Thursday, August 14, 2008

Old Zealand

Regular readers of this blog (to be honest, I don't know if they still exist) will know that, occasionally, I like to have a bit of a moan.

And though the following entry may well look like a moan, it's not. And while it may document and detail annoyances, niggles and beefs, it is most definitely not a moan.

Nope. Not a moan. It's just not serious enough. But here goes:

I am beginning to think of New Zealand not so much as a 3rd World Country, or even a 2nd World Country, but more as a 1.5 World Country.

It's a country where everything is around 34% less efficient, less effective, less functional. I hesitate to use the word backward because, well, it's offensive. But perhaps lagging would be more appropriate (or maybe even lacking).

Here's just a few examples:

* Supermarkets are apalling. Drab, cramped and staffed by indifferent zombies. Last week Louise asked an employee where the tacos were. He shrugged and said "I dunno".

* Communications: misconnected calls, inoperative and inaudible phones, hilariously expensive mobiles, and 256k Broadband. Truly a modern oxymoron. 256k. Broadband.

* Journalism: incorrect captions, punctuation errors, photos printed upside down and, in some cases barely-literate articles. " I liked The Dark Knight. It was really good!!!!! I liked the bit where the man dressed as the bat punched the other man and the other man went aaaargh!!!!"

* TV: the two new formats unveiled whilst I was here were...wait for it.....Stars in Their Eyes and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. First shown in the UK in 1989 and 1999 respectively. Presumably, Blankety Blank and Take Your Pick will be next year.

I hasten to add this is not in anyway a comment on the people. In fact part of the the problem is that with 4 million people in the whole country (that's a 1/3rd of London), statistically their top 10%, their high-flyers are simply less in number.

And alongside human rights violations and American foreign policy, it seems churlish to moan about such triviality, but its just a simple observation that alongside the relative functionality of say London, Tokyo and even Sydney, NZ...well...specifically Auckland seems a bit lax.

Can't wait for the mountains, the snow and to meet more of the people. I think that's where NZ's strengths lie.

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