Hauraki: Albeit’s Best-Kept Secret
Hauraki, as the Globe’s online editor Sieb Henderson once said, is one of those Cantons that an Albeit native can go their entire lives without visiting. To some extent, this is true. The Canton lies at the southernmost edge of the city, bordered only on the northern side by a part of Albeit. In many respects, it stays isolated from the rest of Albeit; nobody considers it a major transportation hub, commerce hub, dining hub, shopping hub or residential Hub. Even the mayor of Albeit in the late eighties, wondered if he wouldn’t do best to “Shave off Hauraki and make the number of Cantons a clean ten.”
A funny thing happens, though, when people enter the region for the first time. As it turns out, Hauraki is not just an extraneous blob on the city map, but a community filled with as many attractions—if not more—than the other 10 Cantons of Albeit.
An old rumor goes that Hauraki was the last region to be awarded to an urban planner; nobody wanted to design what appeared to be the most secluded area in all of Albeit. This much is true: those who created the main blueprints for Albeit weren’t sure if the Canton needed to exist. Southeast already had three regions to call its own; the city was already, as the joke goes, with a clean 10 neighborhoods. Ironically, this debate over its purposefulness led to Hauraki getting the lion’s share of city projects. By the time Albeit’s chief planners decided the city needed a university and a football stadium, the other Cantons already had their designs finalized. Hauraki was the only place left to build.
And so, even a satellite picture of the area reveals some enticing destinations. Hauraki is not only home to Albeit You, a university that hangs dear in the memories of many residents, but of all the main sports complexes and stadiums in the city. One of the Canton’s best-known landmarks is Canepa Park, a 70,000-seat stadium built entirely underground. Residents walking on the glass ceiling above can watch Alball and football games played out a few hundred feet below. Canepa and the University take up much of the region’s area, though space remained for a few other important developments. No trip to Albeit is complete without an elevator ride atop the Fanning Tower, a 260-meter structure that lets residents make out the southern edge of Montana. As if this weren’t enough, the city has the only major golf course in Albeit.
With all this in mind, it would seem that the only people who bother to enter Hauraki are height-lovers, Alball fans, college students and golfers. One must not forget about the residents themselves, who might just be the city’s biggest attraction.
Hauraki started out as the least populated Canton in all of Albeit. In the decades to come, though, it grew denser and denser as people flustered with the changing face of Unterwalden and Graupel started to migrate there. Haurakans tend to embody the “Central Tenants” of Albeit: Independence, creativity and a little mystery sprinkled here and there. They are known especially as an artistic base, with almost all residents experienced in some shape or form with the brush, pottery wheel or chisel.
What separates the Canton from other creative regions (Pacfyst and Spengler, to name a few) is its residents’ tendency to work together in groups. As one resident explained, “Here in ‘Raki, we actually talk to our neighbors. We go out to dinner with our neighbors. If one of us has a cool idea, we enlist the help of our neighbors.” Few secret societies exist in Hauraki, chiefly because one’s fellow residents are usually happy to work with someone on a project. Many proud Haurakans call their namesake the “Interconnected Canton,” and it shows: the majority of the area is more than happy to help one another.
Though Albeitians are known as religious people, the sentiment is especially strong in Hauraki. One of the most vibrant religions in the area is Quakerism, which almost a third of the region identifies with. When Haurakans aren’t searching for the Inner Light, they can often be found out in the streets with a pair of Alball rackets, an easel or simply themselves.
Hauraki, thus, isn’t just the Extraneous Canton or the Unnecessary Canton. It’s the Creative Canton, the Interconnected Canton, the Active Canton, the Educated Canton and the Observant Canton—in more ways than one. If it weren’t also the Southernmost Canton, perhaps more of Albeit would come to appreciate it.