Yes, I know. It’s been awhile. Sorry. I don’t have a good excuse and I’m not going to make one up. Nothing really exciting has happened in the past few weeks, I’m still playing a lot of golf and dodging raindrops. I’ve decided to reflect a little and let you know what I’ve really enjoyed most about this country. Here are my favorite things about NZ:
1. If you happen to find a coin on the ground, it could be worth up to $2! And, no less than 10 cents! There are no pennies in NZ, or nickels for that matter. The first coin in their set is worth 10 cents, so you know you’ve found at least that much. The highest coin they have is $2, which is way better than our highest coin, the quarter (yeah, I know we have the Sacagawea Dollar, but no one ever uses it).
2. I’ve been working at the golf course for four months now, so guess how many vacation days I’ve earned so far. Three? Four? 10. That’s right, I said 10. I earn one every two weeks. Plus, if I work a public holiday, I get paid time and a half and gain an additional vacation day. If I wanted, I could take all those vacation days at once, too. Imagine trying to do that at your job. You’d probably be fired, or not allowed, or at least get a very dirty look from your boss.
3. I’m learning new words! In my last post I used a couple that have become my favorites, but weren’t necessarily new to me. There are some, however, that I’ve never heard before. For instance, bell peppers are called “capsicum”. Cucumbers are called “corgettes”. “Ta” means thank you. “Chuffed” means you are pleased or happy about something. “Jandals” are flip flops. And the letter z is pronounced “zed.” Along with the new words is the Maori accent. It’s very different than the typical NZer accent and I think it’s kind of funny. Here is a funny video that captures it perfectly (caution: a bit of bad language).
4. There are no Sirs or Ma’ams in NZ. Everyone is called by their first name, which is quite refreshing. No Mr or Mrs/Ms either. It’s just so much more friendly and personable. I know some of you would be pretty uncomfortable with that; I was at first. But the expectation from everyone here is just more casual. It takes a lot of stress out of working, too. People just connect better when they are on a first name basis, instead of one calling the other sir/ma’am. The latter represses a genuine connection and in a retail environment that prevents trust from being built. What better way is there, to provide good service to a customer, than through trust between both people? None I say! Now, pardon me while I step down off my soap box.
So there you have it. My favorite things about NZ, so far. I’m sure I’ll discover more. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!