At the moment I, a Dutch girl, live with a kiwi guy in Australia. Since Australia will soon be kicking my ass out of the country I am exploring my options. No matter what, if I want to stay with my boyfriend, we’ll have to build proof of a life together. Saying you love someone isn’t enough.
No matter what country you want to go to together, they’ll need shared bank accounts, declarations from friends and families, photos and Facebook statuses. Since I have none of the above we need to think about living together officially somewhere. What’s better than my partners home country New Zealand?
I was going to go to New Zealand as a tourist anyway, but besides the Lonely Planet I decided to pick up a book about culture Cultureshock New Zealand by Peter Oettli. The book explains everything, from how to greet people to how to use the toilet and from Maori culture to your standard kiwi. A lot of it is common knowledge for a Western girl like me, but I had a few aha moments as well.
Kiwi’s have a number-8-wire mentality which means they practise the do-it-yourself way. Suddenly it wasn’t so strange anymore when my boyfriend decided to tie his shoes with wire instead of buying new shoe laces. Also, he always tells me to just try things. I am not easily scared of something, but when he suggests I can make a lot of cash working as a labourer I have my doubts. Now I can attribute this to the give-it-a-go mentality.
Overall the book is very useful if you are actually thinking of living in New Zealand or if you just want an eye opener about kiwi folk. It is an easy read, no hard language, but plain, simple words to tell you what to expect. I like the fact that the author uses his own experiences, him being from Switzerland, and gives us examples of funny situations he’s encountered in NZ. Not really a book for the temporary traveller, but definitely for the expat to be.