I’ve officially been in NZ for 3 months! It’s been a whirlwind of emotions mixed with amazing views and great adventures! I’m constantly day dreaming of what I want to see next, where I want to go and try to completely deter the thoughts of.. how am I going to pay for all this! But in true Lauren fashion, ‘where there is a will, there’s a way’.
Time is going by very fast here but in the past three months I have had learned a lot! Let me share with you a few things I’ve learned along the way so far…
13 things I’ve learned in 3 months about New Zealand
- Forget friendly Manitoba
Kiwis are actually the nicest people ever. I shouldn’t really be surprised. The first time I met a few kiwis in Canada they were so friendly, so chill and up for anything. I sort of just put it down to the fact that they’re guys meeting Canadian girls, which let’s be honest, guys from anywhere would put on the charm (hehe, sorry guys). BUT so far it’s actually held true. They’re just nice. Everyone is just so nice. They don’t get too stressed about anything for which I’ve easy adapted to a few terms of your alright, she’ll be right, sweet as and cool. Actually pronouced coo.
- Worst internet ever
It was very rare at home I had no service. I probably could be down in basement somewhere in the middle of nowhere and still get service. New Zealand, you’ll be driving down a road 15 minutes outside of Christchurch and have nothing. I was told it was shit but didn’t realize how bad. Plus the whole no such thing has unlimited data. It was a bit of challenge when we moved into our house. I stood in the middle of my driveway to get service.
- Driving is fun until you’re in a roundabout and you can’t drive stick
Driving was a bit of an issue when I first got here… I wont lie.. I was so lucky to have a car here waiting for me to drive. My only problems were that it was a choke start and manual which, well let’s say the concept is grasped, the execution is elusive! Sad for a farm girl… I know! There are a million roundabouts in this country. I have missed SO many turn offs because of them and stalling in a roundabout is probably my biggest fear. I’ve managed to stay on the right, well left side of the road so far but I definitely give myself an extra 15 minutes in hopes of getting anywhere on time with all the back tracking I end up doing!
- Weekly rent not monthlyYes you pay rent weekly. And you pay a lot of it depending on where you go. Most places you give a bond or deposit could be about a months worth of rent plus some. On my searches it wasn’t uncommon to have to put up $1500 before you can even move in. They also call apartments flats and you call your roommate a flatmate. If you say roommate they actually think of someone else living in your room with you.. Weird.. I know!
- Kiwis love Canadians I want to say it’s because we too are very friendly. I don’t have much of an explanation here and maybe Kiwis are just being themselves and nice, but everyone I tell that I’m Canadian their response is, ‘oh we just love Canadians’. I don’t need an explanation, I’ll take it! :p
- Where are all the Kiwis?!
Everyone wants to come work here, travel or even move here. It’s an amazing country so who wouldn’t! I was surprised the amount of Canadians I met my first month who live here. Kinda cool right! Also cool because you meet people from all over. Funny though because going out with Chris and doing anything touristy, he’s usually the only Kiwi in the group!
With all the visitors to this country though it means any major place here has been lit up as a tourist spot.. which means you pay for everything and its always busy. It’s something that really does benefit the country though and I’m trying to just go with it.
- Open drinkingBy that I mean you can drink in the car, on the streets (unless posted), pretty much anywhere it seems! Super fun but you MUST behave! OH and you need your passport as I.D if you don’t have a NZ drivers.. no photocopies, no exceptions. I found that out real quick when a bar wouldn’t serve me alcohol with my Canadian license.. grr.
- It is SO beautiful here!!
It’s true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you should find beauty in any place right.. but here… you don’t have to go very far or look very hard. This is such a diverse and beautiful country.
- Just like Canada
Since I live in the middle of Canada, flat prairie land, I’ve convinced myself that Canada is, well CAN be pretty. That’s what I thought. But after meeting a few Kiwis that have travelled to Canada and a little bit of research, NZ is actually so similar to Canada. Lush forests, mountains, prairie land, the ocean… It’s actually got me putting my own country on my list of places to explore!
- Expensive? Yes..
But not in the ways that I thought. Milk isn’t like $8 a jug or $15 for a block of cheese. Grocery prices are actually pretty similar to home. Textiles though are for sure more expensive.. $40 for a plain t-shirt, $150 for 400 thread count bed sheets.. no thanks. Keep in mind though this is coming from someone from Manitoba, who frequents Arizona outlet shopping… Go to the west or east coast of Canada and I’d say things are pretty comparable to here across the board.
- No tips!
Where I’m from if you want to make a little extra money and don’t need a degree to do so, you waitress. Most waitresses make just as much in tips as their actual paycheck. Well not in NZ. They actually won’t take any tips..They also don’t bring you the bill. I think Chris was in Canada for too long. Even as a Kiwi we’ve sat at a few tables from a few places a little longer than usual before realizing we don’t pay at the table. Maybe that’s just a North American thing.
- Sheep to human
NZ has a running joke about the millions of sheep it has. It’s actually true though. The ratio is 7 sheep to 1 person, approixmently 30 million sheep. Dairy cattle numbers are on the rise as well but its true, there are sheep everywhere!
I don’t mean ahhhhhh like actual yelling, like I thought! My first week at work I was told by a few people, oh it’s your first Friday at a new job, are you shouting.. I thought they meant I had to make a speech or something!! It’s basically the equivalent of buying a round… in a work place you could bring in a tray of goodies for everyone at tea time, that sort of thing.
Have you been to New Zealand? Any of these sound familiar? What are some things you’ve learned in a new country?