I visited New Zealand for the first time and spent 7 weeks there, mostly staying in people’s homes and cottages. Here are some random observations from my trip:
- Bathrooms are astonishingly clean and nice, even many of the outhouses in the national parks or public bathrooms (which even small towns seem to have).
- On the South Island in many areas, you can drive for hours and sometimes not see another car.
- Kiwis are generally very self-deprecating about their country and not shy about pointing out its shortcomings. They are proud of its achievements, but not patriotic.
- When someone describes a place is “touristy”, that means there are great restaurants and they are open late.
- It is far easier to understand the New Zealand dialect than it is to understand someone from the Deep South in the US.
- I felt no frustration, anger, or irritation from anyone. I never felt rushed.
- Ferns, mosses, lichens, and grasses are more stunningly beautiful than I ever thought possible.