Sunday, March 4, 2007

Why NZ Is Awesome- Part 1

The following is a list that I started recently to note several little things that I like about NZ but probably aren't large enough to merit posts in themselves. It's Part 1 because I severely doubt I'm going to stop noticing little things that are really cool...

~ The sunset. Every day around 8pm the clouds catch on fire, I sit on my balcony watching the sun set over the distant mountains, and admire how pretty the city and harbor looks from my vantage point. For a girl who used to routinely climb the roofs of buildings at Case to watch the sunset, this is just heavenly.

~ Auckland is a wonderfully international city the likes of which is rarely even seen in most of the States. Take last Friday for example: I went to a Chinese lantern festival, and when one thing led to another I ended up having a few drinks with a few Kiwis, a Vietnamese guy, a Chinese guy, and an Irishman. When's the last time you went out and unexpectedly had a pint with people from four different continents, and what's more weren't even planning on it in the first place?

~ It takes exactly five minutes to get from my main lecture hall to my room, and most days my classes only start in the afternoons (and they start at 10am the days when there's a morning class). Beat that!

~ I am in complete love with Queen Street, which is about five minutes away and has every single store, resteraunt, and pub you'd ever need or care for. Why on Earth do Americans insist on ugly strip malls where you need to drive between stores while shopping? What's the fun and class in that?

~ Barefoot culture. Everyone goes barefoot here to the point where no one bats an eye to see someone barefoot walking down a busy street or stepping onto the bus; in the country all such premise is abandoned altogether and practically no one wears shoes at all. My ten-year-old self who tried her best to go a summer without shoes is really enjoying this concept, even if I'm not walking down Queen Street barefoot myself.

~ The following words and phrases are awesome and should be used early and often: kia ora, jandals, togs, dairy, easy peasy, domain, sweet as, and no worries. They mean, in order, the word in Maori for hello/goodbye meaning "be healthy," flip-flops, bathing suit, a convenience store, very simple, a park/field, an abbreviation for "sweet as sugar," and exactly what it sounds like.

~ The moon is backwards here. I don't just mean the fact that the marae are now clumped on the bottom and the Southern Highlands are on top because I expected that. No, what I mean is even the phases of the moon are backwards: what you see pictured here was snapped a week ago when the moon was at first quarter. This freaked me out quite a bit honestly, because I hadn't thought as to why this would happen before arriving in the southern hemisphere.

~ Lab hasn't started yet. They were rennovating the physics building here this summer, and were running behind schedule, and when I contacted the professor in charge to inquire he told me no worries, we might start by the end of this week.

~ Another girl signed up to be in my E&M class, thus bringing the number of females in said class to two. As there are around 17 guys in the class right now you can understand why this is rather nice, even if the new girl has yet to say anything. At the very least, the guys have someone else to stare at in a blatantly obvious manner that they think is discreet.

~ These foods should proliferate more into the United States: toffee, chocolate fish, hokey pokey ice cream, Magnum ice cream bars, Kinder eggs, iced chocolate, and baked beans on toast for breakfast. And lamb should be cheaper than chicken, and the sushi should always be cheaper and more fresh than it is back home!


Wiggles said...

I would like to note that most of those things you listed contain milk. I do not approve of that...

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you on the sushi... so darn good!

Also, I think you missed a definition.

Kia Ora!

Yvette said...

Oops, fixed! Thanks Alison. :)

And sorry about the dairy, Wiggles, but it's rather inevitable in a country where the cows outnumber the people... *hands over a toffee in compensation*

Linda said...

I thought I told you the moon was backwards :) But I guess you thought I meant the upside down way. Too bad the D for dagad A for apad doesn't work- that's how I usually know whats going on in our hemisphere.

And I would like to add to the food list (although I'm not sure how many of these are aussie based vs. the commonwealth): cheeseburgers with egg, bacon, and pineapple (surprisingly tasty), TimTams, Mint Slice (if you haven't tried these yet you must- like Thin Mints but better), Freddos and Milo! Milo tastes weird at first if you are expecting real hot chocolate flavor- but if you put lots of powder in it gets good and addictive :)

Miss you!

Anonymous said...

omg TimTams! They are the most brilliant-est food ever. :)

Yvette said...

Milo's pretty good, they have it in the dining hall. I admit though I'm not as big a TimTams fan as everyone else appears to be, albeit they're not too shabby.