Loud and proud

17 Jun

No this is not a gay pride post, this a kiwi pride post. But this is relevant to all.

It’s not until you go overseas and travel and see the rest of the world that you can truly appreciate home. Growing up surrounded by natural beauty, a caring family, a first class education and health system and friendly people, you just take it for granted. Well, not so much take it for granted, but as a kid/teenager it is all you know, it is life.

Going overseas, you see the poverty; you see the concrete jungles of overcrowded countries, modern day slavery, pollution, corruption and even the simple things like having to buy bottled water as you can not drink the tap water.

So coming home I realised how fortunate I have been and saw all my surroundings in a new light.

It wasn’t just all the above that made me appreciate New Zealand, it was the people also. Being back home reminded me how down to earth and relaxed people are. Here are a few classic kiwi moments I found quite amusing.

I was at the Puhoi country pub, an iconic kiwi pub located in a small North Island town. There was your stereotypical weathered kiwi bushman drinking from a crate bottle (tall boy, long neck) in front of the open fire. He looked like an alcoholic Father Christmas that had just won a Salvation Army make-over. Over the radio came the news headline, “13 year old boy skulls bottle of spirits in 20 minutes and is admitted to hospital”. The old kiwi bushman in his gruff voice looks at me and says “sounds to me as though he needs to toughen up”.

We were on our flight from Auckland to Nelson, there were no security checks, lining up or checking ID, we just walked out of the gate over the tarmac and onto the plane. The funny part was that the plane was nearly empty; it only had 11 people on it. But instead of the air hostess standing at the front of the plane and going through the robotic movements explaining the in-flight procedures, she walks down the aisle with a welcoming smile, picks up the on board safety card, and says “you won’t be needing this, you can use it as a fan if you want”.

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