Wednesday, March 16, 2005

100% KIWI


Being in New Zealand you realize they have many special, quirky, different, uniquely New Zealand style, sayings and mannerisms. They don’t mind being an odd lot and in fact, I think, aspire to this type of recognition. I will dedicate this section to regular updates by color-coding information that will make this notion come to life:

When they are really happy with you they say “good on you!”.

They LOVE to say the word “schedule” or scheduling” but insist on pronouncing it as shed-ual or shed-ualing…I can’t help it, every time they do this, I bust a gut….they have yet to laugh with me.

The “kiwi” they are referred to, is not the fruit we are familiar with but rather a bird. What concerns me is this bird is for starters, a bird, secondly it is nearly extinct, thirdly—I’m not sure it knows how to fly or fly very well and lastly, it’s not too pretty. The fruit would be a step up.

They have this great beer: Tui and better yet, Tui has this great ad campaign…”yeah right”…so the billboards all over town are: Camilla for Queen, yeah right!

This teatime thing twice a day is really sweet and for me, has become addictive. But seriously what a tremendous opportunity it presents to take time out to pause and connect with your co-workers twice a day over tea and food.

I know I’ve mentioned the food here—but it deserves another mention. Everything is so fresh, so plentiful, made daily from scratch and displayed in every other café window you walk by which is as frequent as every other window, period. Somebody, please line up a person trainer for me upon my return.

I should also mention the wine. I have yet to turn down a glass. New Zealand wines are fantastic and that’s an understatement. Clearly, I have lost my mind, what use to be my unbending willpower and any ability to consider “no thank you” as an appropriate response to anything food or drink related. “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”.

Speaking of the “mmmmmmmm” sound…I now find I ask the New Zealanders as often as possible, what does all this “mmmmmmmming” mean. I also ask them as frequently—how do you spell this sound and the repeating “m’s” is their most common response. I find this “mmmmmming” is both highly annoying as well as highly contagious. As troublesome as I find this—I also find I am “mmmmmming” as often as everyone else. I’ll need a decompression chamber, shock treatment or a third tier medicine to stop this before my return. I must stop.

Without exception every time someone finds out I am from North Carolina, they respond by saying…”you have good oranges there, don’t you”….what do you think they mean by this?


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