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Published: June 18th 2008
For a while now, I've been meaning to put together a bit of a blog entry about all the things I've come to love about New Zealand. These are pretty random thoughts but I'm hoping they'll give you a better insight about life and the people here, and of course why we are so happy here. Who knows, maybe it'll give you a little bit of 'inspirado' about visiting us on the other side of the world! Telling it like it is
The Kiwis are straight talkers for the most part and usually in a good humoured and positive way. For example, the slogan for the drink drive campaign here is "If you drink, then drive then you're a bloody idiot". Ain't that the truth?! Big, bright skies
Even when the sun isn't shining, we often find ourselves still needing sunnies (sunglasses) as the light is so strong here. Remember that day we went to Miranda Hot Springs and got sunburnt despite it being overcast and rainy? There's some seriously strong sun here, even if it's hidden behind the clouds. Jandals
This is what Kiwis call flip-flops. It's actually short for Japanese sandals and just about everyone owns
a pair over here! Bare feet
When not sporting their jandals, Kiwis can often be found wandering the streets completely barefoot. People of all ages, ethnicities and gender do it, whether it be walking down the high street or shopping in the local supermarket. Makes you realise just how clean the streets are over here, that's for sure. People even drive barefoot here! Heaps
Kiwis don't say 'a lot' but instead use the word 'heaps'. E.g. "I've got heaps of books" and "that's heaps better than last year". Barbecues
Not just an Aussie tradition, barbecues are a big thing over here. People frequently have them at home for friends and family rather than going down the pub. Even Glynn's work has a barbecue on Fridays after work. Employees can chow down on some chunky dead stuff and wash it all down with a cold beer before heading home. You don;t get that in the UK! In all the parks they also have coin operated gas barbies so you can have a cook-up as part of a family picnic. Cool, eh? Picnic Benches
I don't think I've ever seen so many picnic benches in all my life. Everywhere you go with a nice view (there's heaps of them) and even some places without a view, you'll find picnic tables unvandalised and ready to be used. They take their outdoor dining very seriously here! Ending every sentence with 'eh'
I've yet to work out exactly why everyone does it but a common Kiwi trait seems to be the need to finish most sentences with a rhetorical 'eh?'. For example: 'There's heaps of stuff to do on the beach, eh?' and 'I was going to do that later, eh?' Fush and Chups
It's fish and chips to you and me but over here it's pronounced a bit more like 'fush and chups'. Love it! Detatched Houses
There's no such thing as a terraced house here in New Zealand. Actually, I tell a lie, we've seen a couple of new developments with them on but most of the locals are up in arms about them. In fact, there's not much in the way of semi-detatched property either. You see, most houses here are detatched and many of the older ones also come with a full 'section'. A section is about a quarter of an acre of land and the house is usually plonked right in the middle of it - just like our house! Smoko
It's not a tea break at work, it's called smoko. Presumably because that's when many people pop out for some not so fresh air! Abbeviations
Kiwis don't like to say long words or phrases and if there's a way to shorten it, they will. For example, there's a street in central Auckland called Karahangarape Road. It's a bit of a mouthful so locally it's just called the K Road. Talking about the recent Foo Fighters concert, Kiwis refer to it as going to see the Fooeys. Possibly one of my favourites though is using the internet - web addresses over here start with a 'dub dub dub dot' as opposed to our long winded version of 'double-u double-u double-u dot'.
There's probably a million more things I will think of as soon as this is published but that'll do for now!
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