Bryan Mitchell University of Auckland, New Zealand


May 3, 2018

After the Break:

I enjoy seeing my friends again during the first week back and feel fine getting back into my usual routine; coming home from my trip was not so bad since this entire semester feels like holiday. I have a test and an essay to complete this week, so it is quite busy with studying and schoolwork. I visit the cat café once again, some time to decompress and spend time with my favourite animals. Banksy, a ginger mountain lion kitty, cuddles up next to me for nearly the entire hour!

The Killers:

Tonight is exactly halfway through my time in New Zealand and fittingly, I have an excursion planned. I am going to see The Killers for the third time, and first concert ever outside of the US. Conveniently the arena is located only 10-minutes walking distance from my flat, making it the easiest concert to get to out of the 40-some shows I have been to. Spark Arena in Auckland which holds 12,000 people is a lot like arenas in the US, not very much difference. Australian artist Alex Cameron plays a short set to open. The Killers come on just past 9 in the evening with the house lights up and start the show with their most well-known song, Mr. Brightside. The crowd loves it as it has been nine years since the band has played live for this corner of the world. The show lasts about 1 hour, 45 minutes. Highlights include a song that has only been played live three times before tonight, Just Another Girl, as well as all of the classics! The Killers finish at 11 in the evening with When You Were Young, and I am back in my flat by 10 after. Seamless.

The week after the concert is Anzac Day, a national holiday in New Zealand and Australia. This holiday commemorates fallen troops as well as veterans, making it equivalent to both Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the US. I donate a small amount of cash to a related fund and receive a poppy flower pin in return, a longstanding tradition here.


Sadly, one of the cat café’s cats named Wednesday passed away this week, a somber but inevitable event. She was 15. The entire community has been quite supportive. I changed my Wellington-Auckland flight at the end of my holiday so I could arrive into Auckland early enough to see her Friday before she went to the café manager’s house during primary school break. Once there, her condition suddenly deteriorated and the difficult decision was made to put her to sleep. I am so thankful I changed my flight since that was my last opportunity to see Wednesday; it has brought a sense of closure. The (lucky) black cat brought lots of happiness to me during my numerous cat café visits here in Auckland.


Takeaways in Auckland:

I am a huge foodie. Meal time makes me happy every single day, especially when I get my favourite takeaways. Below I have listed some of the best places I have found in Auckland so far (plus one in Wellington)!


  • Double Dutch Fries - Best chips in Auckland, hands down. The main branch is in city centre on Elliott Street. Made on the spot. Combine a small or large size chips with a sauce of your choice. 
  • Jewel of India - Indian takeaway at Auckland Uni. I get their butter chicken and rice multiple times per week. 
  • La Porchetta - Italian restaurant on Parnell Rise, either sit down or takeaway. Try their garlic bread along with the “main” portion of “penne napoletana”.
  • Tank - A chain smoothie bar. Try the “All Berry Tank” or “Strawberry Lush” smoothies with a supplement.
  • Zambrero - A chain Mexican takeaway; the closest I will get to Chipotle while here. Make your own burrito.
  • *Wellington only: The Chippery - Two locations in Wellington. The best fish and chips I have ever had. Went there twice during my 30 hours in Wellington. Fish rotates out depending on what is fresh. Try their signature “Handcut Agria Chips” and “Homemade Tartare Sauce” with some fresh fish!
  • Elliott Street is a good place to go if you wish to discover new cuisines. There is a food court, restaurants, and street vendors. None of these options are too expensive, and they are all worth checking out!