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Archive for April 18, 2012

‘Striking’ number of Kiwis walk around barefoot – NY Times | NATIONAL News

New Zealand newspapers are “huge”, the Maori language is “everywhere”, and a disconcerting number of Kiwis walk around without shoes on, a New York Times travel writer says.

Arriving in New Zealand as an American for the first time is a “rather smooth experience”, but there were still a number of things about our country which took Seth Kugel by surprise.

“Kiwi society functions in a way both recognisable and reassuring to Americans: everyone speaks English, people shake hands when they meet, and they eat bacon and eggs for breakfast,” he says in Notes From a New Zealand Newbie.

“Still, another country is another country, and since it is my first visit here, I decided to jot down all the reminders that I wasn’t in Kansas (or New York or California) anymore.”

Kugel, who writes a weekly travel column for the Times as the ‘Frugal Traveller’, says people in New Zealand like walking around without shoes – at supermarkets, on streets, “all over”.

“It’s not everyone, but it’s a significant enough minority to be quite striking and a bit disconcerting. Sure, city sidewalks are clean. But they’re still city sidewalks.”

Prior to coming Downunder, Kugel had only heard of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and was consequently “misled by the English-sounding names”.

But the Maori language is in fact everywhere, he tells readers.

“I was unprepared for the hundreds of towns with Maori names: Rotorua, Whanganui and Whangarei, for example, along with plenty of street and river names.

“Certain words are used frequently, even by those with no Maori ancestry.”Pakeha”, for example, is a common word for people of European origin – used by both Maori and European New Zealanders.”

via ‘Striking’ number of Kiwis walk around barefoot – NY Times | NATIONAL News.

Strange Random New Zealand Quote:

“Terrible tragedy of the south seas. Three million people trapped alive.” – Thomas Jefferson Scott

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