Saturday, November 5, 2011

More random things about NZ

  • Fireworks! You can only buy them for 4 days per year (November 2 - November 5). Lead up to Guy Fawkes day, I guess. But you can launch them anytime you want all year round... You just can't get any except right now, so you'd better stockpile! There's been fireworks going off every night we've been at the new place.
  • At home we basically only have Old Dutch and Lays chips, maybe a few more brands for Kettle chips. Here there's about 20 brands and most brands have ripple and smooth versions of their chips, plus maybe kettle-cooked versions as well. I haven't even tried every brand that makes Salt and Vinegar yet! Best news ever because I really thought I would miss S&V chips.
  • Said chips are like 1/2 the cost of back home... Which is crazy because everything else here is super expensive.
  • Though you drive on the left, there's no left turns on red (like in N. America how you can turn right on red)... It's a little annoying in the slowness, but probably a lot safer. There's basically never a chance to run over a pedestrian.
  • Coke is expensive! Pepsi is expensive but always cheaper than Coke and not available everywhere. Coke is usually about $4/bottle at a gas station, maybe a tiny bit cheaper in a supermarket.
  • McDonald's meals are like $10+, except for the McDouble meal which is $5. The burger is $2. This was $1 in USA the last time I was there, but pretty reasonable comparatively I guess.
  • Tomato Sauce is sold everywhere. It's kind of like ketchup except that it sucks immensely. Sometimes there's ketchup too... Phew. But I've had a few servings of "chips" with just salt thanks to disgustingly weird vinegar-missing "Tomato Sauce" that people seem to think is a good replacement for ketchup.
  • Even on nice days here it rains like 10 times... You dress all warm like and then go outside and its super warm anyways... hard to get used to!
  • Traffic circles are just as popular here as in the UK. They love them.
  • Biscuit dog food seems way more popular than kibble. Dexter loves it too, so whatever...
  • Bugs can get really big here. I don't like it.
  • There are way more cows than sheep so far, but beef is still a bit more expensive than at home.
  • Diesel prices are about $1.50 per litre, petrol is about $2... You'd think that everyone would want diesel cars then, but no, there's some added per km fee when you register your car if you have diesel, so you're not really saving any money.
  • Some major businesses (like the local pharmacy and butcher) are open weekdays and only half of Saturdays.
  • There's a big push to get kids into lifeguarding, and most of the lifeguarding organizations are "BP Surf Rescue" (yes, that BP)
  • You can drive on most beaches here.
  • People are ridiculously friendly. I haven't met any meanies yet.
  • Electrical sockets all have switches on them, in case you want to switch something off without unplugging I guess? Most sockets only have one outlet (not two like at home).
  • Switches are pressed downwards to activate (it's up at home!)
  • Door handles seem to be turned the opposite way as well.
  • Toilets flush.... straight down? I haven't found a 'regular' toilet yet, most are the dual-button solids/liquids flush by flooding the bowl type. No spins yet. Can't tell if it spins the 'wrong' way.
  • There's a free satellite service here, Freeview. It has about 20 channels. HD too, yup.
  • At the supermarket I've noticed that most larger-sized versions were more expensive. Like today, 500g of margarine was $3.71, but 1kg of it was $8.15. Same brand and everything. Why buy the bigger one? Same was true of cookies...
  • Yesterday we saw a family kitefishing off the shore... The kite was about 2 miles offshore, lol... I wonder how that worked out!
  • I saw a notice at the supermarket today about truancy patrol, who to call if kids were in the store during school hours!
  • They don't have screens on any windows! So annoying for bugs. Lots of fly and mosquito hunting.
  • Chickens are called "chooks" (no, it's not an accent thing, they spell it like that too)
  • One way bridges are super popular, even on state highways.
  • There's gambling everywhere... In pubs there's a little VLT-like thing where you can bet on the Rugby matches, etc.
  • Haven't seen a lot of smoking yet... Wee!
  • I really like this commercial: Legend
  • They do love Flight of the Conchords here!


  1. The switch on the outlet thing is a UK thing. The thought being that at 240Vll you have a higher chance of generating an arc from the outlet by the removal of the plug (mostly a problem on things with motors, like fans). You are suppose to use the switch before you unplug. Safety first!!

    You should write about more electrical things....

  2. Yes definitely write about more elrctrial things?! Somehow this is being posted by sclim. I think he was on my tab. And he probably would like you to write about more electrical thingd.

  3. Thanks for the tip Sketchy! We will take precautions so we don't electricute ourselves. We will also try to post more pictures of substations.