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Torn between city and country

Jan 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Opinion

As my three-week break comes to an end, I am excitedly sorry (?) about returning to the city.

Rather than the usual dread which one affiliates with the end of a holiday, I am admittedly missing the city, but will remain nostalgic and loyal to my roots. Depending on who I’m talking to, I am both based in the city, and born in Raetihi.

Home: Ohakune, Central North Island. Home to the Giant Carrot, My beloved Mt Ruapehu, Swimming in Rivers, Family Hospitality.

New Home: Te Aro, Wellington. Home to Cafés, Arty folk, Cocktails and Heel-friendly footpaths.

The major Draw Card upon returning home for the holidays: the idea of waking up to Birds. Not those pesky rats-of-the-sky pigeons and seagulls we learn to loathe, but Tui, Wood pigeon and Fantails.

Before you think I’m going to drag on with some hippy/nature loving spiel, it’s worth noting my appreciation in waking up in the country – without concrete drilling and the sound of Les Mills trainers enthusing sluggish corporates to feel the ecstasy of Body Pump at 7am.

My hometown is no metropolis.
A scenic fantasy maybe, but no retail wonderland.
Trademe has previously satisfied the many cravings my ever-consuming wardrobe allows, but it is the small-town op shops that hold the glory.

Anyone who dare buy second hand clothing (possibly smelling of mothballs or like past owners no longer with us) knows that these quaint, unassuming towns are treasure troves for good quality, vintage pieces.

I detest the city versions, liberating a supré singlet with its own hanger for a third of its retail price last year.
Vintage my ass.

I prefer the time spent rummaging through piles of pre-loved clothing, the eccentric old bag who calls everyone dear, and the ability to barter for a deal.

The once stylish geriatrics flog off unassumedly prized pieces before “city folk” find them and mark prices up for their trendy city boutiques.

Ironically, whilst boasting the profits of this pastime, it is in the city one has the freedom to express the possibly hideous but undeniably fun ensembles found.

Summertime in Ohakune is not for the late night folk. Real kiwis are found by conservationalists in the forest while the human variety are prowling Courtenay place for equally inebriated versions of each other.

Working in a local bar, one grows tiresome of the standard calls “…so its pretty quiet ‘round here in summer?” duh, look around, you are the entertainment.

In saying that, people are like animals really: they feel comfortable around other animals and will migrate to the popular watering hole no matter where. Cows moo: pigs grunt; people talk about the weather…

In a small town, there are fewer people to make a dick of yourself in front of, but in the city you are more of a dick.

Cocktails in the city have evolved past creamy/fruity to a classic renaissance through muddling every herb, bitter, food item…. Most small town outlets will offer a range of bourbon premixes through Vodka and Bacardi long-life premixes.

Perhaps I sound cynical, judgmental in places, but I do believe I am one of few who appreciate both sides of the coin and am happy to call both my homes, well, home.

I look forward to Mee Goreng at Satay Kingdom. Pining for jewellery at Karen Walker, Cocktails at Motel, attempted dancing at Good Luck.

But my fellow small-town associates and I will be forever grateful for our explicitly beautiful sunsets, pure alpine rock pools, bubbling tar roads and friendly faces.

I am happy to have both a big piece of a small place and a small piece of a big place, without waxing sentimental I will forever be a small town girl with bright eyes for big lights.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student. Her interests include travel, food and entertainment, music, and fashion. Sophie hopes to work in magazines. She is not into serious stuff like finance and politics.
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