Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The New Zealand Post of Lists

So, now that my exchange is over, it's time to point out what I believe were the top bits in various categories.

Top 5 foods I tried for the first time in NZ:
1. Pavlova (light, fluffy sugar, usually combined with sliced kiwifruit or other fruit)
2. Weet-Bix (small bricks of grain and wheat + milk and a sprinkling of sugar = aweesome breakfast)
3. Goody Goody Gum Drops flavor ice cream (green bubble-gum flavored ice cream with gumdrops throughout, extremely tasty)
4. Steak and Cheese Pie (one of the unhealthiest things in existence, but very good savory flavors)
5. Hokey Pokey (sort of candy-ish substance that's hard and crunchy, the flavor is very hard to describe. Put in many things, from ice cream to cookies)

Top 5 Kiwi Statements/words:
1. *insert adjective here* as (most commonly Sweet As, basically saying whatever the adjective is very strong of that. Sweet as is also used as saying everything's ok)
2. Kia Ora (standard Maori greeting said by a whole ton of people in NZ, from schoolchildren to news anchors)
3. She'll be right (classic Kiwi, not worried, everything'll be fine)
4. Fair Enough (I know that's not really a kiwi statement, but I heard Kiwis say it a whole lot more than anyone I know in the US)
5. Keen (once again, I've found it used much more commonly in NZ, statement meaning "in the mood to)

Top 5 foods that are present in the US, but different in taste:
1. Peanut Butter (in NZ there's much more of a pure peanut flavor, not sweet at all, unlike the US)
2. Chocolate (Due to there being Cadbury and Whittaker's chocolate, it's much creamier in the case of Cadbury, and much more flavorful in the case of Whittaker's)
3. Honey (not as sweet, but it really works well with chai tea. Not only that, but there's more varieties of it here, the most well-known being Manuka)
4. Milk (I'm not sure how to describe how the flavor is different, but it's quite noticable when you compare them. And I'm comparing 2 of the same type here [like skim vs. skim, etc]. Perhaps that's why milk isn't used as a beverage nearly as often?)
5. Sausages (NZ barbecued sausages are freakin' awesome! Though, it's much less common to see a spicy sausage, unlike the US)

Top 5 Sports I tried for the first time in NZ:
1. Cricket (confusing to learn, scary to bowl, painful to field, yet really fun, and batting is quite interesting, especially since I always forget not to drop the bat after I hit, hehehe...)
2. Orienteering (who knew running up and down endless hills with a map just to punch a card could be so fun?)
3. Rugby (much more fluid and more strategic than Am. Football, you need a lot of endurance to play for a long time, both cardiovascular and pain)
4. Paintball (only did it once, on my very first day in NZ, but I had a whole lot of fun, especially seeing how hilarious it was to pop out from cover and shoot at someone who was trying to come towards you [while they're far enough away, of course]. Also, good practice to try to learn a little ballistics)
5. Athletics (Can't say I liked it a whole lot, but I didn't play a whole lot of sports in NZ. Even though I fail miserably at the high jump, it's quite fun anyway, and my favorite non-"hurl-object-as-far-as-you-can" event)

Top 5 Places that I went to in NZ:
1. Queenstown (the unbelievably touristy area in NZ, it has tons of different activities like luging, bike riding, bungy jumping, skydiving, etc... AND it still has some nice Japanese food, hehehe...)
2. Milford Sound (I don't usually call land beautiful, but this is one of the few places where I would use that word)
3. Lake Taupo and the nearby mountains (Tennis, Tongariro Crossing, Skiing, Swimming, Great meat pies. 'Nuff said.)
4. Christchurch (A nice bustling city with a grand cathedral in the middle of it, as well as being near the ocean)
5. Hamilton (Had to put the place I lived on this, and it's not too big, so you don't need to worry about taking a long time to get to places. Right on the Waikato River too, so great place to kayak, and the Hamilton Gardens are a good place to go too. Much more I can say, but I don't need to)

Top 5 Kiwi Activities:
1. Bungy Jumping (expensive, but the greatest rush you'll ever have in my opinion)
2. Going to the Beach (whether the sand is black or white, I like trying to ride waves on either side of the island country)
3. Tramping (I'm not the biggest fan of it, and I've never done a multi-day one, but I do like the Tongariro Crossing and other mountain walks)
4. Lazing About (Almost ALWAYS time for some of this, and it's nice sometimes to spend a day doing nothing but reading and such)
5. Pickup Cricket/Rugby/Soccer (Common especially for teens wherever you are, nice thing to do at random times)

Top 5 things NOT to expect to find much of in NZ:
1. Amusement Parks (There's only one, which is Rainbow's End near Auckland. It also has only one roller coaster, and it isn't that impressive)
2. Busy Schedules (Kiwis are commonly laid-back, even if there is a packed schedule, people don't often worry about it)
3. Root Beer, Grape Jelly, Reese's Candy of any kind (Some are rare, some don't exist at all)
4. Flat Plains (There are some, but there are quite a few rolling hills, and a ton of mountains around. And if they're flat, they're commonly covered with trees)
5. Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Wizards (The Lord of the Rings was just a movie based on a book. Filmed in New Zealand, yes, but still a movie.)

There are many more lists I can make, and I will make more. But as I have a terrible memory and I can't always come up with good lists on the spot, I'll make more as more come to me, but let you read these as they are now.


Mom said...

A great way to keep your memories alive, as well as to share. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

haha just wondering... What do you mean by "kiwi"? It seems like that's another name used for New Zealanders?