Sunday, January 11, 2009

1/10/2009 - Lazy Day and some NZ Thoughts

Nothing on the bike yet. Today, the weather report is for rain, and the slate sky supports that.

I, however, have a plan - the two novels purchased at the used bookstore. Between the picnic table and the tent, I have managed to knock out one book and am working on the other. It's nice to take a complete rest from checking things out. Almost like a vacation.

IMGP1247.JPGMy little postage-stamp of a home.

The internet here at the holiday park is on the blink, so not able to update the blog today. Just laying back and listening to some seriously loud rain. When it did start in the afternoon, I could hear it as a wall of water hitting the roofs of the houses in the neighborhood. I just made it into the tent in time for a total downpour.

Without lots of exciting things to report, I feel it is my duty to inform the general public of a few smaller things that I have noticed here in New Zealand:

  • Most toilets have two buttons that are pressed to flush them, one for "liquid waste" and one for "solid waste". Both invariably result in a satisfying flush that has more in common with a tsunami than weak American flushes. Apparently, water is not at a premium here.

  • All of the outlets have a small rocker switch next to them to turn them off and on.

  • There is no tipping. Twice now, when I have tried to tip, I was reminded that there "is no tipping in this country" by the tippee.

  • Campgrounds are called "holiday parks"

  • Holiday parks routinely have kitchens with multiple sinks, multiple stoves, and often microwaves and ovens. Some even have full utensils and pots/pans. I have not used my stove yet.

  • Cream for your coffee means whipped cream here.

  • All portion sizes at fast food restaurants are taken down at least one step - a "large" drink here is a medium in the states, for instance. A Whopper is still a Whopper, though.

  • You know, on TV, when they "bleep" curse words? Not so much here - the F-bomb is dropped regularly on reality TV, but shows do have a short warning before they start if they contain "objectionable material". Haven't seen any nudity yet, but I am looking. You know, informationally for the blog.

  • The only restaurant where I have found free refills is Burger King. Everywhere else, you pay full price for another drink - including McDonald's.

  • Beer is cheap - a six-pack of domestic is only about NZ$7.

  • Most stores close down by 7PM, except gas stations.

  • If two cars are turning into the same road (and are coming from opposite directions), the car turning in front of the other car has the right of way. This is the single hardest part of driving in this country.

I also have managed to forget to add several pictures from the past that deserve some mention:

IMGP0790.JPGIn Wellsford, this was apparently the "it" fashion. White is in, baby!

IMGP0888.JPGSimply THE most amazing visor I have ever seen. I actually thought that this lady was either a traveling welder or a stormtrooper. Taken at Cape Reinga. And she apparently knows the "in" color, as well!

IMGP0894.JPGGaytime cones are super - Thanks for asking! A little bit of Big Gay Al from South Park apparently infiltrated the marketing staff. Seen on the way back from Cape Reinga.

IMGP0973.JPGCouldn't remember if I put this one up already - Seen in North Shore, Auckland. Am I red/blue color blind or is this just a blatant ripoff of a certain American chain?

IMGP0988.JPGI am 2.1 meters in height. A little more, with the developing 'fro. Taken in Auckland by the Sky Tower.

IMGP0989.JPGCan't remember if I put this one up, either - There are as many as three national magazines just in New Zealand devoted specifically to New Zealand wild pig hunting and nothing else. Can't wait to see their calendar!

IMGP1108.JPGGirl mountain or boy mountain? You decide. Taken in the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Think that is about all I have for now - I REALLY need to get out of here and onto my bike again. I will continue to add little New Zealand tidbits as I think of them in other posts. Good night!


  1. I just scared the dog with my wounded-lamb-bleat when reading the pig magazine pic! I think the 'More-Pork' issue could become quite popular here in the States!

  2. Hope you get back on the road soon. It is admirable how long you have managed to amuse yourself in Auckland. Some people have moved there, bought a house, started a new job, and then moved away again in a shorter time than you have spent there.
    Like your kiwi-isms too. The left hand turn rule is a corker, isn't it. Trying to explain it is like trying to explain the 'off-side rule' in soccer to a girl. And I am a girl, so I can say that.
    I narrowly missed a head-on crash today. A french couple in a camper
    van had driven for about 5km on the wrong side of the road. Luckily for me, but unluckily for the SUV in front of me, he hit them head-on instead. No-one hurt, but 2 wrecks. Good job really, as I was on my way back from a swim at the (Christmas day) beach and I would have had to administer medical aid wearing wet togs and a towel. This stuff just seems to find me on my days off.
    Happy reading. Jack Reacher is our new hero.
    Sara :)

  3. I expecially enjoyed the picture of the "it fashion" mannequin ... I would like to pose the question of why you have not started to sport such an outfit ... considering how red you are getting, i think you could use the visor too :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.