I met a woman this week who seemed to have the ideal life — she spent half the year in Italy, the other half in Auckland.
In her 30s, she’d spent 13 years living in Italy before her family decided on the six months there, six months here idea.
The area in Italy where she lived was still recovering from the GFC, so economic growth was slow, but she loved the lifestyle and family focus: long lunches, a relaxed approach to life and being absorbed in everyone’s life.
But she also loved her time in Auckland, and the way her business requirements were responded to instantly rather than in a few weeks.
She definitely appreciated the easier access to banks and hospital care than in her area of Italy.
Traffic in Auckland on Thursday afternoon was simply dreadful.
But what she hated about New Zealand was Auckland’s dreadful traffic.
“It takes me two hours to get anywhere in Auckland, so I struggle to catch up with friends when I’m home. I can’t be bothered fighting the traffic,” she told me.
“And Kiwi drivers are so stressed.”
Jeez, having driven in Italy, and been introduced to hand gestures from local drivers that shocked even me, then we Kiwi drivers must be getting bad.
But did my fellow traveller have a point or was she suffering from culture shock after living overseas for so long?
I must be getting immune to the impatient motorway drivers and, rather sadly, now don’t really notice the frequent traffic jams.
Or maybe I now adjust my schedule to accommodate the afternoon gridlock outside my city office.
What do you think? It is just an Auckland trend or are New Zealand drivers becoming more stressed?