Why we’re familiar for foreigners

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by Rachel Pommerol
Wellington is cosmopolitan. Many languages in the streets, people coming from everywhere in the world to discover such a magnificent city. Many cultures are mixed, which create particular vibes. Restaurants are everything but Kiwi, the suburbs give the impression that you’re travelling from one country to another.

The many cultures are also an answer to Wellington’s topography, which is between sea and mountains, between parks and forests. Settling in this city has required people to adapt themselves to the area. In many other cities, nature has been disregarded. It is not the case here. Roads snake to reach all the recesses of the town. Bus drivers can be applauded for their incredible capacity of not having accidents on the crazy roads.

Wellington is so rooted in nature that people have had to adapt their lives and their houses. You have the famous cable car to reach the botanic garden. You have hundreds of steps to go up Mount Victoria. And you have the houses on the side of the hills. There is a risk of slips but it does not seem to be a worry.

steps

You access the houses thanks to steps once again, in areas where you would never have guessed there would be dwellings.

The multiculturalism of Wellington is characterized by the fact this is the capital city: most of the foreign embassies are here. The world seems smaller in this city where Vietnamese and Mexican flags are neighbours. The German and Japanese Film Festivals are taking place during the same week. Wellington does not hide any of its roots: the European colonization which has deeply changed the Maori people, the participation in the wars, the old relationships with the Pacific islands, the powerful links with Asia. This past and present is the identity of Wellington.

The town is multicultural politically too. Ideas fight around ideals not only in Parliament but also in the streets, on buses or bars, around a beer or a cup of tea. And it does not matter if the person next to you will vote for Bill, Jacinda, James, Winston or someone else in a few weeks.

palm-trees

Wellington is the crossroad of two islands, it is the place where people arrive, from where they go and through where they pass. It is a city where palm trees and pine trees are close to each other. Anyone can come from another country and live next to the locals. Wellington is the city where you can be astonished everyday by its culture and in the same time feel like home.

Rachel Pommeyrol has come from France to work at Scoop during the New Zealand election.

 

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