August 10, 2011

Kiwi-styles vol. 2

At work one of my colleagues asked if I wanted to go to the restaurant for a pitcher soda. Confused, I repeated pitcher soda to which she replied, "yes!". Still thinking something wasn't right, I asked again about the pitcher soda? And she quickly and loudly said, "YES!". (Jeez, am I that annoying tourist?)

Obviously we were going to the restaurant for a pitcher soda, maybe she was thirsty?!

Later that day the same colleague described a date ending in a pash.
I though, pashmina? That didn't sound right so I asked what a pash was, to which she replied, "a pash you know, Americans created the word!".

Still clueless to a pash, I smiled and told her, Americans don't pash. But what do I know?

More Kiwi slang/words I've learned:

Flat stick = stressed/busy (someone told me they were flat stick - I just nodded like I knew, but I didn't)
Pushchair = wheelchair (learned this on the bus, reading the signs)
flash = fancy/sweet/looks good (apparently my new work office is flash)
Fizzy = soda/pop
Bach (pronounced batch) = holiday/vacation home
Gutted = disappointed (used a lot lately when I tell people I can't make it out because I'm sick)

And in other Kiwi lessons:

Pharmacies close at 6pm unless of course you know about the "emergency" pharmacy that is open later. Good gracious, stores that close at 6pm which is conveniently the same time I finish work, how on earth do people do things around here? Oh that's right, they get 4 weeks of annual leave in their first year, and they have things like unlimited sick leave. So while I have a cold and could most definitely use a pharmacy, there isn't one nearby work and if I take time off, I'm not yet entitled to pay while sick, and I already took 1.5 day off, so I suck it up. But everyone else is so calm about it, calling me crazy, telling me to take more time off. Sounds easy all you salaried residents, I shake my fists at you!

Also I'm almost certain I heard the train station announce that a train was cancelled because it was cold. For real? I'll never know for sure if I heard correctly, but I do know the trains here are unreliable. Not that I've taken one, so again, what do I know? Though I am fairly experiened in the bus system here. And just this week a bus saw me, pulled over to the side of the road, and then decided to take off, stopping in traffic. So I made the wise decision to run into traffic, banging on the doors to the driver wanting in.

I think I'm taking kiwi-styles too seriously. But, I did catch that bus. Sara, 2.

Oh and in case you are curious:
My colleague wanted to deliver a purchase order to a restaurant for catering services. Ha, that's the Kiwi accent for you.
And pash, is a passionate kiss/embrace.


  1. Awesome! I love hearing about differences like these. I'm going to use "gutted" and see if it catches on ;)

  2. It's so fun learning about these different phrases. I would have been confused about a whole pitcher of soda too though, haha!

    And yay for the bus win! :)

  3. i love learning things like this!!!! i totally wanna use gutted and flash!

    and i HATE things that close early!!! here in norway stuff sometimes closes at 3! i mean, seriously?!??!?!?!

  4. Oh Sara, this was hilarious! I can totally understand why you thought the girl said pitcher soda too! (although she doesn't sound like the most accomodating person if she wouldnt explain what she meant to you when you asked!).

    I'm thinking that the sign you saw on the bus which said pushchair and had a picture of a wheelchair is actually just a dual purpose sign (meaning both wheelchairs and pushchairs go here) because I have never heard it used as meaning wheelchair! A pushchair is like a stroller or a pram or a buggy for kids! All the same thing, just different words.

    My biggest one at the moment is saying jumper. Apparently there is no such thing as a jumper here, but I beg to differ! A sweater and a jumper are different things (according to me, not according to most canadians haha!).

    Most of the time I just say "I'm sorry, I dont know what that is, or what do you mean" to get clarification. So many things are lost in translation!! Glad you are finding your way through them though :)

  5. @Kim Let me know how it goes, and it's said as one word. Just, "gutted" very dramatically, not I am gutted :)

  6. @Morgan Thanks Morgan, the bus wins are the best kind of days :) I have a funny tip I've learned to have more bus wins, will share soon!

  7. @MeganHow on earth do business stay in business? All these wonky hours and limited shopping opportunities. Bummed about that chip shop you posted about being closed at 4pm, I would have been so gutted!!!

  8. @Leah I learn something everyday! Noted on the pushchair, I just assumed it was a literal translation of a wheelchair, I never even considered it meaning a stroller, er, pram. Ha! Jumpers and singlets and all that jazz, is so new to me here. Shopping has been an adventure!! And when I'm confused I just ask people to spell things out :) I'm sure they love it!

  9. I must say I've only come a cross a few of these...but purchase I can just imagine that being said!


So glad you wandered by!