13 January 2007
After more than a year living in New Zealand, I have written about most of the things that were remarkable to me, comparing to what I was used to in the Netherlands . There are still a lot of loose trifles that I could not squeeze into a story, but I will mention them below.
No restraint to publicly disgracing thiefs.
The New Zealand children are super polite! When we walked the neighbour dog and she suddenly began to bark meanly at some oncoming children, they thanked us after we called the dog to order … Without any trace of mockery!
In the Netherlands many people are have a guy who comes monthly to clean the windows. In New Zealand many people have a guy coming monthly for lawn mowing. I never have seen a window cleaner in new Zealand and never have seen a lawn mower company in the Netherlands.
Here on television they are still advertising for Abba and Boney M.
In New Zealand there is much less of a disposable culture. Everything is used to the bone and then fluffed up and recovered. After there is nothing left to recover, it appears on the online auction or at one of the hundreds op shops (opportunity shop). In every little village you find 3 second-hand stores at least.
For example; a television advertisement for refrigerator rubbers is not uncommon. Of course it makes sense because you don’t throw away a fridge if only the rubbers are wore out, but at the same time I think: What has been the road to start a company in fridge rubbers? And apparently earn enough money to pay for a television ad. And why do I never have seen worn out fridge rubbers in the Netherlands?
Talking about rubbers and ads … Usually we quickly press the mute button as soon as the ads are starting. So lately, without sound, we saw a very worrisome advertising; A girl in a floral bikini wiggling on a white beach, along a sparkling sea and graceful sipping on a cocktail. Between scenes, there was a scary wrinkled hand flopping on such a thin rubber white glove. We began to be a little apprehensive about this combination. Not lessen after it abruptly zoomed in to heavy pink cow udders. …
Oh yes, of course! It was an advertisement for milk gloves. And you could win a prize to Haiti if you bought 100 gloves. Hence the bikini.
Because carelessly disposal apparently is not in their nature, I caught TV presenters wearing the same clothes for 3 times!
Ok, they wore them a few weeks apart, but I noticed it anyway!
Or is that just weird of ME? The fact that I noticed?
At this end of the world they shamelessly still sell duvet covers and upholstery with … the Playboy logo on it!
And no, the funky phenomenon ‘camp’ has never arrived here, so that can’t be the reason. They are deadly serious about it.
How to wipe out the front of your store from a bunch of teenagers, in an effective and peaceful way?
Here in our village is an eating place called the “Two Dollar Pie Shop” where during the day teenagers hanging out at the door and occupy the sidewalk. The shopkeepers in the neighborhood complained that their business is declining because passersby are tired of their begging for a dollar. Customers began to avoid that part of the street.
The retailer got an idea to wipe out the infamous hangout; Nowadays on its exterior always blares the same CD of Nana Mouskouri. He can’t hear it inside. It helps. Now the students hastily buy their dough and look elsewhere for shelter.
Here parking attendants put a chalk mark on the wheel of your car to make sure you’re off within the specified time. There are not much places you need to pay parking fee. The only parking restrictions are the signs that says how long you are allowed to occupy the lot. In larger cities, of course there is paid parking if you want to stay longer than 2 hours in the center.
The photo shows a parking meter in Tauranga (in our Dutch eyes a cross between a large village and a small city). The parking meter is a flat box with small boxes behind a glass screen. On the front you can find the number of your lot, and at the back of the slots you can put in your coins.
So … at the front side you can see if someone already paid for your parking spot that day … (or is it just me?)
Most slots , by the way, look as if they already are violently dishonored.