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<< Previous: New Zealand Part I | Next: New Zealand Part III >>

New Zealand Part II
Thursday, 2008 August 14 - 10:42 pm
Amy and I took one day to drive out and see some of the countryside, heading up to the harbor at Akaroa.

The drive there took us over twisty, narrow, mountain roads.

Garmin

It would have probably been a fun drive had we not had to concentrate so hard on staying on the correct side of the road.

The harbor was scenic. There wasn't a whole lot to do once we got there, but it was worthwhile just seeing it.

Akaroa

New Zealand is, of course, where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. There were tours available that would take you to specific film locations, though really, the entire country looked like The Shire, so paying for a tour seemed unnecessary.

I don't have many other pictures from touring around... largely because I had to work while I was there and didn't have much chance to go touring. But I do have some random New Zealand observations to share:

  • The short "i" is often pronounced like an American short "e", and vice versa. So at the airport, when they talk about the check-in counter, it sounds like they're saying the "chicken" counter.

  • There seemed to be a disproportionately large number of Thai restaurants, coffee shops, and hair salons.

  • When you get coffee, you get a little tiny hobbit-sized spoon to stir it with.

  • Kiwis (native New Zealanders) don't tip, according to the waitresses we talked to. But they aren't surprised to get tips from Americans.

  • There are several forms of rugby; the two main kinds are Rugby League and Rugby Union. Rugby is very popular in New Zealand; the national Rugby Union team is called the All Blacks. (There's also an All Whites rugby team, and a basketball team called the Tall Blacks.)

  • Another popular sport is net ball, which is like basketball without dribbling, backboards, or jump shots. It's a frenzy of activity until someone sets to take a shot; at that point, all the action seems to freeze.

  • New Zealand television features some very blunt commercials about drinking problems. In one, a guy gets drunk at a family party, picks up an infant child, and swings him around the room; he ends up swinging the baby into a television and killing it as the horrified family looks on. The commercial ends with the tag line, "It's not the drinking, it's the way we drink."

  • Along the same lines, cigarette packages look like this:


  • Cigarettes

Next: the Antarctic center, the wildlife park, and the trip home.
Permalink  3 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: lifetravel

Comments

Comment #1 from Noelle (Guest)
2008 Aug 15 - 12:10 pm : #
Are you SERIOUS about that TV commercial???? I'm shocked! It's not the drinking??? Seriously, dude, I'm stunned. Oh, and is there a rocket sticking through a church steeple in that last post or am I crazy?
Comment #2 from John Corey (Guest)
2008 Aug 15 - 9:52 pm : #
yikes! What show was that commercial on? and what time?
Comment #3 from Ken (realkato)
2008 Aug 15 - 11:15 pm : #
I think the commercial came on during a rugby game. Actually, I saw it a couple of times. There was another commercial in the same campaign: a guy gets increasingly more drunk at a bar, gets into a fight, and is kicked out onto the street. The scene cuts to the guy waking up on the floor of his own bathroom, beaten and bloody, with his four-year-old daughter looking at him worriedly.

That does look like a rocket going through that steeple, doesn't it? It was actually a construction crane in the background.

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