Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Talking Like A Kiwi

Saturday, February 27, 2010

One of the fun things about visiting another country is noticing the differences between they way things are done, and said, versus in America. We arrived wearing our joggers (tennis shoes) and we soon switched to jandels (sandals or flip flops). When I was younger they were called thongs but another item of feminine undergarment has taken that term! A teacher I know once told the kids they could bring their thongs for sprinkler day and she was met with a loud chorus of snickers.

When we bought our Nissan Bluebird sedan from Jason at Doug Drake Motors we noticed that when pleased with something he’d say, “champion”. For instance when Mike signed the papers and passed them over, Jason said, “Champion”. You might also hear that something is “brilliant” or “well done”. Mike opened the bonnet (hood) to check the fluids and we were pleased to have a large boot (trunk) to stow our gear.

We purchased a chilly bin (ice chest) for our perishables. We are also learning to convert our litres (liters) of petrol (fuel) to gallons. It is about $1.80NZ per litre, which is about a quarter of a gallon so fuel is about $5.00US per gallon! When we purchase meat and cheese from the deli it is by the kilogram versus the pound. Instead of buying granola to mix in our yoghurt (yogurt) we buy museli. When we first asked about purchasing some ice we were told we’d need to go to a garage (petrol station) but then we found that the New World market had ice as well. Grocery shopping is quite an adventure with many new and different products to discover. Just the other day Mike and I were offered a sample of an Australia Merlot in the grocery store and it was lovely! Lovely is another term we hear a lot as in, it is a lovely day or that was a lovely tea (dinner). When we arrived at the market Gregory noticed the trundler (shopping cart) return area. At the airport we used a trolley (cart) to move our bags about.

As a traveler you have to mind your luggage, wallet and passports at all times because you don’t want them to get nicked or pinched (stolen). Though we haven’t felt at all threatened in this friendly country.

Below is a list of some Kiwi (New Zealander) terms taken from:

New Zealand, Enchantment of the World by Donna Walsh Shepherd

Talking Like a Kiwi

New Zealanders love slang and shortened words. The term Kiwis for New Zealanders started during World War I when New Zealand soldiers went overseas to fight. Kiwis became a quick and affectionate way to distinguish them from the Brits and the Aussies.

Many words are common to all three countries, but here are words you might hear in New Zealand.

bloke, mate - guy

windscreen - windshield

trolley - shopping cart

pudding - dessert (not necessarily pudding at all)

cheers - thank you

crisps - potato chips, or other chips such as taro

busking - performing on the streets for money

good on you - good for you, well-done

trading hours - hours stores are open

dairy - a small grocery store or convenience shop

jumper - sweater

lovely, no worries - it’s not a problem

put in the sinbin - being punished or scolded, the penalty box in rugby

mind your step - watch your step

As we continue our travels down under I’ll have to add to my list!

North up the eastern coast we went on our third day in country. After stopping at an Op Shop (opportunity shop such as Salvation Army and Goodwill) to look for a Chilly Bin (ice chest) we ended up back at The Warehouse (A bit like Wal-Mart) where we found one just the right size. With groceries and fuel for the camp stove (purchased at Hammer Hardware) we made our way to a Waikuku Beach and its lovely camping area. Campgrounds here offer not only hot showers (coin operated) but also a complete kitchen with pots and pans, microwave, toaster, fridge and stovetop. There is even an instant hot water tank for your tea, coffee and hot chocolate. (On our first day here Gregory tried Milo, which is made from malted barley and is an energy food beverage rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, but he wasn’t too fond of it.)

Our Waikuku Beach Holiday Park hostess, Debbie Jefcoate, was from Arkansas so we had a nice visit with her and got some tips for the area. Her husband is from Dunedin (southern tip of South Island) so they relocated back here. We also met Aussies Linda and David from Melbourne who gave us advice on traveling in Australia. Interestingly, Linda is from New Zealand originally and lived in Christchurch for 10 years. She commented that the wages in Australia were often double that of New Zealand and that the cost of living is cheaper in Australia. She said New Zealand is a very “green” and eco-conscious country and this raises their cost of living.

The evening was brilliant and Mike cooked up some rosemary burgers on the barbeque and we ate in the camp kitchen. It got dark around 8:00 P.M. and after reading for a bit we were off to sleep but were woken often by the pouring rain that beat down on our tent all night long. By morning it had cleared out and though the rain fly was covered in bits of the conifers and a few leaves it was a beautiful morning. (One of the things Debbie said that she misses is fall in the States. There are very few deciduous trees here.) We got a coffee and chocolate at the corner and went tramping (hiking) up to the Ashley River mouth and explored this tidal marshland where we found many birds and thousands of small holes in the sand that are home to tiny crabs. We came up to the beach and collected pipis (clam shells) and enjoyed a long walk back to camp where we had our breakfast of yoghurt, museli and toast. On the beach at Waikuku Gregory met Janine and her son’s dog Duke. He got to throw a tennis ball for Duke and had a grand time. Janine explained that she was dog-sitting for her son and that she and her husband live in Christchurch but have a wee (small) bach (holiday home) here. (Bach is pronounce “batch”.) She also said that her husband is from further south and that down south a bach is called a crib. It is all in where you live!

Gregory woke with a sore throat and the sniffles but we caved and let him go boogie-boarding anyhow. The waves were great and he caught quite a few good ones but he didn’t last long in the cold water. He said, “The water sure isn’t warm like Hawaii!” We had to remind him that we are close to Antarctica and that we will see penguins on this trip! We spent most of the day here and didn’t shower and pack up until almost 5:00 P.M.

We all had a go at the flying fox (zip line) at the neighboring park before we headed up the road. It was a blast and Gregory made over a dozen runs! This park also had a lovely enclosed wading pool for the wee ones with shade canvas over top! Just up the road we decided to stop at Amberley beach for the night. The beach was quite rocky but this camping spot was only $2.50NZ per adult and $1.00NZ per child and it still had a toilet with a separate room if you wanted to hang up your sun shower. (Our first camping spot was $25NZ for 2 adults and $6NZ for a child. We did have more amenities though.)

There was no rain last night and it has been a beautiful sunny morning. I’m typing my blog at a picnic table as I listen to the waves crash on the beach. Gregory is still not feeling great but we got some Dimetapp at the pharmacy (it comes in a glass bottle and was $20.00NZ!) last night and that seems to be helping a bit. He’s also trying a lozenge made from 100% pure New Zealand Manuka Honey (black currant flavoured) and known for it’s antibacterial health benefits… He’s had a quiet morning catching up on his journal, reading and playing with a few Legos he brought along. Mike is already on his second book…

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