Kia Ora! I’ve been in New Zealand for a little over a week now (sorry for anyone who has been waiting for a post!) and I feel like I’ve already taken in so much and learned so much about Kiwi culture, and about New Zealand in general. This beautiful country is similar to where I’m from in a few ways, but much more different than I expected! Here are just a few things I have learned during my first days as a Kiwi…
- I am loud: At home I am considered very quiet and reserved, but in New Zealand even I feel loud and obnoxious sometimes. I notice it in the way I order food or coffee, or the way I talk with my new friends. I’m talking how I think is normal, but compared to the locals around me I’m very loud and it makes me feel kind of uncomfortable! I guess I’ll have to work on being… even more quiet?
- Opossums are bad: At some point Opossums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia, and they have since caused lots of problems. Since New Zealand does not naturally have mammals (besides a few bats), the native species never built defenses to survive against such predators. Birds like the Kiwi bird are often in danger of being found by an opossum when they are young, and until a few years old they do not have any defenses to help them survive. I was also told that opossums carry diseases that can cause entire herds of cattle or sheep to be quarantined and, as one person put it, ‘destroyed’.
- Tea has multiple identities: Apparently here in New Zealand the word ‘tea’ is used in a few different ways. If someone asks if you’d like morning or afternoon tea, that usually means drinking some tea in the morning or afternoon. Makes sense. But if someone asks if you want to have tea in the evening that means you are being asked out to dinner or invited to someones house for dinner. Tea is usually not involved at this point.
- Kiwi’s like food too: I’ve had a lot of great food while in New Zealand! Nice restaurants and street food alike both have great options, and while sometimes a little expensive, it never disappoints the tastebuds!
These are just a few of the interesting things I’ve learned and experienced while in New Zealand, and I can’t wait to see what other things I will learn about while I’m here! Keep checking back for new posts, and thanks for reading!