Cheers, New Zealand

26 11 2009

We’re at the airport, about to get back on a plane after four weeks of time here in the land of “No Worries.” We’re sad to leave, but also feel  like we got a huge sampling of this place, and we’re up for new adventures.

It’s Thanksgiving here, at least in terms of the date, and we just finished a stint at a cool hotel/restaurant/cooking school. It was heaven for Sunny; he got to cook and learn all about working in a restaurant. I played the role of dishwasher, which wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Unfortunately, our hosts, despite being chefs, weren’t particularly into eating. We went to bed hungry most nights, scared to go rummaging in the kitchen for fear we might mess up the morning meal.

The two children of the owners were loads of energy, and I think we made one of them extremely happy, as she plays “wedding” every day after school. She insisted on staging our wedding, and she was the flower girl and officiant. I walked down the aisle donned in her dress-up clothes, while Sunny and Barney the dog waited for me by the fountain. She asked if we could swing by her house and pick her up for the actual event, and we said we’d try, as she was quite a good officiant. Not to mention dance party queen. She made us dance the minute we met her, and tried to make us dance every free moment we had (or even when we were plating food for the guests.) Sunny enjoyed the dance parties so much he downloaded her CDs. The boy loves NZ teen-pop…he’s a special one, folks.

[HEY THIS IS SUNNY NOW.  Jocelyn got up and told me I can type.  I’m blogging for the first time everybody!!!  Is anyone reading this?  Well, we are indeed leaving the land of “No worries.”  That is what people say instead of “You’re welcome.”  I’ve gotten a lot of “No worries, mate” here.  I like it.  I’ve been keeping a little “No _____ in New Zealand” list since we arrived.  No gluten is one – they are on a serious gluten free kick.  We have found all sorts of good-tasting well-labeled gluten-free foods.  Guess it’s not the land of no hyphens.

We also have noticed that it is a land of no napkins.  We stayed with one couple for five nights, 3 meals a day, 15 meals total, and saw exactly one napkin, when a particularly messy sauce caused our hostess to go find one for herself.  But that was it.  Figuring the four of us eating, that’s 59 napkins saved.  We are doing our part to live green, though my jeans took the brunt of it for me.  There’s also no ozone here – that “hole in the ozone” you hear about (that was unfortunately probably caused mostly by us in the States… remember all that spray deodorant in the 8th grade locker room, guys?) is actually sitting over New Zealand.  They have the highest skin cancer rates in the world and even I don’t need any reminders to slather on SPF 55 regularly.  I’ve gotten quite skilled at estimating the right amount of sunscreen to squeeze out to cover the right body parts.

Sadly, for Jocelyn, this is also the land of no iced tea.  Iced coffee, yes.  Iced chocolate, yes.  Iced tea?  Not so much.  We did find it at Starbucks.  Sadly, this is not the land of no Starbucks.  They are here in force, with McDonald’s, KFC, and Subway (eat fresh).  Speaking of food, though, it IS the land of no tips.  Which is kinda nice.  Food just costs what it costs, no figuring to do.  I felt kinda guilty until we met a waitress who said she thinks it is awkward for her to accept tips.

Anyway, it is time to go.  So good old N-Zed will also soon be the land of no Sunny and no Jocelyn.  But we enjoyed pretty much every day of our time here and that is a lot to be thankful for.  Enjoy your turkeys and your football, and as you’re giving thanks, just know we are sitting on a plane heading for Sydney and thinking, “No worries, mates!”

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2 responses

30 11 2009
Danielle

I can’t get enough of your blogs. It’s like i’m experiencing the trip with you! You two are hilarious. Can’t wait for the next post!

4 12 2009
Meg Stanton

Hi guys! Just caught up on a few of your wonderful blogs – they are such a delight to read! I’m conjuring up all sorts of hilarious images! We missed you at Thanksgiving, but had a wonderful time with Em, John and the kids. They were so cute, and Max was a saint!! They both loved him. Kaden ran around the house after him yelling “Ma” “Ma!” We went ice-skating (?) on a weird polymer at University Circle. It was not particularly successful, but Mirai loved it. She was the only one who did! We went on a hike in the woods. We took Mirai through Stan Hywet all done up for the holidays – she loved the room with all the American Girl dolls! (Em says she’s still a little young for them…I’m not so sure!). We toured the grounds with all the lights – it was so beautiful! We went to the Akron Zoo, and that was a big success! Got right up close and personal with bears, tigers, and all sorts of creatures! Life is good, but WE MISS YOU!! Love, me and the gang

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