And as a result, I’ve been getting out & about in our beautiful city. I thought I might showcase a few of my new discoveries.

1.Cherry Blossoms

I went for a very picturesque walk around the cherry blossom trees in Cornwall Park last Sunday and found that everyone else was doing the same. Look at this photo though. Can you blame us? Such a beautiful day.


At my old intermediate, RI, there was an exchange trip with a sister school in Japan, and the choir learned the Japanese folk song “Sakura Sakura” as a result. Here are the words and translation:

Sakura, sakura
Ya-yo-I-no so-ra-wa
Mi-wa-ta-su ka-gi-ri
Ka-su-mi-ka ku-mo-ka
Ni-o-i-zo i-zu-ru

Cherry blossoms, oh cherry blossoms
In the spring sky
As far as eyes can see
Is it fog or is it a cloud?
The scent!
Right now
Let’s go and see

Although its been a good few years since intermediate, that song has always come to mind when I see cherry blossoms in the spring. What I like most about these lyrics is the sense of cultural identity and beauty that they convey.  Although I have never been to Japan, I think that it would be an incredibly interesting and beautiful place to visit.

2. Star Kebab

I am thoroughly enjoying this Kebab store on Wellesley street. I am a huge fan of Turkish food, and I enjoy a good falafel. For those of you that don’t know what falafel is, it’s like a crumbly fried patty or ball made out of dried beans or chickpeas mixed with spices and herbs. It’s common as a vegetarian option at most kebab or pita places (pitapit does a good one). I found this Kebab store by chance with a friend (we were hungry and getting desperate), and was pleasantly suprised with the quality. Best falafel I have tasted in a while. 10/10 would recommend!

Trying food from other cultures is such a good idea because it is often very different from what you would expect. One of the things I like about studying in Auckland is that there are such a variety of cultures to experience, and so many new things to try.


3. Diwali Festival

I attended the Diwali festival at Aotea square on Sunday with a couple of friends and it was really cool. In particular, I really liked watching the indian dance groups perform on stage. One of my close friends in engineering has completed her Indian dance (fully graduated) and she has been telling me about what it’s like and has shown me a few videos. Seeing it performed live was really cool, as it’s not something we often see on the Auckland streets!

It has been great to have these cultural experiences. I feel like every day I am more grateful for the diverse culture we have in Auckland and I can’t wait to experience more of these sorts of things.