Second Impressions of New Zealand

Okay, now I’m 2 months in.
Therefore, here is a new list of things I’ve noticed since moving here.

Am I going to do this every month? No. Maybe. We’ll see. Don’t judge me. 😛

  • There is a strong cafe presence! Between writing podcast episodes, writing a story, and working remotely I enter plenty of coffee shops. It’s great, but they all close at 4pm. It’s like an unwritten rule. Coincidentally, I do my best coffee shop work after 4pm.  I’m thankful for pubs selling coffee. My local is Lord Kitchener. You can see me there about 4 days a week. If only I could buy stock in a restaurant.
  • Every time I walk to my local cafe or shop, I see the same man walking without shoes. I’d offer him some, but it’s super common for people to walk without shoes. People walking in the city and those on hikes both don’t wear shoes. It’s not everyone, but it’s fairly common to see it. What’s not common is signs that say “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.”
  • The people are REALLY kind here. Like seriously. Example: While speeding down a hill on my bicycle, I had a minor accident as I reintroduced my body to the ground. No worries! The headache from it only lasted 3 days intermittently and the bruises just a tad longer. While I laid on the floor, regretting biking that day, a man on a motorbike pulled over to check if I was okay. Then, seemingly out of nowhere another man came to pick me and my bike up off the ground. Lastly, a man came with lemon scented wet wipes (yes, wet wipes!) just in case I had any cuts. I was surprised that they all stopped, checked on me, and helped me. [comparing this to being HIT BY A LITERAL CAR IN DENVER – no one stopped. Including the car that hit me.]
    • Another story of kindness: I was rejected for a job. They mentioned in their rejection email that they want someone living in NZ. I call the recruiter to ask why she thinks I live outside the country despite having my address on my CV (for my American friends: CV means resumé.)  We discuss for an hour how I should prepare my CV/resume for a NZ job and ways to better show I’m ready to be hired in NZ.
    • Another story of kindness: While entering a church way too early because my bus arrives either 30 min early or 30 min late, I was greeted by every single person there. It was awkward as the entire worship crew stepped off stage to greet me and individually welcome me to the church. Honestly, it was a little much. However, unbeknownst to me, the pastor came to greet me as well. He gathered the people to all open the service in prayer and ended the opening prayer with just praying for me. That, was perfect.
  • Music takes forever to be played here. When I arrived, I was happy to see Maggie Rogers was playing at the local venue, yet sad I couldn’t go. Despite her presence, and being her music so hot right now, I haven’t heard her played once yet. I’ll admit, I don’t listen to the radio as much as I used to (thank you Spotify!). However, whenever I walk about the city, I constantly hear music from other decades. I’m pretty sure David Bowie is on repeat! It’s rare to hear Taylor Swift, Leon Bridges, or literally anything newer than 2010. You wanna hear something new? Try Spotify.
    (PSA: if you’re still using Pandora, that’s like the modern day equivalent of listening to music on a tape player.)
  • It’s very laid back here. Granted, I’m not working in any demanding type job presently, but the everyday lives of the people here seem so…slow. My sister calls it “island time.” It’s just a way of life here, to be laid back, relaxed, even in traffic, they’ll let anybody in front of them.
  • They have a generation that call themselves Millennials. I thought this was just an American thing. Turns out, other people use the same generational names as well. What you don’t find is the older generation blaming the new generation for the
  • Speaking of the States, I’m asked about Trump nearly every time I meet someone new. It’s interesting to see that no matter who’s in office, the world is always watching. The US is the reality television show that anyone with an internet connection is paying attention to find out what happens next.
    No matter which side of the poorly structured two party system you’re on, I’d like us to start #prayforAmerica rather than a divisive #notmypresident or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Sure those hashtags are catchy, but I believe prayer changes things more often than any man or woman in a suit.
  • Mid-Winter Christmas! Apparently, it’s a thing and some people like to celebrate it. I kinda love the idea of it. But there is a slight disagreement on if its celebrated on June 25, the actual 6 month countdown to Christmas, or if it’s held in July, because ‘Christmas in July.’ But it’s a great excuse to gather people around the Christmas tree living room!
  • Almond Milk is super expensive. Therefore, it’s been 2 months since my last sip of my favorite milk alternative.
  • I have to watch American sports alone. Most of them are live during the morning or at noon. Most people are still working while I shout at the screen in a near empty sports bar. However, people love to follow American basketball!
  • You know the “5 degrees of separation” basically you can find a connection to anyone through 5 connections. Well, in New Zealand, its more like 2 degrees. It’s common to meet someone who knows the “owner of that business”, or went to high school with Jessica so-in-so on the New Zealand Bachelorette. It’s common to hear, “I used to be friends with famous Jill.” Since the country has such a small population, everyone seems to know one another somehow.