Laid back lifestyle with character in Christchurch
There are not many big cities in New Zealand, but in the South Island, there’s one big city you will not want to miss, Christchurch. I want to praise this city in so many ways because it has me feel like it's my second hometown.
I come from a small city in China and I have had my time in big fancy cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but I never called them my second hometown, until Christchurch. I’m lucky that New Zealand is the first foreign country that I've lived in, and what’s more is that I chose Christchurch for further study two years ago. There are several characteristics only this city owns.
After the big earthquake in 2011, everything shattered in every way, but one thing stands firm, the people in Christchurch. What I love about this city is the resilience and belief that we can get through everything often with a big laugh and a “sweet as”. Even though it’s been seven years since the earthquake, and there is still a lot to repair in the city, in the over a year and half of living in Christchurch, all I see are the smiling faces of Christchurch folks and the belief that we will get through this eventually. This city has taught me to be strong and resilient.
With the laid back lifestyle in Christchurch, people say "hi" on street all the time and that always makes my day. Every morning I walk to university and see a lady who always walks her dog. She says, ”Good morning,” with a smile, and I say it back to her. I buy a flat white coffee at the café trailer near the university library and the guy who makes the coffee passes me the cup with an “Enjoy and have a good day”. I hurry to the classroom and find a seat to sit down in, my classmate near me says, ” Hi, how are you?”, I reply, ”Good, hope you're having a good day, too”.
Christchurch is welcoming to everyone, not only to international students but to all people. It runs in their blood. This city has taught me how to be more welcoming.
Christchurch is laid back and it makes the city humble as well. People in Christchurch are always humble because they don’t want to make others uncomfortable. When you’re standing in the checkout line at Pak'N'Save, people are always letting others go first. When you’re stuck in Riccarton Rd traffic, you still give way to turning traffic. This city teaches me what real humbleness is.
Colourful and classy
Christchurch used to be famous for its gardens, and now it’s famous for the colourful graffiti all over the city. The coloured pictures on the walls exhibit more than just art, but also what Christchurch believes in – “Rise up with character”. Moreover, this laid back city is not tasteless, there are so many things to explore in this second hometown of mine.
In the Tannery Mall, there is She Universe offering the best homemade chocolate in the city. Near the store, several boutique stores, cafés and a vintage cinema are scattered around, you can spend a whole day there. The Port Hills is the best place for cycling and to look at the city from above. There are events happening all the time at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu and the Canterbury Museum. Christchurch offers me a colourful and classy life and I appreciate it.
I love this city of Christchurch, not because it’s the first and the only city I've lived in New Zealand, but because I genuinely love it here. Sweet people, nice neighborhood and beautiful scenery all around make it truly feel like home. If I have to leave this city, I will be homesick all over again.
About the contributors
Ke Shu also known as Danny Shu is from Sichuan, China. He studied for a Masters in Business Management at the University of Canterbury in 2016. Danny loved Christchurch because "living here teaches me that there’s a different lifestyle so that anyone of us can enjoy both life and study/work. The fresh air and natural scenery in New Zealand breathtaking."