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.

Whether or Not...

Weathermen in Auckland have it easy.

Alongside guitarist in Wham, and singer in Milli Vanilli it must be one of the easiest jobs in the world, simply because with the same certainty that the Sun will rise, and the Earth will turn, it WILL rain.

I've never lived in a city so perpetually sodden, so cruelly hammered by the elements. Yet, conversely and seemingly at odds with this statement, the weather is still unpredictable because, though you know it will stair rod down, you never know exactly when.

Anyone who's popped their head out of the window, and seeing the sunshine, then thinks they can make the 100 yard mad dash to the petrol station for spaghetti hoops without a coat, will usually be hosed down within 40 seconds of leaving their front door.

Similarly, anyone strapping themselves up in Gortex and bubblewrap to defend themselves from a meteorological onslaught is bound to find the daily downpour a few hours late, and thus is likely boil to death in the afternoon sun.