After crowing about how great New Zealand is, I would like to say that there are comforts of home that no flocks of sheep or gumboots can replace.Canada is my home and I treasure aspects of our culture, be they good or bad, that you just can’t get here in Kiwiland.
I miss sitting in a restaurant on a Sunday morning and buying a bottomless cup of steaming hot black coffee. The endless supply of sugar packets and little milk cups. The waitress calling you “Hun” and topping up your cup every time she goes by because the coffee is cooling down faster than you can eat your greasy, trucker sized $5.99 bacon and egg special. That is what AMERICA is and it is a beautiful thing to never be taken for granted (self loathing starts to creep in at this stage). Sunday morning in NZ is almost $20 per plate for bacon and eggs and at least $3.50 for one cup of Espresso. You eat and you leave. Or you order more espresso but the waitress still won’t call you Hun.
I will try not to complain about gas prices henceforth because “petrol” for a regular vehicle in NZ is no less than $2.03 per litre. People don’t even notice the fluctuations in gas prices as they fill their mid-nineties model sedan for the week of driving to and from work. There is no such thing as just driving around here. It just isn’t economical and people seem to accept it because they live on an island. *Note: No matter the price of gas, I do take secret pleasure in driving in the 1996 Toyota Corolla with the cassette player that is the Upper CanadaMobile. End Note*
Maple smoked bacon, maple candy, real maple syrup, maple donuts…it is only for the rich here in NZ. We peasants eat honey smoked bacon, hokey pokey candy, “Golden Table Syrup” and although donuts are sold here, they are not maple and I have not eaten ONE since I landed in September. I am way overdue for a Boston Cream and a Large with one milk, one sugar.
Electric Company and Water Works
I miss turning on a light switch and knowing it will trigger the light. I miss taking hot showers and not feeling eco-guilt or wondering if there is enough water to flush the toilet later. Power is either hydro or geo-thermic here. This means that if your city is powered by water and there is a drought that there could be power outages. If you are on a “tank water” system and your rain barrel outside is dry then you have no water coming to your home. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
Insulation and Screens
I miss warm houses and a fresh breeze coming through a screen with no bugs sneaking through the window. NZ homes are not heated or insulated and there are rarely screens on windows so on a fine day that breeze blows right in through an open window. Enough flies come in to drive you whacky enough to spray insecticide all through the rooms while laughing maniacally and counting fly corpses as you breathe in the fumes. “We got them, didn’t we?! Hahahah! Look at them dying!…we should probably vacuum…”