Kathryn the proprietress embodies the resilient spirit of those living in Christchurch who were badly affected by the quake yet chose to remain amidst the city’s reconstruction efforts. The long term effort, as she insists, is eventually good for the economy and employment prospects, with the added advantage of social bonding in the years to come. Yet she believes that she’ll probably not live to see the day the remodelled Christchurch is ready once more; her own property repairs will take as long as 5 years.
Driving to Christchurch, one seldom encounters smooth road surface; the land shifts constantly and containers lining rockslide areas attest to that. Half the street down where I stay fell through during that time and is now one-lane traffic. It is a sombre and shocking experience even though the tragic event is months behind us: the once-beautiful city centre as I remember it, is now almost akin to going through a war-zone and a mild inconvenience for me was a reminder of how thousands lost everything.
I bid goodbye to NZ on that fairly mournful note. Christchurch is just thankfully a night’s stopover.