New Zealand Wrap-upMarch 23, 2015 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
Phew, where to start? There is just so much...
- the accent is interesting. The "e" gets stretched out and almost sounds like an ie in German or a long i in French. Beeeeeed, teeeeen, beeeeeest (sounding almost like beast) etc. Took us a little while to get that.
- people are genuinely super friendly and relaxed. That goes beyond the usual "how are you" for greetings. People are willing to help you all the time. Be it the bus driver that explains stuff along the way, the people that pick up hitchhikers etc.
- so many freaking Germans. Just so so many. We had hardly a dorm room without one...and young ones at that. A ton that went for work and travel just after high school
- in bigger cities there is free Wi-Fi in the city centre which is awesome. Especially in the south though, internet is not even included in the price you pay for the night, which is like 30 dollars for a dorm bed. So you have to buy access and then you get like 100 MB. Ridiculous! But internet is expensive here, as NZ is far away from anything and data is somewhat limited since they only have one deep sea cable.
- New Zealand is nuclear free and hardly burns any coal which certainly contributes to the impression of a pristine, intact environment you get here. They do dig up their coal though and sell it overseas, so there is that.
- there is a kind of animosity from the kiwis towards the French as the attack on the Rainbow Warrior staged by French agents happened in Auckland harbor. Google the incident, it is absolutely ridiculous what governments decided to do against a environmental organization like Greenpeace even in the 80s.
- it is prohibited to drink alcohol in public. In shops you have to show your passport - and not your identity card - to buy beer. And if a group of 2 or more people buy beer, each of them has to be over 18 and be able to prove it. We wonder how parents get their booze when they have their kids with them... ;)
- they invest a lot of money and effort in keeping infrastructure in good shape. The streets are usually great or getting fixed. And every little walkway or minor tourist attraction is perfectly signposted.
- almost every body of water that we encountered was perfectly clear! Rivers, oceans, lakes, even most of the harbor water is see through.
- all cities are car friendly. Any village is dominated by wide roads which can make towns lose their potential charm
- most shops offer cereals, seeds, dried fruits, etc. in bulk. The kind of initiative, all green people warmly welcome when a shop offering that service finally arrives in their country. On the other hand, the use of plastic bags is ubiquitous and cashiers don't seem to be used to people bringing their own bag at all.
- there is a flourishing craft beer scene here in the land of the big white cloud (the Maori name for NZ) which we enjoyed a lot. Great beers and most bartenders are happy to let you try little sips from their often numerous taps so you can find the right beer for you. Really awesome!
- etc. etc.Read more