1. I have seen way too many guys wearing short shorts here. They’re not just for running here in New Zealand! It surpasses all ages and nationalities. I’ve seen them on adult men (with families) walking around in the mall, on 60-year old men having strolls on the waterfront, on brown guys walking through the grocery store, and, unfortunately, on traffic workers on a chilly morning at 8:30 AM.
2. Dual-flush toilets are very popular here. Every toilet I’ve used has had the two flushes – one for #1 and one for #2. The one for #1 uses less water. Here's the bathroom in the Subway where I ate the lamb sub:
3. The default calendar viewing setting here is MTWTFSS, where the week starts on Monday (Saturday and Sunday are at the end).
4. They don’t have ‘ketchup’ here; it’s branded as ‘tomato sauce’.
Maybe they just had Mr. Burns in mind?
5. There is a guy here in Christchurch that owns at least two car dealerships. We passed by one and we’ve seen his advertisements on car license plates and at rugby games. Move over, Jim Pattinson, because there’s a new car guru and his name is Gary Cockram:
Gary Cockram loves supporting the fine young men of Canterbury Rugby:
6. Fire alarms (at least the one at work) make a whooooooooooooooooooooooooo instead of a whoop whoop whoop whoop.
7. New Zealanders have this little brother complex with Australia. It’s kind of Canada-USA, except Canada’s big and fat while New Zealand’s small and tiny (that means we don’t feel AS inferior to the U.S.) Case in point: we were watching Funny People, that movie with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, and Seth Rogen delivers this line about how Australian’s are frickin crazy and that they’ll chop your head off and wear your head skin like a hat. It wasn’t really supposed to be a funny line, but the Kiwi audience loved it!
8. Kind of related to the Australia inferiority complex thing, kiwis have a ton of national pride, and they’re much more aggressive about displaying it than Canadians (well, who isn’t: “Whoop! We’re not the U.S!” [Ed. Apparently Canadians are fire alarms]). That said, it’s not this crazy, unabashed our-country-is-so-great thing, because kiwis will be the first to tell you New Zealand’s obviously not a world superpower, but just a quiet (though they’re anything but) resolve that they hold on to.
9. Following up the cunning insight of #8, I present you with the fact that they have separate taps for hot and cold in the bathrooms in New Zealand.
10. And lastly, most movies come out later here. The Taking of Pelham-123 came out a couple of weeks ago, and this week the hit Year One finally reaches Kiwi theatres. Last month, crowds were dazzled with the new Pixar hit, Up!. The exception that proves the rule is, of course, the Peter Jackson-produced District 9, which actually came out in New Zealand earlier. Why? Peter Jackson’s a Kiwi of course.