For all the adrenaline-filled, surreal, and extraordinary moments there are when you travel, there are an equal amount of mediocre, yawn-inducing moments. But it’s in these sepia-toned, sigh-worthy moments that you really notice things….like the fact that many Kiwis don’t know how to pronounce the word “Quesadilla”.
While the last couple months of my adventure have mainly consisted of working at the burrito place I scored a job at and saving up for my future travels in New Zealand, I’ve also had time to explore the city more and get a closer look the country I’ve called home for the past 6 months. Highlights have included visiting the Auckland Zoo, seeing a very unique performance at Q Theatre (which was my first attempt at attending a Meetup event to make more friends in Auckland), taking an Onzo bike out to the harbour bridge, and drinking coffee at basically every coffee shop in Auckland’s CBD.
Staying put in one place has given me the opportunity to notice and learn more about this country and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are many things that my Texan friends would find shocking and/or strange about this crazy place I’m living. Like…
1. The Lack Of Ice
I went to a Subway in North Auckland and asked if there was any ice since I didn’t see an ice dispenser in the drink machine. The answer was “It should be cold enough”…yeah you’d probably start a riot if you told someone that in Texas. There is ice in a lot of places but it's not as essential to Kiwis as it is to Americans.
2. How Many People Pronounce the L’s in “Quesadilla”
Okay but what is a Queso-diLL-a?
3. How Many People Don’t know What Queso Is
The burrito place I’m working at has asked us to start calling what they used to called ‘Nacho Cheese’ ‘Queso’ instead, but when I ask people if they want ‘Queso’ all I get is a blank stare or a confused look.
4. The Napkin Shortage
I covered this back in Chapter 3, but it is still amazing how Kiwis use so little napkins compared to the amount Americans use.
5. The Lack of (Real) Iced Tea
Nothing beats freshly brewed iced tea….
6. The Fact that Texas is bigger than New Zealand
Our state is bigger than many countries and it’s kind of amazing but crazy to think about…
7. The fact that they market some salsa as “Taco Sauce”
I went to the store in search of salsa and the only one that looked pretty decent was marketed as “taco sauce”…um excuse me??
8. The fact that police officers don’t carry guns
I guess when people don’t have guns to begin with it’s not as necessary but police officers not carrying guns on their person is almost unthinkable in America.
9. The fact that pepper spray is illegal in New Zealand
10. The Lack of Breakfast Tacos
Dear breakfast tacos, I miss you….
11. The drink sizes & portions
Americans are known for huge portion sizes, and they can be ridiculous sometimes…BUT if I order a large coffee I want a GIANT coffee and not what would be a small size in the US.
12. The price of avocados
Ah…how I miss avocados that aren’t $6 a piece…
13. The Fact that the Prime Minister is a [badass] unmarried, agnostic, pregnant woman who marched in Auckland's Pride Parade with no security and who wants to decriminalize abortion.
New Zealand's got the right idea, but this would definitely cause an uproar in the mostly conservative and republican state of Texas. Also can you even imagine the leader of your country requiring no security (well there was none that I could see)? Amazing what can happen when not everyone has a gun...
14. The Lack of 24-hour Stores/Restaurants
It can be hard to get stuff done when so many stores close at 6pm. And what do you mean I can't get Whataburger at 1am??
And those are just a few of the things that Texans might find a little weird about New Zealand...but then again, us Texans are pretty weird too...