Sunday, February 7, 2010

I find myself hoarding little tid bits of our life here. Not big enough to write about as a whole but they are almost always falling into the category of "Things that make you go hmmmm". So that's what you have today odd ramblings of the funny observations around Auckland.

- Walking to visit Ming the other day for milk and seeing a sign in the window of the Take Away Asian restaurant. Well two signs actually. The first reads the Daily Chicken Chow Mein Special Price and the other was an advert for a missing pet rabbit. Will order the fish from now on.

- Shay getting the handle on the local lingo. For some reason she thought that all her friends were saying "Sweet ASS" when commenting on something great so she eagerly tried it out only to have conversations stop and the crickets commence. Apparently the phrase is "Sweet AS."

- Apparently honking is a good form of communication between drivers and is well accepted. Flipping someone the bird will get you followed and possibly shot. It's that rude to the Kiwi's. (i use my hands only for good now and lay them firmly on the horn.) Some times I will give them the devil sign as I drive by though for fun.

- There is no such thing as family size or Jumbo anything in the grocery. You buy everything small. I am guessing this is because there are no regular size fridges here. Also, Kraft Dinner is not widely recognized and thus not carried. No cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie filling either. Ah, but you can buy pumpkins in June. Lots of help that does me over our North American holiday traditions of turkey and trimmings.

- Gravy is not a condiment for fries. You can ask for ketchup but prolly will get a tomato salsa/sauce unless you visit your Uncle Micky D's.

-Car insurance is suggested but not mandatory and your licence plate is registered to your car not you. It's really exciting to get behind the wheel now that i know this. Like the Vegas odds of how screwed are you going to be when someone hits you.

-Brewed coffee is considered yucky but instant coffee is the bomb!

- No more "client" / shop talk write off lunches. Chris packs his own like everyone else in the office. <> He's all the envy some days as he usually gets leftovers; pork roast, steak and potato, Chicken and stuffing.

- Wine, pedicures, manicures are cheap. Everything else is expensive. Easily a 30-45% markup from North American Prices. I am New Zealand's newest fan of Trade Me. A country wide version of Ebay. Have managed to become quite the bargain hunter and thus we are able to continue to update the look of our Bride.

- Birds are the only animals that are indigenous to the islands. All animals that are here in the wild were introduced at some point. Possums were originally introduced in NZ to start a fur trade but as they have no known enemy here they have become a very real problem to the natural forest areas. We average about 20 possums to 1 person. Personally I think it may be a hostile takeover from Australia where they are actually a protected species. Their trees have needles and barriers that keep the possums from eating them. Anyways, they are commonly referred to as New Zealand's Little Speed Bumps.

As a final note to this I should also say that the ozone layer over the island is almost none existent. A 30 block minimum is recommended and the kids have uniform hats and block is mandatory for them when outside. Chris has found out the hard way about the liberal use of sun screen and I have been playing nurse by layering thick gobs of cooling gel waiting for the new skin to crack the lobster from his shell.

I hope some of this will help you in future Trivial Pursuit games!