Since moving to Christchurch and driving around I have not once been at the other end of someone going a bit mental on the road. Driving around Brisbane I would get really annoyed at the traffic, the traffic jams, stupid drivers….and did I mention the traffic jams? Driving (or even walking) around Christchurch I find myself totally amazed by how nice drivers are. I often have people letting me in, signalling for me to cross if I am turning into a street, waving a sorry or thank you depending on whether they have cut you off or you have let them in. When I am walking I often get cars stopping before and even when they get onto a roundabout to allow me and the kids to cross. That is annoying sometimes, firstly because I am trying to teach my children to wait for the cars to pass and secondly because they have annoyed drivers behind them!
One afternoon after school we were crossing the road at a roundabout and a guy in his car pulled up just before he got to the roundabout to let us cross. He signalled and mouthed “please…you go…you go” I signalled and mouthed back “thank you very much”. I burst out laughing once I crossed the road….we could have actually spoken to each other as his roof was down and he was only a couple of metres away.
I must say though, I don’t drive even half as much as I used to in Brisbane. Maybe its just been a coincidence that I am on the road when all the nice people are 🙂 Really though, getting across town in Christchurch can take 20 minutes on a good run. I try not to drive the car too much these days. Dan takes the bike whenever he can and the kids love to bike or scoot to school. Supermarkets aren’t far away so it’s only ever a short drive if I take the car. Dan and I are waiting for the day when we become true locals ie: the day that we complain that getting across town takes forever or that the other side of the city is ages away.
We visited friends who have moved into a great house up on the hills the other weekend. Awesome views of the city from there. I looked out admiring the view and realised how much I love this city. The weekend Dan and I visited Christchurch before we moved over we were surprised how small the city was. That weekend we met new friends that lived in a little town outside of the city and it only took 20 minutes to get there. I love that it doesn’t take long to get places in this city.
I was concerned that the city would be hard to live in post earthquakes, but we have found it to be quite the opposite. Plug for Christchurch: This is a great city…. and I really love it! There is always something interesting happening around town, yes, there is a lot of road work EVERYWHERE, but hey, you get that after massive earthquakes. The people are genuinely nice and so lovely on and off the road!