straight out – boring as hell.
The question pops up a lot in travel fora: Why is New Zealand so boring? And of course, I can’t answer it. It’s like asking a fish to describe water. It’s not that I disagree it’s boring. But I don’t even understand what the alternative is.
I see a lot of specific complaints like stores closing by 6pm most nights, or coming out of a movie at 10pm and there’s nowhere else to go, but… yeah? Go home and go to bed? Why on earth do you want to spend your time browsing in a retail store anyway?
It is frustrating that in a city of 1.4 million I can find only a very few, occasional, weekend art courses to take. I mean, I would die to have a resource like The Minnesota Centre for Book Arts on my doorstep. But apart from this, which is a pretty specific interest, what are these “fun things” that people in other countries get to do all day that I can’t? Please tell this fish what the dry land is like.
 Did you notice one quote is by Richard Fromage? Richard Fromage, aka Dick Cheese. Ah, that subtle British humor.