James and I are coming up to 9 months away from home. In some ways, it feels like the time has flown by but sometimes it feels like it’s been forever. In this time we’ve been lucky enough to travel to many countries quite different from our own before settling in the UK to earn some dosh, before setting off again. After travelling through central Europe and experiencing some crazy cultures, languages and foods, when we came back, the UK felt strangely like home. Obviously, New Zealand is a commonwealth country so a lot of our traditions, architecture and ancestors came from Britain. So we can be rather British at times. But New Zealand is HOME and there will always be things you miss about home.
First things first, I miss my friends and family heaps and heaps. I miss hanging out with them and birthdays and Christmas and hugs. Skype and Facebook video message work pretty well and I get to talk to everyone regularly which is nice. Family and friends are extra special so you guys aren’t on the list. This is a list of other things, superficial things that I miss about New Zealand.
1. New Zealand lollies
Pineapple Lumps, Whittaker’s Chocolate, Tim Tams and Jaffas. I love jaffas, they were my naughty study snack at uni and pineapple lumps are just the goods. It was devastating when I had to explain what a chocolate fish was! It’s not like I eat these all the time, not even often but I miss having the opportunity to get some when I fancy.
2. Beaurocratic efficiency
In New Zealand most things are online, you can renew your passport or driver’s licence, apply for a police certificate, all online. Most things may take a week or two. But in Britain they bloody love paperwork. I do NOT want to know how much time I’ve spent on paperwork for visas and different registrations here in the UK. There’s paperwork for days and it takes ages to be processed too. I know that no one can do anything about it and there are so many people applying for different government things all the time but it’s so dry.
3. Kiwi Words/Slang
- Yea, nah
- Sweet/cheap/cool as
…just to name a few. These are all words or sayings you’d mention without thinking twice but in other countries, they aren’t as well understood. It’s not just the accent that makes it hard to be understood but sometimes we are basically speaking a different language. It’s pretty fun explaining slang terms and learning new ones.
4. Kiwi vs Kiwifruit
This one gets me every. single. time. I hear someone talking about how they’re eating a delicious Kiwi. Say Whaaat? You don’t do that! That’s either a person or an endangered species! What the heck are you thinking?! Turns out everyone who doesn’t live in New Zealand just says Kiwis when talking about the beautiful green or golden Chinese gooseberry. We’re the only ones that call them Kiwifruit because we’re the only ones that actually need to distinguish between the two.
5. Rugby vs Soccer
Or football as they call it here. Yes, sure football is great, they kick a ball, maybe score a goal or two, it’s all fun and games. But they play it all the bloody time, always football. Summer= football. Winter= football. Boxing day= football. If there is any rugby on, you probably don’t know about it, because it’s so hard to find a pub that’ll play it. Once you find a pub that plays rugby and not just the first ten minutes but the whole game. That’s your gem. Keep that one. It’s special. Although, while I’m here, I must admit I will get amongst a bit of the football vibes because it’s England and you’ve got to do as the locals do. And I know I can always rely on Dad’s rugby updates 😀
6. Fluffy News Pieces
I love it in NZ when the big news of the day is the prime minister putting pineapple on pizza or an awkward 3-way handshake (will never forget this one). Reading and watching the news recently can be so grim and depressing, so I miss New Zealand news, where it’s all a bit more lighthearted and laidback.
7. The beautiful Kiwi accent
I’m learning more and more how crazy our accent is. I’ve been misunderstood so many times I begin to question if I’m pronouncing anything right. Working as a physio in elderly care; bed, chair and stairs are the words I say the most and almost always I have to repeat myself. Another one some have found amusing is, the New Zealand pronunciation of deck, don’t know why? 😛 I’ve got to say it makes for some hilarious interactions. It’s always fun meeting other Kiwis in amongst the accents and join forces to drop letters, mispronounce vowels and finish any statement with ae? in a homely way.
I miss New Zealand heaps. I think there are somethings I won’t realise I miss until I get home and experience them again.
But I must say, I am really enjoying my time in the UK. And I won’t be coming home anytime soon. So friends and fam, please come visit us! 😀
Are there any Kiwi things I should be missing but haven’t mentioned? Has there been anything you miss about your homeland while abroad? Let me know, add to my list 🙂