Amy Tries Again


In Which I Eat My Hat
October 19, 2011, 10:17 AM
Filed under: In Which I Try Again

I was once a foolish individual.  I held prejudiced views.  I thought…well, this is what I thought.  For those who don’t have the energy to click on a link, here’s the condensed version: NEW ZEALAND IS BORING NO I’VE NEVER BEEN BUT WHY WOULD I EVEN WANT TO GO IT’S JUST AUSTRALIA JUNIOR ONLY BORING.

I really am very sorry.

I would like to apologise, completely and unreservedly, to the good people of New Zealand.  I was very, very wrong.  When first this blog emerged from the primordeal ooze, my vague plan was to revisit things I’d decided as a stubborn child that I Did Not Like.  I was going to Try Again – hence the name.  It’s since degenerated into COOL STUFF WHAT I DID and also RANTING IN CAPITAL LETTERS.  However, on occasion, I revisit my original mission, and absolutely everything I’ve Tried Again has been at the very least Not Horrible and at the best Absolutely Amazing And Why Was I So Wrong?

Mainly peanut butter cups. Oh, yeah.

There was a time when I thought New Zealand was a waste of time and effort.  I was prepared to allow people to continue to live there.  I wished the nation no harm.  I just didn’t see any reason why I would want to visit it when there was a vast world of excitement out there.  Of course, by the same token, I thought most places in Australia weren’t worth visiting, either.  GIVE ME EXOTICISM OR GIVE ME DEATH.  I’d realised more recently that this might just be foolish – enough, at least, to make a token resolution to visit New Zealand and have my mind changed.  Then I did nothing.

Nothing, that is, until the other day.  I got back on Sunday from a few days in Wellington for the New Zealand Improv Festival.  Yowza!  It was amazing, but impro (WHICH IS SPELT WITHOUT A V, PEOPLE) is usually pretty amazing.  I had excessive amounts of fun playing with improvisors from around New Zealand, along with a few truly spectacular fellow Australians.  It’s strangely eerie – and comforting – to meet other impro tribes.

None of this really surprised me, though.  I was, however, quite gobsmacked at just how suddenly and profoundly enamoured I was with the city of Wellington.  It is just the right size.  It is green and blue and pleasantly crisp.  There are laneways and old buildings and a big harbour.  There are fjords and good coffee and interesting places to walk.  In short – just my cup of tea.

I learnt many things in Wellington, none of them profound.  For example:

  • my Australian accent is not overt enough to stop SEVEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE asking me if I was from Christchurch.
  •  names of shops, read in one’s head with a novelty Kiwi accent, are hilarious.  The best ones were ‘Fix’ (a convenience store) and ‘Living and Giving’ (a gift shop).
  • Australian money is wrong.  I was scoffing at New Zealand’s foolish coinage (the $1 is smaller than the $2 – what foolishness!) when it was pointed out to me that $2 is, after all, a larger sum of money than $1.  MINDBLOWING.
  • speaking of Australian money, half the shops in New Zealand are exactly the same as the ones at home except 15% cheaper when you translate their prices into Australian dollars.
  • Pineapple Lumps have gelatin in them.  Happily, I didn’t realise this until after I’d eaten some.
  • Electric buses?  What?
  • WiFi can be city(centre)wide, reliable and free.  Get on it, Brisbane.
  • Aboriginal culture really isn’t integrated into mainstream Australian culture in any major way.
  • Football is following me.

The last paragraph of any post in which I’ve recently become enlightened is pretty samey.  I didn’t think I’d like it!  I DID like it!  Hooray!  I want to do it again!  I’m not going to break the mould with this post.  I was wrong about New Zealand, but now I’ve seen the light.  I also note that the budget airlines are doing $130 tickets to Christchurch.  Maybe I should check it out.  After all, I already talk like I’m from there. Bro.

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1 Comment so far
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I assumed you were from Christchurch because:
1) You were at Improv Fest and I didn’t know you from the Wellington scene;
2) I thought we only had two Aussies coming over;
3) Pretty much the only NZ out-of-towners this year were Christchurch people (Eli & Hamish live in Auckland, but still count).

By way of consolation, when I was in Dunedin last week I had two people mistake me for Some Kind of Foreign Native Speaker, probably English or South African. And this was withing my own country! Sorry for articulating all my consonants…

Comment by Robbie




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