It has taken me a while to accept this – I can be a sloth if the situation permits me.
My slothful tendencies were exacerbated by easy accessibility to public utilities and amenities in Pune. The advent of online food takeaway services – aka Swiggy and Zomato – led to my nearly ruinous entanglement with fast food. Running errands were a no-biggie. Out of tomatoes? Saunter to the sabzi mandi down the road and haggle with the vendor. Out of painkillers to treat a migraine? Run to the chemist next-door. Got a craving for Lays Magic Masala chips? Walk to the grocery store behind my apartment complex. But here’s the thing – I barely walked or ran. Good heavens no, I picked up my phone and ordered everything home. You see, unlike a white country, labour is hella inexpensive in India and hence the concept of delivery charges doesn’t exist unless you order takeaways. The charges for the latter are minimal and would hardly pinch your pocket.
So when I moved to Auckland, I wistfully realized that I had to abandon my Swiggy (substituted by Uber-Eats here) tendencies and rely on my culinary skills – that the pandemic (unsurprisingly) helped me hone – to assuage my food cravings. These days ordering takeaways is reserved for PMS bouts, period cramps, once-in-a-while forgetfulness to pack lunch, and an occasional craving that does nonetheless arise.
Not only takeaways but possibly most errands, especially grocery-shopping necessitate walking. Public transport in Auckland, unlike home, is neither convenient nor economical. Back home I would religiously choose Uber and Ola cabs over my own vehicle to commute to work, win several discounts and coupons in return which further fueled my indolence. Notwithstanding the lack of a specific exercise routine, physical activity is inescapable in a country like New Zealand. Run out of milk? Walk to the nearest convenience store. Run out of medicines? Walk to the nearest chemist shop. Run out of vegetables? Walk to Countdown, right up to the vegetable aisle. Craving a burger? Walk to your nearest Macca for a takeaway. In fact, I walk to the university as well. The undulating roads and streets of Auckland closely compete with inclined treadmills and stair-climbers in a fancy gym. Besides, walking makes me rely less on my inconsistent but impulsive ascetic tendency to jump onto workout challenges.
Believe it or not, this city has instilled the joy of walking in me. Headphones check. Playlist check. And I walk, and walk and walk.