My Town

QofDay, June 3-4 ’15 ~ My Town

What part of the world are you from?
Tell us something about your town and of your favorite memories you’ve created where you are.

I live in Kaikoura New Zealand. It is a small town formed around and over a small peninsula on the NE coast of the South Island. There are about 2,500 locals who live in the town, and lots of tourisms over summer (peak numbers of tourists staying can exceed 10,000).

We are on the main highway (State Highway 1) and the train line goes through town, and the next town with a shop is over an hour’s drive in any direction, and it is over two hours drive to the nearest city.

So it is an odd sort of isolation.

The Kaikoura mountains are some of the youngest and fastest growing on the planet. They are very steep, prone to earthquake and erosion.

There is nothing between us and Antarctica except 2,400 miles of water, so we can get some fierce southerly storms.

Ailsa and I live on top of the peninsula, with amazing views of the mountains and the ocean.

We get to watch sunrises out of the ocean from our deck, and often see dolphins and many species of sea birds, and sometimes see whales in the bay below us.

The weather here is amazing, so changeable, so fierce at times, yet so calm much of the time. It is not unusual to get winds over 200km/hr.

My favourite memories are many.

I met Ailsa here. I lived 300 miles away, and was just passing through on a business trip, and called around to see some friends who had recently moved here, and it happened to be her birthday and she happened to have invited a few friends around, one of whom has been my wife for 21 years.

We had our first few minutes alone together at the lookout just a couple of hundred meters from where we now live.

So many amazing experiences here, with nature and wildlife and people.

Just this afternoon Ailsa and I drove down the coast and saw an elephant seal – a reasonably rare visitor to these parts.

[followed by]

Hi Kathy,

Yes – NZ is about 5 million, about 1 million in the Island I live on (though I was born on the other major island).

LA has many more people than NZ.

And they say of the world that we have 6 degrees of separation, and here in NZ we say there are two. If you don’t know someone, you can usually find someone you both know in common.

I know people in most towns – about 100,000 people I have met in various circumstances over the last half century.

After living here in Kaikoura I am still not quite local – the locals are living in the houses their ancestors built. The last town I spent 34 years in (Waitakaruru) was like that too, and very different in the sense that it was just an hour away from our major city (Auckland) and was flat.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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