Why I Heart New Zealand

There is an expression that goes something to the effect “moving on to greener pastures”. Looking for something better? Try New Zealand. It’s greener than whatever pasture you are in, I can guarantee it. Thinking of visiting NZ or wondering why people come here and don’t ever go home? Here are my thoughts on the subject so far.

Hokey Pokey

This is simply sweet, sticky honey comb…hokey pokey ice cream, hokey pokey cookies, hokey pokey chocolate blocks, chocolate covered hokey pokey pieces…I will never overlook a Crunchie bar again as I think the closest thing to Hokey Pokey in Canada IS in fact the humble Crunchie bar.

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Gumboots and Safety Vests 

These two clothing items know no barriers of class, race, socio-economic or social status. They are worn at work, at play, in traffic in broad daylight, on the backs of children riding a scooter to school. They are not removed promptly at the end of a work day or for errands in between bike rides. They are worn with whatever outfit you happen to be wearing that day.  Be it a day-glo orange vest or classic black with brown sole gumboots, New Zealanders embraces these articles and make no apologies for their practicality.I even had a “last chance for romance” style offer for a 2 a.m. drink in a caravan from a gum booted gentleman at least twice my age. For the record, I politely declined but not because of the gumboots. Speaking of creepy behaviour, I have been sneakily photographing people for this blog post.Image

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No shoes? No problem!

Shoes are not mandatory here. I served people of all ages, dressed in everyday clothes, shopping for meat with no shoes or socks on. No flip flops. Not even slippers. Just feet. This is normal here. You may not see it in restaurant or certain social situations but generally speaking the rule of “ no shoes, no shirt, no service” does not apply here. These are photos from a couple of takeout places…not beachside takeouts…middle of a small city takeouts in Autumn.

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Sheep.Everywhere.

There are paddocks full of sheep and hillsides dotted with sheep all along the highways. There are souvineer shops full of sheep mugs, sheep keychains, sheep magnets, sheep postcards, sheep t-shirts. My personal favourite is a mug with a cartoon sheep with really wide, surprised eyes and the caption says “Baaa means no”. Infer what you like from this.There are kids books about sheep dogs, sheep farmers, sheep counting sheep, and learning to shear sheep. McDonalds boasts its McLamb burger because “NZ has heaps of sheep!”.  People wear marino wool clothing all year round to keep warm and keep up with fashion trends. People cook lamb, hoggart and mutton in every way possible. I have even experienced a sheep traffic jam.

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