Things I Will Never Understand About New Zealand

Three months in… here are the things I will never understand about New Zealand:

Sidenote: All of the below are my opinions. Please don’t hate on me. I’m very open to new cultures and lifestyles, which is why I tried to immerse myself in New Zealand in the first place. However, it’s also amusing to reflect on certain differences between American and Kiwi cultures.

  • Why screen doors do not exist. We may not have poisonous bugs, but it’s very pleasant to have giant flies throughout the house.
  • Why bacon is always undercooked and sausages taste like plastic.
  • Marmite. Seriously, what is that?! Definitely had a gag reaction to that.
An NZ spread. It looks like road tar.... snark.
A NZ spread. It looks like road tar…. snark.Not cool.Not cool.
  • The accent, sometimes (depends on the region). Conversing with some Kiwis on the phone still proves difficult for me… “*silence* Excuse me, can you please repeat that?” Don’t get me wrong, they’re all so lovely, but I feel terrible for butchering names and locations (mistook Auckland for Oakland twice already, as well as wooden pegs for pigs).
  • How it seems to be stuck in the ’80s. Maybe the country is so laidback, it just never moved ahead with the rest of the world… πŸ˜‰ “Baby One More Time…” and “Bye Bye Bye” music videos play in the supermarket I frequent downtown, after all.
  • How cars will literally stop for you and never run you over if you’re at a crosswalk or particular intersection. Coming from America, this is incredibly polite and just unheard of!
  • Why Kiwis criticize the Wellington public transportation system. Seriously, it’s amazing. Clean, safe, efficient (for the most part)… what more could a traveler want? And if you miss the bus, you can just walk. No big deal. Los Angeles, on the other hand: public transportation is basically a yakshow compared to anything here… and walking?! Fo’getaboutit in LA unless you want to wind up in potential great danger.
  • Why the WiFi sucks so much and why it’s never free (or if it is, it cuts out). Is it because we’re practically on the brink of the southern hemisphere, bordering Antarctica?!
  • Why shoes, clothes, food, petrol, makeup, accessories… EVERYTHING… cost so much here. I feel sorry for the astronomical prices that Kiwis are required to pay on certain items! $50 for a thin paperbook book?! WHY.
  • The chillax culture. I mean, it’s so chill. As a naturally organized, slightly uptight person, it’s been one of my largest obstacles in attempting to relax out here. I admire Kiwis, much like Hawaiians, for just going with the flow and never worrying about anything, really.
  • Why commas always seem to be left out of Kiwi e-mails. It’s little, but still gets to me. Grammar, people!
  • Why dates are written in the day/month/year rather than month/day/year format. I always have to stare at the ceiling before I write the date in fear of always messing up.
  • Coffee obsession. I’m still not a coffee fan.
  • Cricket. Explained my by flatmate: “Cricket is the most boring sport ever, don’t waste your time going to a match!”
  • The barefoot Hobbit look. Man, you can seriously wander into any store, market, public area and not wear shoes? Those are some tough-skinned footsies out there.
Let's explore New Zealand... barefoot. I really want these slippers.
Let’s explore New Zealand… barefoot. I really want these slippers.
  • Why certain restaurants are closed on Mondays.Β Hmm.
  • Happy hours.Β They’re not that happy if appetizers still cost $12 and drinks are still expensive. Silly Kiwis.
  • The party/hookup culture.Β Perhaps it’s the liberal culture out here, but wow, it’s a bit scary how youth as young as 12 yrs. old are used to the whole “going out” scene.
  • Auckland: Why bus drivers are so rude.Β Ugh, Auckland.
  • Jetstar:Β Why their customer service sucks balls. You get what you pay for. I do not recommend this airline…
  • How it can be so beautiful.Β It’s like this country hogs all the most gorgeous views in the world… share some with the rest of us, yo!

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 9.11.54 PM

And lastly, if you ever come across a rude Kiwi, they’re most likely a jafa or a rare 0.000001% of the population here… and probably everyone knows and hates them. πŸ˜‰

6 thoughts on “Things I Will Never Understand About New Zealand

  1. Interesting list!

    I hope you get to try some good sausages while you are here. There are amazing ones as long as they have good (non-processed meat). Processed sausages are a very poor example of sausages in general. If you are in Wellington, make sure you try a meal at Big Bad Wolf. They know about meat!

    I wouldn’t say we are obsessed with coffee, but we are obsessed with espresso. Is that the same thing?

    Coming from a family who work in food, we loved having Mondays off. If not, then my parents would be working 7 days a week. Mondays are generally quiet for dining out and therefore a good day to have off.

    I would have to agree with you about Jetstar. You get what you pay for. After a few cancelled flights I now solely fly Air NZ.

    I live in Auckland but grew up in Rotorua. I am fascinated about the fun that people poke at Aucklanders. There are rude people to be found anywhere. If you have a smile on your face, people will return the favour.

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for the explanations… and by no means am I hating on you guys, everyone is just lovely here πŸ™‚ Espresso is coffee, yes– I think people think I’m strange here for not drinking tea, coffee, or alcohol much πŸ˜‰ I’ll def have to try a Big Bad Wolf!

      Heard Rotorua is quite the place to roadtrip. Haven’t made it out there yet! Love your blog… FOOOOD πŸ™‚

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      1. lol. Today I have had a cup of tea and a cup of coffee. No alcohol yet but it’s only 9.42am…. πŸ˜€

        I think people tend to drink tea at home and coffee when they go out. At least that’s how it is with my family and friends.

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  2. This made me chuckle! I hear ya on the marmite! Gross! I tried it to see what all the fuss was about and it was just gnarly. I also experienced those troubles with the WiFi . . . barely ever worked! I think it ties into the laid back nature of NZ, such as the refraining from shoe thing.

    Have an awesome time in the South Island! I didn’t get the chance to visit gorgeous Lake Tekapo 😦 Next time for sure!

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    1. Thanks, Alli! Glad I’m not the only one… πŸ˜‰ I’ve yet to meet anyone non-Kiwi who appreciates either marmite or vegemite. :/ And I’m quite sure you’ll be visiting NZ again, especially if you haven’t seen North Island :)! Wish you could plan a quick trip before late October… πŸ˜‰

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