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May 19, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Big City Life

My friend Alice moved here from Napier all but a few weeks ago and she might be moving back. I told this to my coffee coach Jack (I’m a constantly ‘in training’ barista) who let out the most exasperated sigh and asked, ‘why??’

I can understand Jack’s frustration, especially as an advocate for “getting out there.” Why on earth would a 19 year old girl on the cusp of adulthood want to move from Wellington, a city buzzing with activity and opportunity, to Napier, where it was 25 degrees last week, and everything you need is just a stone’s throw away? I appreciate that cities have their subtleties and their idiosyncrasies, but to break it down simply, a big city just has more.

Wellington has more bars/cafes/restaurants; more books in its library; more (and bigger) movie theatres; more study options; more opportunities to make friends; more buses; more cars; more people; more pollution; more pretension; more people wearing black than I have ever seen in my life. Napier’s just a baby Wellington. Like New Zealand’s a baby Australia, who is a baby America, who is no-one’s baby if you know what I mean.

I’m not anti-Wellington though. I am hyper-aware of my propensity to bitch, and I even considered scrapping this column to write one about the things I like about Wellington. But maybe some other time. Today the small town shall prevail.

In a small town you aren’t bombarded with choice like you are in a big city. Let’s say you’re looking for a winter hat. In a small town this might take a matter of minutes, considering you have about three stores to choose from and the main street takes less than five minutes to walk down. In Wellington this could take a whole day. Imagine living somewhere even bigger, where the downtown area is two, three, four times as big and has department stores as well.

In a small town everything you need is right at your fingertips. The supermarkets are within a reasonable distance from one another. You know exactly where to get your bike fixed, where to get a good sandwich. You can own a car because parking prices aren’t exorbitant and congestion’s not a problem. Sure, in the big city you can catch a bus home at 3 in the morning, but in a small town you don’t have to because everyone drink drives anyway*.

*Kidding**.

**Or am I? I’ve driven drunk. Well, I’ve driven tiddly. Who hasn’t? Oh, you haven’t? Fuck you and your high horse. You’ve probably never driven a car either. On the road that is.

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