Seeing as this is my last day in Auckland and I have some time to spare indoors, I’ll recap my learnings in a foreign country before forgetting:
Tipping is unheard of (I learned about this before I arrived, but forgot the customary non-tipping policies).
You pay at the front of a restaurant after eating; the bill doesn’t come to your table. Talk about the honour system (would not fly in America).
You have to signal to a bus when you want to catch it; if you don’t, it’ll whiz past you. Learned this the hard way.
Auckland is the “big” little city of NZ, so it has a lot of similar chain places that California also does. Starbucks, Carl’s Jr., Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, IMAX theaters, etc.
Food is one of the most expensive parts of living in NZ. At a midrange restaurant, entrees are at least a good $5-$10 more than what you’d typically pay in CA. [2020 edit: I beg to differ. With rising taxes in America, I’m certain that food now costs less in NZ than the states (not to mention better quality)]
People aren’t on their iPhones/smartphones nearly as much as people in CA, which is nice. A lot of Kiwis (like myself) run around with earbuds in, listening to music, but not too many people are yakking away or texting while out and about (and especially not at restaurants).
Clothing and shoes are crazily overpriced. And mascara (I don’t care, but found it hilarious to see the $25 NZD pricetags).
Kathmandu is the equivalent of REI and The Warehouse is the equivalent of Costco out here. There is no Target, just Target Furniture Hypermarts.
Coffee and tea is supposed to be amazing out here. I don’t drink much of either, but maybe I’ll be changed?
Sheep are not in the metropolitan areas like Auckland (maybe more of the rural areas, like east and south Auckland).
Are ‘ewe’ tempted to visit now?