“If the people of New Zealand want to be apart of our world, I believe they should hop off their islands and push ’em closer.” – Lewis Black
It’s not that I like using a Lewis Black quote. The truth is, I hate Lewis Black with a passion and wish I could bitch slap him repeatedly until he finally decided to use his inside voice. But the quote does shed some light on New Zealand culture. The countries size and isolation have enabled it to maintain that small town charm almost country-wide. The exception of course being the booming metropolis of Auckland. The residences being refered to by the rest of the country as JAFA’s (Just Another Fucking Aucklander).
“The only thing worse than being from the North Island is being from Auckland” – Mainlander (aka – someone from the South Island).
This North-South rivalry extends past geography, who has the greenest grass (an actual conversation example from Christmas at The Farm) and even finds its way into the pub. Be prepared for some sideways looks if you order a Speights or Monteiths in the North Island and you’ll be instantly labeled if you grab yourself a tallboy of Waikato down south.
But this playful prejudice is usually conducted with a smile on the face and it doesn’t take you long to realize that the Kiwis are just as cheeky as they are welcoming.
When your country is synonymous with sheep, it’s difficult not to dig into the various available dishes with the highest of expectations. But whether it was getting my third helping of hammed mutton on The Farm or cooking our own roast in the hostel, Sally and I enjoyed every bit of the nations unofficial mascot.
During our 2+ months of time in New Zealand, we managed to do several trips down memory lane. Visiting virtually every doughnut, egg roll, and pie shop we could find. But nothing topped the Ferburger in Queenstown.
Like trying to choose a favorite beer when you live in the NW of the US. Trying to pin down what we enjoyed most about New Zealand is a pretty difficult task. If we had to choose a singular activity it would have to be the wine tour in the South Island.
But after long debate we decided that our top rated for New Zealand isn’t a particular event or place. But rather the entire Great New Zealand Road Trip (North Island). They say you can pick your nose, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. Thankfully, if we were to speak comparatively (and I ate my boogers) Sally’s family is like a big, juicy, deliciously fresh booger. Not something you want to whip under the coffee table or flick across the room. But rather something that can be enjoyed and actually puts a smile on your face.