Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Things you might need to know. (Part 2)

The first post about things you need to know to impersonate a Kiwi got such a good reaction that I have decided to do a second. I meant to thank Sean in Hamilton in the last post as he gave us some good insights into the Kiwi's during our stay with them some time ago. Then again he should have some good insights as he's married to one!

So what else have we learned since our last post. Well some of them I knew before but forgot at the time but others we have come across since:

Know that if you are looking for beetroot it will be in a tin and not a glass jar. At home the beetroot is pickled to the point where it's hard to know whether you are eating beetroot or vinegar. No such problem here as the kiwi's realise that beetroot should taste like beetroot!

Know that Best Food's Real Mayonnaise is actually Hellman's.

Know that the Kiwi's wouldn't know what a decent sausage tastes like! And the bacon, aka rashers in Ireland, are not the best either!

Know that you can buy your mixed salad leaves loose i.e. they are not all pre packed. Handy when your husband refuses to eat rabbit food!

Know that if you can't get to the supermarket there's always the local dairy aka corner shop/ convenience store back home.

Know that in NZ if you get a section it's nothing to be ashamed off as it's what we would call a site. In Ireland if you got a "section" then it's off to a "loony bin" for a while!

Know that they drink their beer by the jug. I thought the Irish were bad!

Know that you don't have to bother standing for the national anthem but feel free to do so for the All Blacks haka! (not actually the case, but it does get a much bigger reaction).

Know that NZ does not seem to be a particularly religious country, unless of course you consider the worship of rugby a minority religion!

Know that if your house doesn't come with central heating you don't have to panic there will probably be a dehumidifier supplied instead. One way to dry your clothes I suppose if a little unorthodox!

Know that if you are a size medium in Ireland you are probably an extra small in NZ! I contemplated buying braces for my PJ's! I brought one set back and downsized but the other I had to wear as it was just too cold!

Know that if a Kiwi refers to their hottie, it's not necessarily their nearest and dearest but your other best friend in NZ. The hot water bottle.

Know that even on the coldest of days with the severest of southerlies you will still find Kiwi's walking around town in shorts and jandels. Are you mad?

Know that there is no point in throwing out your only pair of long johns, known as leggings here, before coming to NZ as, like me, you will just end up buying another pair here!

Know that rather than enter the bus at the front and exit at the back the Kiwi's will leave at the nearest available open door!

Know that if you don't understand the accent you can ask them to repeat something "ad infinitum" and it probably won't help. We were getting the bus to Kaori Wildlife Sanctuary and I asked the driver where we should get off. He replied "after the "blank?"" and as I was obviously none the wiser repeated it for my benefit. I tried to look like I understood, but he was no fool, and repeated it a third time as we walked down the aisle. We kept a careful watch during the trip and when I finally saw the tunnel it all made sense!

Know that if you want a good laugh ask a Kiwi to say peaches, ten etc. basically anything with an "e" in it! (Our equivalent would be "th").

Know that if your out for a meal with a group of friends you don't get the bill and divide it, conveniently, by the number of people there. Each person only pays for what they ate! I watched a group of women one night spend about half an hour discussing the bill and when they had finally reached, what proved to be a difficult and general consensus, one of the women returned and stated "I didn't have a glass of wine." There was consternation on the face of the woman, who obviously liked doing actuary in her spare time, as she went back at the calculations for the umpteenth time!

Know that the Kiwi's living on the South Island refer to it as the mainland. Apparently you haven't really been to NZ until you go south!

Know, according to Sharon & Annette, that if you want to buy clothes in the winter your OK provided the colour you are looking for is either black, grey or red.

Know that if the shop assistant asks you how you are today, they expect a reply. Know also that if you return the enquiry you better not be in a rush out the door! It's actually quite refreshing and really nice as in Ireland when we go into a shop we usually say "how are you" and they normally reply the same question. A bit odd really, but no one expects an answer! It's our equivalent of "hello!" It seems that the Kiwi's actually care!

Know that Kiwi's finish most sentences with "eh?"

Know that in NZ they have post boxes like you see on American TV

Know that even if you put "no circulars please" on your post box you will be still inundated with them. A Kiwi decided to stack the circulars in the corner of his living room for one year as an experiment. The stack was taller than him before the year was out and he was no hobbit!

Well the post I think has gotten long enough and that's all I can think of for now.

Not bad eh?


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