From March 14th to April 16th I stayed in Auckland to study teaching. It was my first time not only in New Zealand but also in the Southern Hemisphere. Arriving at Auckland airport, I was struck by★ the temperature difference. Sapporo had still been very cold and snowy, slowly heading towards spring, whereas Auckland was hot, sunny and heading towards autumn.
The people were also very different from the residents of Sapporo. Sapporo is a large city, but has a lack of cultural diversity; Auckland, on the other hand, is one of the most multicultural cities in the world! Along with the local white and Maori populations, a massive 39% of residents were born overseas. These people include British, Chinese, Indian, Korean, South East Asian, and many Pacific Islanders. This cultural diversity could be easily seen in the shops and restaurants that fronted the city streets. For lunch, I had a choice of anything from New Zealand meat pies to Korean barbeque. The indigenous★ Maori people are among the friendliest I have ever met, always ready with a smile and a warm greeting.
Another wonderful part of staying in Auckland was the sky. From sunrise to sunset, the sky could change from a light cloudy blue to a rich clear blue, and on to purples, oranges, and reds. Everyday gave me a beautiful painted vista of sea, cityscape, and sky.
What also struck me about Auckland was the sea. The whole city has been built on islands and peninsulas★. No matter where you travel in the city you are never far from the sea. No wonder New Zealand produces some of the world’s best sailors.
Finally, what I enjoyed most about the city was the greenery. There are trees, bushes, and plants everywhere. The buildings seem to sprout from the greenery and appear to be secondary to the trees, unlike many cities in the world where nature is confined to parks.
All in all, I highly recommend Auckland to any travelers…or those wishing to study overseas.
★be struck by： 「（雷など）に打たれる、～に衝撃を受ける、～に感銘を受ける」などの意味を持っています。トムは南半球にあるニュージーランドが夏の終わりでまだ暑いのに対し、まだ冬の寒さが抜けきらない札幌の気温差に衝撃を受けたようですね！
★peninsulas： 「半島」を表す語です。都市が島と半島でできているとのことですね！Florida Peninsula（フロリダ半島）などのようにも使われます。空の色がきれいで島と半島でできた都市…行ってみたいですね！