May 14, 2011

Kiwi-styles: heaps of new words

When we first arrived here, New Zealand seemed like a new world to us. Especially since this was our first time visiting anywhere out of the North America region. It all seemed so new and foreign, with so much to learn. New cities, maps, currency, food, ways of life, customs, etiquette, stores, fashion, slang, time zone, pop culture... yes very much a new world to us.

Now, 2+ months in, it seems very much home. At times we find it's very Americanized, modern and dare I say, normal? We love it here, and are enjoying operation making house a home, making new friends, and just getting used to life.

But there are some small differences, a conversion if you will.

The stores close up shop early, and are usually not open Sundays and with very shortened hours on Saturdays. For example, clothes shopping has been at the top of my list since my wardrobe is virtually one pair of pants, one pair of jeans, 4 cardigans and a few dresses. And it's getting cold here, gearing up for winter. I've tried for weeks now to get out and shop, but they close up the same time I'm done my office work, and by the time I finish errands and house stuff on Saturdays, they are closing up. And going out on Sundays? It's virtually a ghost town. Same goes for hair salons. In dire need of more blonde in my life, and unless I'm willing to take time off work or book an appointment 1.5 months out, there aren't many options to just get my hair did.

Restaurant dining. It's very common to arrive and not be greeted, but rather find a table yourself or order at the counter and take a seat. It's also common to have to get up and pay your bill rather than waiting for the bill to appear at your table. There is no rush to serve you, or to bill you. So you plan a night out and you go for the long haul. As a past server, I'd say we are the campers. Who sit and sit for hours on end, in no hurry to leave. But the restaurants are in no hurry either. Here, you sit, talk, chat, observe, enjoy, dine, enjoy, sit, talk and chat. It's a slower pace, and has become the norm for us.

The language. There are many slang words use, and different words compared to the American ones, such as capscium = peppers. Biscuits = cookies. Cilantro doesn't exist, but coriander is it's replacement. Wholemeal = whole wheat. At first, I thought I'd just continue with my American ways and use the words I know, considering since the people here know what I mean anyways (for the most part), but slowly I've found that I use the common words here. I'm adapting and learning. And hopefully being respectful. I also toss in words like "heaps" (for lots/many) and overuse the world "cool" like I did with the word wicked back in sixth grade. And "cheers". The most common word I encounter daily. Cheers when I the cashier takes my money, cheers when I hold the elevator for someone, cheers when I say bye, cheers when I say hi, cheers, cheers, cheers. It's like a celebration for everything you do. And sweet as. Which is pronounced very similar to sweet ass. Meaning awesome.

Our next mission, is to start exploring New Zealand, and seeing everything it has to offer. This clip really says it all... sweet as indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahah oh I love this post SO much! Being on the flipside - we are experiencing the exact same thing, but opposite. No one gets it when we say cheers all the time, and we have definitely had a few eyebrows raised at "sweet as" haha! I have found myself saying "right" at the end of every sentence ie. "wow, thats amazing, I know right?". Hilarious!

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So glad you wandered by!