I’m writing from
We’ve finished our tour of university cities (barring
The last couple of weeks has not been without its attacks of homesickness and I’m told that it is better to celebrate differences rather than to dwell on them negatively: so here are some differences that have made me smile:
MANCHESTER: not the name of a northern city but the common designation of bed linen here in NZ – so it the isles in ‘The Warehouse’ (see previous blogs) read ‘Electrical Goods’ ‘Housewares’ ‘Manchester’.
‘Igs’: the kiwi accent place emphasis and vowel sounds in some of the most unlikely places (to the English ear). A recent piece of research has asserted that kiwi women speak with a more pronounced accent than kiwi men: anecdotal evidence would seem to back this up. ‘igs’ are ‘eggs’ and that’s where the fun begins…
Road rules: [warning – if you are from the UK this might hurt your brain thinking about this] here in NZ, if you are turning left off a road and someone is wanting to turn from oncoming traffic into the same road/exit they have right of way: this means you stop to let them turn in HOWEVER if you are behind someone who is indicating left and see someone indicating to turn in right and you are wanting to continue straight ahead, you have right of way. So the person turning left has to stop, wait for the driver behind him/her to overtake and continue straight ahead only for the person who was indicating right to then pull into the road ahead of them. As yet I have only one near miss to report from confusion in my head arising from this situation.
Strangers: when someone you don’t know says hello, they do not want something from you, they are not trying to sell anything, canvas your opinion or get you to sign a petition; they are simply saying hello – this might blossom into a meaningful conversation or stop at the simple greeting. Either way – they are being friendly, genuinely nice and wanting to say hello. It is amazing!
Class: There is no class system here, at least not one that is based on your accent, style of dress, sense of fashion, level of education, employment status or career: people judge you by who you are, rather than where you were born or which accent you speak with. This is a revolution as the class system is so ingrained into British society that it is only getting out of the system that makes you aware of it’s strength! Maybe more on this in another blog…