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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-08-29 12:37
Subject: [travel] A few random thoughts on being in New Zealand
Security: Public
Tags:cars, food, new zealand, personal, travel
  • It's cold here. Not just the weather, but inside the buildings.

  • These Kiwis all drive on the wrong side of the road. Which is admittedly better than only some of them driving on the wrong side of the road. I'm finally learning to look the correct direction on street crossing.

  • I have yet to meet a New Zealander I haven't liked.

  • There are more Americans here than I expected.

  • Wellington is incredibly clean and pretty.

  • The food here is quite good, if a tad pricey. And some of it is very different from what I'd find at home. That never surprises me in non-Anglo countries, but it has surprised me here.

  • In another life, I could have lived here.

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User: horace_hamster
Date: 2010-08-29 19:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was gobsmacked by how many Yanks were at the con, but I guess everyone going to WorldCon stopped off in NZ first?

Food is pricy here largely because the minimum wage is so much higher than in the US, and wait staff get full wages (no tipping here).
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Kevin Standlee: Manga Kevin
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2010-08-29 19:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Manga Kevin
Not everyone, but surely many of them. I leave for Australia tomorrow night from California. My frequent flier miles and vacation days wouldn't stretch to a NZ stop.
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Brent "Chip" Edwards
User: chipuni
Date: 2010-08-29 20:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm curious: What is different in New Zealand food?
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sparta5: Diana-n-Bow
User: sparta5
Date: 2010-08-29 20:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I love, love, love New Zealand!

I was really wanting to attend this year - and yes, as a stop-off on the way to WorldCon ;-) but it didn't work out.

But as for me, I would love to live there in this life. ^_^
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User: horace_hamster
Date: 2010-08-29 23:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I moved to NZ eight years ago from the US, and have been very happy here. Oddly, though I haven't lost my accent, I have lost my 'ear' -- Kiwis sound normal to me, and I had no trouble understanding Brits at the con (like Cheryl Morgan), but I had real trouble following the Americans like Jay and PNH.
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2010-08-29 20:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In Dublin, they had directions painted on the roads. "Look Right." Look Left." I think it was because there was so many one-way streets, but it sure came in handy for dumb Americans like me.
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User: yourbob
Date: 2010-08-29 22:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They have the same in London. I think it's all the furiners that got hit, yes.
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Sue Burke
User: mount_oregano
Date: 2010-08-30 20:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Look both ways even on one-way streets. I speak from experience.

Some people think that if you back up on a one-way, so your car is facing the "right" way, it's okay.

And some people are just plain lost. Or drunk. Or both.

Trust no one behind the wheel.
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User: msconduct
Date: 2010-08-30 00:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, New Zealanders really don't believe much in central heating. It comes from this firm conviction that we are a subtropical country, despite the fact that the South Island, in particular, gets covered with snow in winter on a regular basis. It is, correspondingly, a contant surprise to me when I travel that other country's buildings are so hot inside in winter: I have to remember to wear a t-shirt under a heavy coat.

Yes, NZ food is great, mostly because of the high quality of the ingredients: all the beef is free-range and grass-fed, for example, instead of those horrible feedlot things. You're right that it costs more, but I think it's more realistic pricing than what as I see as the absurdly and unsustainably low price of food in the US. And OMG yes, it's different from the US: you'll find the same in Australia. Why wouldn't it be? Despite the surface similarities like (approximately) the same language, it's a very different culture.
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