Friday, November 4, 2011

Kiwi 101 and Other Randomness

Being an American in New Zealand has its challenges, some of them harder than others.  Some of seemingly insignificant obstacles I face everyday involve basic Kiwi lingo. As soon as I open my mouth I give myself away as a foreigner, though more often than not I don't get the question, "Are you American?", but rather, "Are you Canadian?"  Apparently there are quite a few Canadians here in Whangarei.  "Yachties" they call them, folks who sail the seas on their yachts and end up here in NZ for some of the most spectacular marine life and sites in the world.
Just for fun, I'll  let you in on a few secrets.  (It's amazing how educational grocery shopping can be!)

Kiwi                           American
kumura                       sweet potato
coriander                    cilantro
capsicum                    bell peppers
jandals                        sandals/flip flops
jelly                            Jell-o
jam                             jam
petrol                          gasoline (which is $2.09/litre= $8US /gallon!)
toilet                           bathroom
carpark                       parking lot
footpath                      sidewalk
chips                           french fries

Additional Randomness
-- New Zealand is the youngest society on earth and yet one of the most progressive.  It was the last spot on earth to be populated.
-- NZ has the highest teenage suicide rate in the world.
-- Prostitution is legal.
-- NZ is considered the most secular English-speaking nation in the world.
-- They were the first to give women the right to vote and have a female prime minister.
-- No additional sales tax added on to goods.  The price that is listed is actually what you pay-imagine that!
-- No pennies or one cent pieces exist. Every price is rounded to the nearest 10 cents.
-- Kiwis are VERY proud of this little country, especially when it comes to the All Blacks. (NZ National Rugby team, which won the Rugby World Cup two weeks ago!)
-- Shoes are not required in public places.  I can't tell you how many people (adults and kids) stroll around town barefoot, even in the grocery store.
-- Ginger and Coconut are very common flavors.
-- Kiwis love their fish, especially the Maori and Pacific Islanders!
-- The Metric method of measurement is used.
-- Though they are one of the world's largest dairy producers, it is still crazy expensive!
-- You'll find McDonalds here in Whangarei, but it is quite expensive, considering a basic value meal will cost you $11-12.  No dollar menu here!
--Hell Pizza is a poular pizza chain that uses everything anti-Christian as a marketing tool.

 Thanks to the generosity of folks back home, these two youngins got their very own brand new Bibles last week!

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