Monday, 31 May 2010

New Zealand is not as safe as you think it is

Well, in a way it is, in a way it isn't.  It's true that we are relatively safe from violent crime here.  But the level of petty crime seems to be proportionally much higher.  And no where is safe.  Even the "good" neighborhoods have regular break-ins and burglaries.

This post was prompted by this story in the Dominion Post (a Wellington newspaper).  An American expat couple living in Wellington left all their belongings in a van outside their house, and it was broken into and everything stolen.  Including their $15,000 bicycles.  And they didn't have insurance.

The only time in my entire life that I've ever been robbed from was last winter when staying at a rented bach (pronounced 'batch', a small vacation rental) in Ohakune near the Ruapehu skifields.  It was pouring rain, so when we returned to the bach from dinner, we ran inside and I forgot to lock the car doors.  Later in the night we went to get back in the car to go out for some drinks, and as I got to the driver-side door, it burst open and a young hoodlum jumped out, yelled "booga booga!" and ran off.  Luckily we disturbed him, or he probably would have taken all our CDs.  As it was, he only got a pair of sunglass (nice ones, though, so it still sucked).

So when you move here, don't be complacent.  Lock your doors.  Don't leave anything valuable in your car.  And for goodness sakes, insure your valuables.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Learn the Kiwi "as" slang from a 6-year-old

You won't be in New Zealand long before you hear someone exclaim, "Sweet as!"  Soon you may even find yourself sticking random "as"es in at the end of sentences.  Here my 6-year-old daughter shows us expert usage.  (Actually, this was found in her top secret diary, so don't tell anyone I showed you.)

As you can see, she's listing members of her class, and denoting them either "cool" or "cool as".  (Names blurred the names to protect the innocent.)  In Massachusetts the equivalent would be labeling friends as either "cool" or "wicked cool".  The last 3 are her family members.  It's nice that she's still at an age where she thinks her parents are awesome.

Basically, you can add "as" in after any adjective to add emphasis.  As far as I know, New Zealand is the only country that utilizes this turn of phrase.  Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Friday, 14 May 2010

News Flash!

Update on the Napier central city supermarket situation!

They have painted the dark green Countdown the same color as the light green Countdown, so there is now no way to tell them apart.

And since I have a hard time remembering which was there first, the "old" and "new" monikers are useless.  So if you tell someone to meet you at the Countdown in Napier you've got a 50-50 chance of picking the right one.