If you were a Kiwi (a person from New Zealand), you would likely be laughing at the title of this blog post. Why? Because one of their many colorful expressions is the too cute “shooting bunnies” euphemism for “farting”. Hours after learning the new phrase my fiancé Colby announced to much hilarity that he had “launched a rabbit”. This was the first of many blunders throughout our two weeks in New Zealand.
Although their official language is English, there is a bit of a language barrier. For example, when you’re asked if you would like a biscuit with your tea, say yes because you’re actually getting a cookie. And a tramp in the woods isn’t someone with loose morals in a non-urban setting but rather a hike. However, the word substitutions pale in comparison to pronouncing names of various towns, which can be a problem when getting directions. New Zealand has a thoroughly odd mix of traditional Bristish names interspersed a more than liberal sprinkling of Maori names. As New Zealand’s first inhabitants, the Maori language is decidedly un-English. For example, our friends live outside Wellington in Plimmerton, which is along the Porirua harbour. Other towns in this area are named Camborne, Karehana Bay, Mana, Onepoto, Papakowhai, Paremata, Pauatahanui, Pukerua Bay, Takapuwahia, Titahi Bay and Whitby. Our friends were particularly impressed with my pronunciation of “Whitby”.
Finally, a word about guardrails- there are none. There are some thin wires held up by sticks with white paint on top, but there are more adept at holding sheep off the road than cars on the road. In a country with 40 million sheep and 4 million people, this is an issue. This means the steep winding roads necessary in a topography formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity are largely a ‘drive at your own risk and try not to get sick’ sort of deal. Did I mention that they drive on the wrong side of the road?
More specific adventures to follow, including egg collecting and cow milking. It’s a rural country, folks.
Cool photo collection of the day: From the photographic expert, National Geographic