May 21, 2008
Mysterious Dave and I have been discussing why it is that people don’t seem to understand Hamilton.
We grew up there, on the banks of the mighty Waikato River.
In winter time the fog rolls in and it can be so thick you can’t see the end of the car’s front bumper.
In summer time it can get so muggy (it is, after all, built on a swamp) that at night you want to lie down and melt.
It’s a nice town. Good size population. These days it has seven movie screens. Of course, Auckland does have more, but I’ve noticed a tendency for every one of the movie houses to show the exact same movie that’s being shown on all the other movie houses at the same time. Seven o’clock? Must be Horton Hears a Hoo in Cinema 3. So in this instance, the number of screens is pretty much irrelevant.
There’s a university, several high schools, a polytech. There are local radio stations. There are a good dozen restaurants or more on the main drag alone that are worth a look.
And yet there are still people who are surprised by Hamilton. Slackers likes to use it as a term of derision when talking about the North Shore. And I quote:
There is plenty to like about Hamilton, it’s just a matter of where you look. I ran along the bank of their mighty river. It was tranquil, brooding, and, in the morning light, quite ethereal. The museum has its own distinct identity, with its marae leading visitors to the water. There was an exhibition on Italian immigrants to New Zealand which was precisely what I was in the mood to see.
Of course, Slackers doesn’t see the point to Lone Star restaurant, whereas readers of this blog will know it’s the Cobb and Co of the 21st century. For the love of god.
Jane’s been twice now. Yeah, that’s right, twice.
First time round, she played the “Aucklander Just Passing Through” card.
Look, I’ll be honest with you. Like many Aucklanders, I’ve traditionally held a pretty grim view of Hamilton – don’t ask me why, it’s just an inherent disdain. Previous Ham-bound journeys were born of necessity, and there hadn’t been a trip to that fine pinnacle of Waikato living that has managed to change my opinion. That is… until this weekend.
Even her second visit didn’t disappoint, with the self-appointed Waikato Bloke to demonstrate some good old-fashioned ‘Tron Hospitality.
So about twenty minutes later, there we were happily minding our own girly business when this same guy comes hurtling towards us yelling “you’re not from Auckland! You’re from Morrinsville!” – um, no, no we are not from Morrinsville. Where is Morrinsville? Anyway, this guy’s theory was that we didn’t look old enough to be allowed to drive alllll that way from Auckland (as opposed to driving from Morrinsville where there are no laws… apparently).
But you tell people you quite like Hamilton and they look at you funny. And I’ll leave Dave to expound on his points of view in the comments rather than steal all his good ideas and claim them as my own.
Hamilton. It’s not entirely, necessarily for weekends you know.