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My Top 10 Adjustments to New Zealand Life - The Story of an American Living in New Zealand

Although she was wearing a helmet, my daughter suffered a concussion falling off her snowboard. Here's how she kept busy during recovery.

Whether You're a Visitor or an Expat Living in New Zealand, There Are Surprises Heading Your Way

Don't get me wrong, I love my New Zealand life and am proud to now be a citizen of this great land.

However, as an Americans living in New Zealand there are several things which took us by surprise at the beginning. Not the big things like learning to drive on the other side of the road. We knew about that in advance and were prepared for it. It is the little things. We shifted from California, USA to New Zealand about six years ago, and still laugh occasionally at the unexpected, as we shake our heads and say "only in New Zealand."

Here you will find my top 10 list of adjustments to New Zealand life. I hope you enjoy it in the light-hearted vein in which it was written. Either way, please leave me a comment or two.

Photo Credit: © Rhonda Albom 2007, photo location Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Heat is Lacking in New Zealand Life - Before living in New Zealand, I was never cold indoors

New Zealand in the Winter

New Zealand in the Winter

We shifted from latitude 37 degrees north (San Francisco) to 37 degrees south (Auckland). The outside temperatures, although opposite seasons, are similar but suddenly I find myself cold indoors. Despite being an island in the Southern Pacific ocean, it gets cold in the winter.

That's not the problem. Most homes here are still built with single pane glass and without central heat - our brand new, modern home actually has no heat source at all.

Coming from America and a world of constant indoor temperature, I had no clue how to keep warm. People continually told me "put your woolies on." What were they talking about?

Apparently, "wollies" refers to any warm layers. It was three years before I discovered that it's not uncommon to wear three pair of socks to keep my feet warm. It took us nearly five years to understand Kiwi's warm only the main living area of their home in the winter. Most Kiwi homes are built so the living room faces North allowing the sun to warm this room all day. As the sun dips down at the end of the day we close the curtains, light a fire and close off the doors to the main living area. This warms our kitchen, dining room and living room only. The bedrooms stay cold, so we sleep with hot water bottles.

The bathrooms - well I try not to use them in the middle of the night. We are down on the South Island now, actually closer to the South Pole than the equator, and I am fairly sure I could see my breath in the bathroom last night. We stoke the fire before bed, but it doesn't last all night and by morning it is usually in the low 50s(F) in our bedroom.

It Is Possible to Keep Warm at Home in the New Zealand Winter? - Heaters, fireplace, and extra clothes do the trick

Lonely Planet Travel Guide for New Zealand - My favorite book to carry when I travel around the country

Whether Visiting or Living in New Zealand - It's Time to Learn Some New Expressions - Is this really an English speaking country?

My first mistake was assuming I could actually speak New Zealand English.

Kiwi speak is loaded with interesting idioms, and delightful expressions to describe children. Now entrenched in the language, I hardly notice the difference, however, when I first arrived, I had no idea what people were talking about much of the time.

Here are some of my favorite idiomatic expressions along with my understanding of their American equivalent (any native Kiwi's reading this, please correct me if I am still missing the plot):

* Thanks to all those who let me know in the comments marked with a * are also British expressions

  • Off with the Fairies* - daydreaming
  • It's like a box of fluffy ducks - Just a positive reply to the state of something wonderful.
  • Happy as Larry - very happy (I have no clue who Larry might be)
  • I can't get my head around it - I don't quite understand
  • Good as Gold - everything is in order
  • Good on ya mate - good for you
  • She'll be right mate - everything will turn out okay

It's Not Just the Expressions, I Can't Understand the Accent Either!

New Zealand has an accent all its own

I remember the day another American expat mom was telling me about a new rhyming game she just picked up for her kids. They matched all the rhyming words and had two cards left over - "claw" and "door". At first we laughed about quality assurance and the two missing cards. Then she mentioned it to a Kiwi friend, "No, they rhyme." And when she spoke the words, the did in fact rhyme.

It's the allusive letter R. For some reason in Kiwi English it appears randomly at the end of all sorts of spoken words: peninsular, and of course: clawr. And if that's not confusing enough, the R is seemingly randomly left off then end of other words in speech: supa (super), ca (car), etc.

Actually R is not the only odd letter. There is "T" used for past tense:

In my daughter's English book we found an instruction: "Circle all words spelt incorrectly". While I thought it was an example of incorrect spelling, it turned out to be past tense with a 'T' rather than -ed. While it sounded really funny with these words spelt, learnt, burnt, I soon remembered kept.

Then there is the added 'u' as in: colour, favourite, neighbour.

And some words are just different like tyre (tire).

This Book Helped Me a Bit - And it gave me a few laughs

I Miss That Little Slice of Pickle on my Burger!

beetroot on hamburger

beetroot on hamburger

Photo credit: Licensed under creative commons attribution by: Pauline Mak

I am not a fan of beet root, and I really don't want to see it on my burger. Unfortunately for me, the classic the kiwi burger: Hamburger on a bun with:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayo
  • Beet root
  • Fried egg

And, Sadly, no pickle.


Meal time sure has changed. A Kiwi dinner is a "meat and two vegetables" (potatoes are defined as a vegetable).

Lunch is often a sandwich, but not one I was familiar with (we quickly noticed the lack of protein):

  • Baked beans on buttered toast with fried egg on top
  • Tinned (canned) spaghetti on toast
  • Peanut butter and butter
  • Salt and pepper on toast (I don't actually think anyone but one 9 year old we met eats this, but that was her request)
  • Maramite on toast (a Kiwi yeast spread similar to the Australian Vegimite)./li>
  • Two slices of bread with butter and one slice of ham or other lunch meat

Then to add to the food confusion for Americans in New Zealand the food language is often different - same words, different meanings:

  • American: French Fries = Kiwi: Chips
  • American: Potato Chips = Kiwi: Chippies
  • American: Cookie = Kiwi: Biscuit
  • American: Biscuit = Similar, but not exactly the same as a Kiwi scone
  • American: Jello = Kiwi Jelly
  • American: Jelly = Kiwi Jam

And then there is Tea

  • Morning Tea - snack between breakfast and lunch
  • Afternoon Tea - snack between lunch and dinner
  • Tea - dinner
  • If you just want a cup of tea - that's a "cuppa"

Being barefoot was the first thing my girls loved about living in New Zealand - (and the wonderful ice cream)

barefoot kids in New Zealand

barefoot kids in New Zealand

Kiwi kids rarely wear shoes.

Really that is all that need be said. From their first steps until nearly high school, shoes seem optional here. My girls were thrilled to join in. Suddenly, they didn't have to wear shoes anywhere. We see barefoot kids at beaches and pools as we would expect, but they also leave shoes at home before heading to the doctors office, zoo, restaurants or even the grocery store. Even to school, where uniforms are required, shoes are often optional (the option being bare feet or a specified uniform sandals in summer or shoes in winter).

A few times it caught me off guard. They signed up for athletics (track and field) so I went out and bought them decent running shoes. First I was surprised how difficult it was to find child sized running shoes. When the first day arrived I understood. The children (up to about age 12) were all barefoot. Nearly all, my girls and a few other immigrants showed up with shoes.

There are bare feet at beaches, doctors offices, zoos (yuck), restaurants and grocery stores. Importantly, all kids have a pair of jandals, just in case they don't want to be barefoot. The school children wear uniforms, however many schools allow children the option of bare feet or uniform shoes.

Jandals (the New Zealand name for flip flops) take over for adults, and they can be seen everywhere all summer. Professionals, retail and food service workers all wear more traditional shoes, but that wasn't part of our adjustment.

Barefoot Children - Where is it OK? - (Your turn to chime in!)

My kids love being barefoot. It took a while for me to be comfortable with them barefoot in places which sell food. I have even seen adults in the grocery barefoot. What's your view?

Everything in the New Zealand Kitchen Is Small Except the Butter

New Zealand is a dairy producer and nowhere is it more evident than when shopping for butter. Rather than quarter-pound sticks I was used to as an American, butter in New Zealand comes in a 500g block (1.1 pounds). In contrast, just about everything else in my new kitchen is smaller than its American counterpart.

For instance, my kiwi paper towels are too short for my American paper towel holder; while my large American pots and pan don't really fit on my burners or in my sink; the refrigerator is too tiny to comment on; yet the butter is four times larger than my American butter dish.

I Had to Learn a New Way to Do Laundry While Living in New Zealand

New Zealand life is sometimes a bit behind

One of our first major purchases (after the house, space heaters and a wood burning stove) was our washing machine. The sales clerk showed us a tiny washing machine, claiming it is perfect for a family for four. I asked for something larger and she replied, "Oh that's right you Americans like everything big." So I ended up with the largest washing machine they had, which was still about half the size of the one I left in the states. And the clothes dryer - what a waste of money. For starters, it's really tiny - holds about 1/2 of the small washer. But not to worry as everyone hangs their laundry, either outside on nice days or on a rack in the living room on rainy days (remember, it is the warmest room in the house).

It wasn't until we were here long enough to need new clothes that I discovered why the dryers are so un-used. Kiwi made clothing is not pre-shrunk, so nearly all labels read "do not tumble dry."

So, as part of my New Zealand life I learned a new skill, hanging laundry outside.

newzealandlife

New Zealand Life Sometimes Involves the Medical System

Don't miss my mammogram story:

New Zealand has socialized medicine, with private insurance options, which I think is mostly used by expats. To date we have had excellent medical care through the public system. A few broken bones, minor illnesses all treated and recovered.

However, I still giggle when I think about my mammogram . . .

My first was self paid:

1. I offered a changing room to put on a gown.

2. Politely exposing only what was needed she took the x-ray

3. I waited only 10 minutes whilst the radiologist looked it over and told me the results.

The next year I qualified for the "free" mammogram through the system - at the same location:

1. I was brought straight into the exam room

2. Told to take off my shirt and stand topless for the entire procedure

3. Sent home to wait 2 weeks for them to post the results.

Photo Credit: ©Rhonda Albom 2007

Only in New Zealand - Where Else Do They Call it the Fart Tax?

fart tax for cows in New Zealand?

fart tax for cows in New Zealand?

As an American in New Zealand, I had to respectfully bite my lip to restrain from laughing when I heard about the fart tax.

It wasn't really an adjustment issue, just one of the top news stories back when we arrived. It was enough to make you shake your head and wonder what is the government thinking. The proposed tax was to help reduce greenhouse effects caused by flatulence of NZ farmers' millions of sheep and cattle.

No kidding, this was on the news for weeks. While it had an official name, the broadcasters nearly always referred to it as a "fart tax". After many farmer protests, eventually New Zealand dropped the issue.

More New Zealand Fun

© 2009 Rhonda Albom

Which Adjustment to New Zealand Life Would Have Been Hardest for You? - Have you had any adjustment issues to something new? Tell us about it here.

Iftekhar Chow on April 19, 2018:

I wanted to know Zealand visitor which thing is cheap like food ?

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on March 06, 2018:

Love your article. New Zealand sounds like a super place.

Sue Minot from Wellington, New Zealand on December 31, 2016:

Haha -as a Kiwi born and bred, you've absolutely nailed it with this blog! (please tell me you've heard the expression 'nailed it'?!) :)

Amanda on November 24, 2015:

I came across your article after watching a New Zealand police programme and noticed so many people coming out of their cars barefoot, so I googled it :-) however as I read your fantastic article which did make me laugh, I wanted to let you know that these expressions

Happy as Larry - very happy (I have no clue who Larry might be)

I can't get my head around it - I don't quite understand

Good as Gold - everything is in order

Are also British phrases the foods you mentioned (apart from potato chips which we call "crisps") and all the "Tea Times" are also the same in Britain.

I did laugh out loud at the fart tax and can't imagine life with out central heating! I do hang my washing out in the summer (about 3 weeks in August in my corner of Scotland) but need my lovely large tumble dryer.

Superb article though very funny.

Giovanna from UK on March 16, 2015:

Love what you tell us here about New Zealand. Great hub voted up and shared.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on February 26, 2015:

Thanks Glen for the heads up.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on August 18, 2014:

@lewisgirl: I was the passenger for the first month, so when I drove for the first time on the left, I was already somewhat used to it.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on August 18, 2014:

@josephchen: Making money, isn't that what they are always thinking about with a new tax?

awolkiwi on August 17, 2014:

@RhondaAlbom: For jobs check www.seek.co.nz or www.trademe.co.nz

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on August 14, 2014:

@snowwhitecat2014: It is a beautiful place and I hope you get here someday.

lewisgirl on August 12, 2014:

I visited New Zealand years ago and had the best time. Definitely driving on the left side is very challenging for me.

josephchen on August 05, 2014:

hahaha. I'm curious about the "fart Tax". What was the government thinking when they proposed that policy? :D

snowwhitecat2014 on July 08, 2014:

This was such a great article. I would love to visit New Zealand. It always looks like such a beautiful place.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on June 23, 2014:

@daria-a-price: LOL, you inspired me and today I blogged about the toilet water: http://www.laugh-quotes.com/toilet-water-spin-the-...

daria-a-price on June 22, 2014:

Loved this. I have a friend visiting me right now, she is from new zealand ( I am american ). We are having fun figuring out all our differences, especially the wording. She has tried to get in the driver side of my car since the day she got here. I get confused when she asks to open the "boot " to get her suitcase. She is amazed that the water in our sinks and toilets go around the opposite way ( who knew ? ) I guess I never paid attention before which way the water went. She is here for a month and I am sure I have much more to learn, a :)

valerie1956 on June 18, 2014:

My biggest adjustment has been trying to adjust my American recipes to work with New Zealand foods especially cheeses. My first attempt at macaroni and cheese was a complete disaster. The cheese melted but stayed in chunks and did not mix with the other ingredients.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 19, 2014:

@ArtByLinda: I laughed too.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 19, 2014:

@ecogranny: After a while it just became nomral.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 19, 2014:

@Heidi Vincent: I wish New Zealand was hot like the Caribbean! It's never "hot" here. In eleven years, I can only remember it crossing 30C in Auckland a handful of times. However, clothes generally dries during the day anyway. Now when I go back to visit in the states I am looking for a place to hang my clothes to dry.

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on May 15, 2014:

Great article, I love that they call it the fart tax, so funny!

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 15, 2014:

Probably the laundry. We do a LOT of laundry, even though there are only two of us now.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 15, 2014:

Probably the laundry. We do a LOT of laundry, even though there are only two of us now.

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on May 14, 2014:

Like many Caribbean Islands, New Zealand once formed part of the British Empire, so some of the things that you spoke about are not new to me or unique to New Zealan since these customs remain to this day from British occupation. Some examples: 't' instead of 'ed' for some past tense, 'u' for words like 'colour' & 'favourite', tyre instead of 'tire', French Fries = Chips, Cookie = Biscuit, Jelly = Jam and Tea (In fact that's how I write on Squidoo most times)

If New Zealand is anywhere near as hot as the Caribbean, then I can understand why they don't use dryers. No one in the Caribbean wastes money on driers because you can wash your clothes in the morning, hang them out and they'll be dry by the afternoon.

Peanut butter and eggs do contain protein, by the way. I learnt some interesting things otherwise.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 14, 2014:

@Craftypicks: LOL - my hubby would, he grew up in New York :)

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 14, 2014:

@tolbertsf: Read the NZ immigration site. They program now is completely different from the one we came in on. I know there are expensive consultants out there to help, but we did ours without one. NZ makes the rules really clear and easy to follow, at least they were when we came.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 14, 2014:

@three rdworldman: LOL - I have long waiting list :)

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on May 14, 2014:

@sybil watson: It's now been 10 winters, and I still struggle with it!

Lori Green from Las Vegas on May 14, 2014:

This was really interesting. Being from NY myself, nobody would understand a word I said there.

sybil watson on February 15, 2014:

What a fascinating lens! I didn't realize there would be so many adjustments. I think the lack of winter heating would be a hard one for me

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on February 14, 2014:

@takkhisa: Thanks.

three rdworldman on February 13, 2014:

Thank you SO much for all of your wonderful stories about New Zealand! I've just gotten started reading, so I'm sure I will have more comments/questions. I want to move to New Zealand too! Would you be interested in adopting a 50-yr old boy? LOL. Thanks again!

tolbertsf on February 04, 2014:

I am an American Citizen and I have been seriously thinking about moving to New Zealand for an IT Job. I have a Master's degree in Computer Science from an credited University. Do you have any recommendations on the steps to follow. I have a family and would like a new life for all of us.

Sincerely.

Takkhis on January 25, 2014:

I have learned a lot from this lens, it is a very informative and awesome lens :)

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 24, 2014:

@ologsinquito2: Thanks. Nearly all of the photos are my own.

ologsinquito2 on January 24, 2014:

New Zealand looks lovely. I really like all the photographs you used.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 16, 2014:

@anonymous: Tonight I saw a woman barefoot in the petrol station (gas station) and I wondered if I would ever feel comfortable being barefoot there.

anonymous on January 15, 2014:

Very interesting Lens, and I believe we should be allowed to be barefooted when we feel comfy.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on January 15, 2014:

Enjoyed reading about your life in New Zealand.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@three rdworldman: You will really be happy as larry if you come for a visit.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@norma-holt: It's been years, and I am still laughing over the fart tax.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@shadowfast7: Thanks.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@MrAusAdventure: Thanks for the huge compliment. I would imagine Kiwi life to be somewhat similar to Australia. Funny, ten years on, so many of these things seem normal to me now.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@ChocolateLily: Thanks. This was a fun one to write.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 12, 2014:

@HSP Connections: We spent a bit of time in Spain and the UK too. Actually, if there is one place I would move to (if I ever were to move again) it would be Spain.

Peter Messerschmidt from Port Townsend, WA, USA on January 12, 2014:

I really enjoyed reading this-- thank you! I'm a Danish national who lived many years in both Spain and the UK, and now call the US "home," although if there's ONE place I'd consider moving to (if we were ever to move again!) it would be New Zealand (have a lot of friends there). Anyways, what you shared here sounds like a variation on parts of the UK with a little local who-knows-what thrown in.

ChocolateLily on January 11, 2014:

Just popped back to tell you congrats on a well deserved lens of the day!

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on January 10, 2014:

Congrats on LOTD. Great Lens. This is the first LOTD that has appealed to me in a long time! :-)

Much of what you are describing works with Australia too, except that we call flip flops thongs, jandals is just weird! What about their jutter bars? lol (Speed humps to us Aussies)

I think much of what Americans think of as weird could be applied to all English speaking countries that evolved from England. The USA seems to be the one that changed so radically from all the rest. We others can adjust from country to country with less difficulties than Americans can.

Also, we can adjust to the American way of life easier than you can to ours as we have been bombarded with loads of American TV all our lives. So we know what those little differences are and can ask for jello instead of jelly and so forth.

Sure Temp on January 03, 2014:

loves this! < -

norma-holt on January 02, 2014:

Really great lens. Most of those saying you listed are also from Australia. I am still laughing over the fart tax. In Australia it's called the carbon tax but it applies to something quite different. Congrats on LOTD. Well done mate.

three rdworldman on January 02, 2014:

I love this lens! My Dad got me interested in New Zealand years ago, and told me I really needed to visit there someday. Sadly, he never did himself, but he watched all the Travel Channel, Discovery & History shows about New Zealand that he could! Cheers, "Happy as Larry" lol

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 01, 2014:

@Dressage Husband: Cheers mate, and big ha ha, English is not the same everywhere. Thanks for sharing your story here.

Rhonda Albom (author) from New Zealand on January 01, 2014:

@BeccaB LM: LOL - It is shocking how cold some of the houses are in winter.

BeccaB LM on December 31, 2013:

Humorous lens, ty! I had a kiwi boyfriend once who was new to the US - now I know why he was always complaining about how hot the house was!

Kiwigirl from Franklin on December 31, 2013:

Enjoy living the dream.it's simply a beautiful country. There are plenty of worse countries in the world to live.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on December 31, 2013:

I loved my visit to New Zealand and I appreciated the good memories from that time with this lens. Well done!

stick-man lm on December 31, 2013:

I really liked this lens. Fart taxes are funny. And I liked "off with the fairies."

DebMartin on December 31, 2013:

Oh now I really, really want to visit NZ.

faye durham on December 31, 2013:

Congrats on lens of the day. I enjoyed reading it and the adjustments you've made. I think going barefoot is a good idea - lots of health benefits from earthing and living close to the earth. I would love to visit New Zealand someday.

Dave Sumner from United States on December 31, 2013:

Thank you so much for this great lens. Your award was well deserved and being pretty new I can only hope to some day make one that even approaches how nicely this went together. I really enjoyed your idiom and butter section. I am American but attended university in England and your lens brought back fond memories of learning to spell past tense with a "t" and beans for breakfast, among other things. These are the things that make travel so fun and, of course, though we and our friends in the UK and former Commonwealth countries like to take fun jabs at one another the differences between us are just minor enough to keep us each interested in the others. I hope some day to visit New Zealand and your lens just encourages that desire but, like you, I really hate being cold indoors! Cheers, Dave

PriyabrataSingh on December 31, 2013:

Congratulation on getting Lens Of The Day. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences through the eyes of this lens. It is true to be a great adjustment to New Zealand.

WebMarketingPro on December 30, 2013:

What a great lens. LOTD well deserved.

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on December 30, 2013:

Are you kidding us, they have a fart tax! That is so funny. I love your lens, really an eye opener. I tried to like it but apparently they put a cap on how many likes you can share in a day.

NuttSoRuff on December 30, 2013:

Congrats on LOTD. This was a very interesting lens...thanks for sharing.

Smili from Franklin on December 30, 2013:

Well done on winning LOTD, New Zealand is the best place on earth..you are very lucky to be living there.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on December 30, 2013:

Congrats on LOTD and a wonderful intro to Kiwi lifestyle. My Irish grandma served pb and butter plus we often enjoyed fried eggs with baked beans for supper so some influence must come from the UK. Sounds like a great place to live as an ex- pat.

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on December 30, 2013:

Hi I enjoyed reading about your life in New Zealand. Congrats on LOTD and the Purple Star.

penny-richens on December 30, 2013:

This was a great laugh today, I'm not just saying that. I have a couple friends from New Zealand, I've experienced the food. To tell you the truth it's pretty similar to the stuff we eat in Wyoming. I have to wonder if it is some sort of sheep herder thing? Pork and Beans on toast was served in the lunchroom once.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on December 30, 2013:

Loved the lens. As a British living here I can identify with a lot of it

anonymous on December 30, 2013:

Fun lens. Congratulations on getting LotD and the Purple Star!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on December 30, 2013:

Congrats on LotD! Well Deserved, for sure!

CrazyHomemaker on December 30, 2013:

Great lens! Congrats on LOTD! I got a chuckle from a lot of your writing. Thanks for raising my spirits.

mel-kav on December 30, 2013:

Very interesting - Congrats on lens of the day!!!

anonymous on December 30, 2013:

Congratulations, Rhonda! Well deserved. Enjoyed reading of your adjustments. As a Kiwi it is funny to read of how others see us sometimes.

traveldestinations on December 30, 2013:

Congrats on your LOTD! Well deserved.

Delia on December 30, 2013:

Congratulations on LOTD! What an informative and enjoyable read! It's always hard to adjust in a move to another country...Years ago we came from Cal. To the Midwest via Missouri then Wisconsin, at first I felt like I was in another country...we are still adjusting to the weather and that's since '83. lol!

Chip_Westley on December 30, 2013:

Enjoyable read! I've been to Perth, Australia. New Zealand sound much different!

Marie on December 30, 2013:

Fantastic read. New Zealand is one of the countries we've toyed with emigrating to from the UK. I think there would be less adjustments for us in terms of language since they use many words that we do. We're not planning a move yet but this is useful future info. Thank you and congrats :)

sGirl2 on December 30, 2013:

What a fun lens! Thanks for sharing. I don't know if I could adjust to hanging my laundry or being cold indoors but the rest sounds great. I know my kids would also adore the bare feet option (I probably would too, since I wouldn't be constantly searching for their lost socks! )

getmoreinfo on December 30, 2013:

This is a very interesting story about your experiences in New Zealand and you had me laughing at the fart tax.

Carol Houle from Montreal on December 30, 2013:

I think butter and fart tax, along with small everything else will surely stick in my noggin when I think of New Zealand. As for the mammogram story, it's free for us here in Canada and we're also topless. Next time slip her a few bucks and ask for a robe. Fabulous lens!

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on December 30, 2013:

This was so much fun to read! I have an American friend who moved to Australia 6 years ago, and she keeps all her friends up to date with the amusing differences between US and Aussie culture. She loves it there too, but had to learn a lot like you have with NZ.

seleen fouad on December 30, 2013:

I love your lens. thanx for sharing

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on December 30, 2013:

What a fun lens to read. Thanks for posting it and congrats on LotD. It is so different to think of single pane glass and no heaters! But so interesting to learn the differences. Enjoy it!

calconcrete on December 30, 2013:

How did you adjust to NZ's high socialist taxes?

Patrick

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on December 30, 2013:

I think for me it would be adjusting to the cold, we live in Western New York with plenty of cold weather. We do have central heat, but I'm always trying to keep warm in the winter. By the way I have a good friend Larry! Thanks for sharing this very interesting story, and Congratulations on LOTD!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on December 30, 2013:

Love this and all your other writings on living in NZ. Congrats on LotD

dahlia369 on December 30, 2013:

Cute, I enjoyed reading about your experience. Keep having fun and keep us posted... ;)

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on December 30, 2013:

Hi Pukeko! Loved reading about New Zealand. Congratulations on LotD! :)

Jogalog on December 30, 2013:

Congratulations on LOTD! I found it a really interesting read and lots of the things you mention, especially to do with language are the same in NZ as the UK.

katiecolette on December 30, 2013:

Congrats on LOTD! Very well deserved!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on December 30, 2013:

I'm surprised there was mayo on the hamburger. The sandwiches I had were butter, not mayo. The beet root was a shocker, all right.

RinchenChodron on December 30, 2013:

I read every word (which often I do not). Enjoyed this a lot! Well earned Purple Star.

Sue Dixon from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK on December 30, 2013:

I've still not made it to NZ. Would love too. Good on ya for LOTD- you must be happy as Larry (as we say in the UK too)

kdmarshall lm on December 30, 2013:

Spot on. Sounds lovely living there.

gottaloveit2 on December 30, 2013:

Very interesting. You're very brave to move all that way - I can't even seem to get out of the house I've been in almost 20 years now.

tonyleather on December 30, 2013:

What a fascinating lens! The transition cannot have been easy, but you obviously have adjusted well to your home. Enjoyed reading this a great deal!

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on December 30, 2013:

I emigrated to Canada after getting married to a Canadian and had a similar culture shock. I found your Kiwi lens amusing as it was the exact reverse for me as Canadians speak American and The Kiwi's speak English! LOL.

Moving to New Zealand would not be a problem, it just sounds like Britain 20 to 30 years ago. Coming to Canada had me confused (still sometimes I am) as I too had assumed we all spoke "English" Ha Ha! We do not we all have weird and wonderful expressions. I was brought up in England and still do not have the faintest idea who "Larry" is. Well done on the lens of the day. At least you have Internet access in NZ I had to wait over 10 years to get "High Speed" (It is still a slow satellite link!) due to rural living(3 kms from the nearest town!).

My mother living in the UK in a similar situation had fiber optic over 30 years earlier!

What a fun and interesting LOTD. Good on ya!

anonymous on December 30, 2013:

Thank goodness fart tax was dropped, Aussie might have stolen the idea if it went tHrough

Max Globe on December 27, 2013:

Very interesting to read, you are very funny) I used to think about relocating from UK to New Zealand. Now I wonder if I missed out.

TravelTourist on December 18, 2013:

As an Australian you really made me laugh as we find our small neighbours somewhat funny to begin with and everything you listed is just so true. I guess that quirkiness is what makes New Zealand such a great place, as well as the beautiful wild countryside and the friendly people and easygoing lifestyle.