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Dear Christchurch, I love you (but I hate you)

It has been two years since I have made you my new home. Two years of adventure, excitement, beauty, disappointment,  frustration and challenge.

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We’ve developed a  tug-of-war relationship with each other, but neither of us seem to be budging. I’ve got to the point where I seem to say “gosh I just love you so much” and “oh my god I hate you!” within the same hour, on a daily basis.

Christchurch, I love you because you’re naturally beautiful. Your combination of coastlines and mountains is a defining quality of yours. I love starting my day at sunrise along the waterfront and watching the sun glisten on the waves and the clouds transform to radiant pink and orange hues.  I love walking through the Port Hills and seeing your unique blue waters contrast against the rolling green hills with a layer of snow-capped mountains in the distance.

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But I hate how you make me fight through the elements to enjoy you. Your howling southerly winds make me freeze from the inside out, even on the sunniest of days. And when you do allow the sun to come out without the southerly, you provide minimal protection from the intense rays that cause me heat stroke in under ten minutes. You often make those romantic walks on the beach near impossible!

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Christchurch, I love you because you are a foodie’s dream. There aren’t enough weekends in the year to test out all of your one-of-a-kind cafes. You have perfected the art of eggs benny and your coffee scene is pretty darn perfect.  And the fusion restaurant selection is one that could give NYC a run for it’s money.  Plus, speaking on behalf of the smaller group of vegetarians, your countless farmer’s markets with weekly fresh and organic produce absolutely warms my heart.

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But I hate you because you are so damn expensive. You tempt me with extra large and plump avocado’s but want me to pay a fortune to enjoy one. You get me addicted to your delicious barista services and have made me a coffee snob for life. Before I met you I had never craved a cuppa in my life and now I fear leaving you because I know that no one else does it like you!

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Christchurch, I love you because you are so resilient. You have been through enough hardships to last a lifetime but you don’t give up. You are on a mission to be the most modern city in the world (despite Mother Nature continually trying to stop you), and I admire you for that. You have a vision and you’re sticking to it!

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But I hate you because you are testing my patience! I know good things take time, but it is agonizing driving through your CBD and still dodging orange cones left and right, driving past earthquake damaged buildings that are still in ruins and having to park in  what feels like ground zero.

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Christchurch, I love you because you offer big city opportunities and small town living. You make countless career dreams come true and offer the support we all need to succeed.  And you also make it possible to own your own slice of this paradise and not have to be wealthy to be in your property game.

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But I hate you because you are so unpredictable! I am not a fan of your earthquakes. They always happen out of no where and take my breath away. And then just when I get used to them, they go away. So I’m forced to live on edge and try to anticipate your next big shake. And it’s a never ending cycle that I don’t think you’re going to break anytime soon.

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Sometimes I just want to give up on you. Those blasted southerlies, overpriced avocados, inconveniently placed orange road cones and unnecessary quakes can send me into a state of rage. I want you to change and to make my life easier.

But then again, nothing that is great is ever easy. Those seconds of rage are quickly replaced with an overwhelming and lasting feeling of loyalty and love.

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I will be the first to come to your protection when outsiders bad mouth you. Only I am allowed to say I hate you! Because those outsiders don’t really understands just how great you are.

You are one of a kind, and even though I don’t admit it nearly enough, I do appreciate everything about you–the good, the bad, the inconvenient and the scary.

Christchurch, I love you.  Cheers to two years with you. And cheers to many more to come.

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