I haven’t blogged in a while, there’s just been too much going on, like our three week honeymoon that is coming to an end. It’s our last dag in New Zealand, we started in Auckland and Rotorua in the North, then going to Queen Charlotte Sound, Hokitika, Wanaka, ending up in Queenstown. Here’s a few observations about New Zealand we noticed on our journey:
1) Signs but no directions
I don’t know how many times we looked for a speed sign or signs to give us directions to go see something on the way, finding none. Then again, Kiwis have an obsession naming every single creek and bridge, even of they were only footlong. Some were innovative but then you could find names line water creek 1, water creek 2, unnamed creek 13 and so on. Weird huh?
2) Pay at the counter
In Finland asking for the bill, they bring you the bill, card machine or your change to your table. Here they hand you the bill and ask you to go to the cashier in front of the house. In some restaurants they didn’t give us a bill, so we had to dictate to the cashier what we’ve had for dinner.
3) Finland has fjords, vikings and a good economy
Nice they think that, but no, that would be Sweden and Norway 🙂
53% of Kiwis live in the four largest cities, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton. Auckland, which inhabits 1,3M of the 4,5 million people in New Zealand is still tiny. So everywhere we went after Auckland, being told something was a city, it was more of a little township or a village. Made tiny Finland seem quite big in proportion 😀
5) Kiki doesn’t share (dessert)
My husband isn’t big on desserts and I’m eating for two now, so I ordered dessert a few times. It automatically comes with two spoons, like a preggo can’t have her dessert for herself?
6) “No worries”
Kiwis are quite laid back, but we found it quite odd that when we ordered something or asked for the bill the answer was “No worries”. Why would there be any worry? We eat, we pay, you get paid, ie no worries? In Finland if someone would say No Worries to someone who asked for the bill, that customer would get up and leave without paying, thinking it’s been handled by the someone else 😀
7) Top of the food chain?
The original eco system of New Zealand was super, I mean extremely, short. They had fish…and birds.. That couldn’t fly. They had no natural enemies so what’s the point. The maori and the settlers brought in all kinds of animals that have been screwing with the eco system since, killing off lot’s of the original spieces. But flightless birds? Come on.. That is just asking to be eaten.
8) Weird trees
Evergreen leafy trees, a tree called cabbage tree that can’t burn, the hollow trunks were used as chimneys, and mini mini trees with thorns the maoris made tattoo needles of. Very cool trees I say.
9) Weird names
There is a guy in NZ, no joke, whose name is Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova
10) Fences with hanging things
We saw a fence full of shoes, which I still can come up with a reason for, like “hang your shoes here once you’ve done Queen charlotte track”, but a Bra-fence? I didn’t hang my Victoria’s Secret’s there but there were at least a few hundred bras on that fence, why?
11) My table
It doesn’t seem like the restaurants waitresses have their own areas or tables. Everyone waits on every table, it’s good (your water glass is never empty) but when the third waitress comes to ask of the foods good it’s almost not funny anymore 😀
12) Sauces and salt
Everywhere we went, the meat had no sauce, and the food had no salt. Yes, Finns do eat more salt than most countries I would say, but i don’t use much and I still found the food unseasoned. And whats up with having no sauce??
You see nothing familiar, no large chains, no familiar European brands that you have also in Asia like H&M or Zara. Get ready to shop brands you’ve never heard of. I did see a Louis Vuitton store, located in the weirdest place ever, between a shabby restaurant and a low cost menswear store.
Kiwis are proud of their entrepreneuers and family businesses! They proudly say so on signs outside their stores, have their family business history on the wall and support local businesses. “Locally owned and operated” it says on doors. We should have the same! Also a lady told me they have diminished the unions powers by abolishing collective bargaining (kollektiivisopimukset) and today it’s optional to join the unions, great huh!?