Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Return Of The Jafa

When we moved away from the Waikato and back to Auckland we faced a barrage of outraged howls from friends about our traitorous behaviour.  All around New Zealand Jafas (Just Another F*&^%$# Aucklander) are reviled and despised, but possibly nowhere more than by their near neighbours just over the Bombay Hill, the people of the Waikato region.  We tried to explain that the move was not a rejection of the Waikato per se, it was just a practical move because with employment in Auckland the travelling time and fuel costs were becoming prohibitive, but all to no avail.  The howls continued and the outraged remarks increased in volume and frequency.  We were told that we would find Aucklanders unfriendly and uncaring, that we would soon be regretting our move and so forth.  I was even presented with this joke T-shirt which I resolved never to wear in public for fear of condemnatory remarks.   

Well, hailing from Auckland originally we were not quite so fearful of returning, but it had been 14 years since our departure and we were a little uncertain.  I can report after nearly three years that living in central Auckland is not a terrible thing after all, and that you can meet interesting and friendly people wherever you happen to end up.  In fact the population of Auckland is a veritable United Nations and we have made friends with people from all around the world.  When I go running with my friend Maree in the early mornings the view over the Waitemata Harbour is different every day and I am thankful to live in such a beautiful place. 

Sunrise on the Waitemata Harbour

On mornings when I am feeling bold (and it is still nearly dark), I even wear my “Jafa and Proud” T-shirt!