4 June 2006
Our first winter is kicking in. The house is built of a single layer of wood and protected from the rain by a plastic skin with wood pattern … There is mold right on the windows and the days my towels were dry, are long gone. My linen starts to smell like onions. The couch is permanently covered with an electric blanket. I rediscovered the hot water bottle and on my painter seat is an electric mini-blanket. Three inches beside my seat is an oil heater.
All things I need to get used to.
Apart from the famous kiwi bird New Zealand adores some more icons. Such as the Pohutukawa tree, the beautiful blue paua shell and their unbeatable Hokey Pokey ice cream. But one of the most strange icons are the flip-flops! They are depicted on t-shirts and postcards. There are Christmas tree decorations with flip-flops on them. There are key chains and they are even created in gold mini size with gems and be proudly used as a logo to promote New Zealand. They brag about it like the Swiss with their watches. In my eyes an incomprehensible status symbol.
Now I know that the Dutch are proud of their wooden shoe, but that is still a kind of folk handcraft. Slightly different from a disposable rubber slipper, right? The current version is 60 years ago invented in New Zealand and they call them ‘jandals’, derived from Japanese sandals. Or THONGS the same word as string. So a thong is the collective term for garments splitting 1 body part in 2 parts. I can’t stand wearing strings and find it a distasteful garment. I don’t own thongs (I mean the flip-flops). I want them, but now knowing they have the same name as strings, I’m afraid I accidentally will walk with squeezed buttocks, when I feel something between my toes …
Does that make sense?