After Melbourne I sent Jane back to Bangkok and headed East… to Auckland, New Zealand.
NZ is way far East… their time zone is GMT +12… and since Vancouver is GMT -8, that meant that I was only 3 hours behind Vancouver time in NZ… so when it was 3pm in NZ, it was 6pm in Vancouver… however, that isn’t exactly true, because in actuality, I was 21 hours AHEAD of Vancouver as my 3pm was on a Wednesday while Vancouver’s 6pm was on a Tuesday…
Anyway, the reason I know so much about the intricacies of time is because I was pretty bored in Auckland! New Zealand is only home to 4 million people to begin with, and there are estimates that at any given time, nearly half of them are travelling outside of NZ, which leaves it prettttttty quiet… Auckland has about 1 million people.
I also had an expectation that since it is summer there now that it would be quite hot…. nope. I was cold most of my stay as it was windy, sometimes rainy and the highs were in the teens. But apparently even that isn’t too bad because after I spent my one night out in Auckland on totally, eerily empty streets, I was cold and couldn’t find a cab. When I got in the cab, he had all the windows rolled down and said to me, “Beautiful evening”… my response was “really???”.
I stayed at the Sky City complex which is home to a casino, hotels and numerous other attractions, including their Sky City Tower which stands out on the downtown horizon as it is nearly twice as tall as any other building in Auckland. I had an excellent meal at a place called Rocco on a main street called Ponsonby if you are ever in the area.
All in all it was a very nice town… mostly full of backpacking type people… but far, far too cold, desolate and boring for my personal tastes.
So, that’s why I hopped on an 11 hour plane ride and went straight to Santiago, Chile!
I have just arrived here, and within minutes I felt much better… great vibe, beautiful modern, european-like city and a perfect sunny, 29c day.
I am SO tired though, so will leave my Chile update for another date.
But I will leave you with the following observation: All of the more ‘westernized’ nations such as US, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and to lesser extents France, Italy etc are ATROCIOUS in my opinion. Terrible vibes. I usually have at least one or two guys try to pick fights with me in any of those cities.. to which, when I push back, they run away… pathetic… and the girls all have major attitudes… no one seems happy… everything is usually quite expensive in relation to other spots… the service in general is terrible… I can’t think of worse countries anywhere in the world than those.
You will never again catch me in ANY of those countries for stays of longer than a few days per year, and only out of necessity and certainly not out of desire.
Unless something dramatic happens, I foresee 90% of my time being spent cycling between Asia (Thailand and China mainly) and Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brasil mainly).
Those two regions are the only places left on earth, that I am aware of, that still have a good vibe, excellent lifestyle, vibrant energy, good service and reasonable prices.
Of course, everyone is different, and if all you care about is being close to the ocean to go kyaking and being close to the mountains to go snowboarding, then obviously places like Canada, New Zealand etc. are fine places if that is what you desire.
But for someone of my interests, Asia and Latin Am are the spots!
I have many options on the weeks/months ahead, including Brazil for carnival and possibly going up to Mexico to go cruising on a buddy of mines ultra-multi-million dollar yacht… so, should be a fun, interesting few weeks/months ahead in my latino home away from home (asia).