Monday, 10 November 2008

Wellington & NZ - the good, the bad, and the neither

A new update about Wellington, New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere. For those of you interested =]

Good stuff

- Expressive, creative attitude towards fashion without the pressure. If I see someone who looks like a scenester, I no longer feel the urge to strangle them like I would in England. Because chances are they're not.

- Cuba Street. What can I say.

- Pleasant attitude of young people. A kid asked the other day if I could buy "smokes" for his mate. I said no. And bizarrely, he answered "okay".

- Simple street layout without the American identi-kit city plans.

- Fashion part 2: hardly any girls wearing heels during the day. Hey, heels are hot, but save them for a special occasion! Again, a lack of pressure. Even the boots don't have heels!

- Space. Even the capital city has more space than my home town Chelmsford.

- No-one is mad about politics, but no-one is really anti-politics. Not like people are in Britain. Sign outside the pub on election day said "VOTE. BEER."

- Wicked Asian/Oriental food. All types of restaurants in Wellington city centre, you could pass a couple of dozen in a 5-minute walk.

- CULTURE both high & low & everything in between. Cafes and bars and poster boards in cafes for gigs and events.

- People are nice =]

- Bars that double as cafes, and cafes that double as restaurants, and bars that double as restaurants too. Restaurants, cafes and bars that double as venues. Places that are all four.

- Buses everywhere in Wellington. They even have trains here! (Most of NZ does not.)

- Kebab houses built like palaces! I sat in one with wooden furniture and huge flat screen and a kebab the size of my head. Wrapped in tin foil. Then I ate it.

- Pies are kept in hot cabinets, not in fridges. Why keep pies in a fridge?!

- Strong mix of fruits, including European, Asian and native NZ

- Lack of poncy bars and flash clubs.

Rather annoying things

- ID. The law here is that you're asked for ID if you're buying alcohol and you look under 25, even though like Britain, the legal age for buying drink is 18. What the fuck. It's silly enough in Britain where the supermarket thinks I still look "under 21". It doesn't take flaming x-ray vision to tell if someone's under 18 or not. I look 25, give or take a year or two. I've got lines for christ's sake. And yet they still won't accept my UK provisional driving licence at a number of bars.

- Weather (in Wellington). "Changeable" does not describe it.

- EFTPOS. We learnt about EFTPOS as a useful tool in Year 9 IT, age 14. Here, it's shouted about everywhere almost like it's a brand name.

- You have to pay for wireless. WHY.

- Cars turning left on red. Cars threatening to run you over when there is definitely a green man. WHY.

- Internet. Here, you have a download limit on your broadband plan. WHY.

Not good or bad just notable

- The sun goes the other way in the sky. The other way!!!

- Bizarre mix of music everywhere, e.g. uber-strange pop followed by loud goth metal in a cafe, 3pm Sunday afternoon.

- Strong American influence on a largely independent, culturally-British country, e.g. films, language, products etc.

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