Sunday, August 11, 2019

So Kiwi

A friend who's spent time in NZ used that expression in an email today to describe an experience of incredible generosity from the Wanaka locals. "So Kiwi!" she wrote. 

Caravan mushroom-vegetable soup

Her description rang true to our experience. The woman running this campground told me when she trains her workers for high season she emphasizes to her young employees that their every response will be etched on their guests' minds and, in her words, "That can make or break their holiday." 

The campground is virtually empty now, but at xmas--summer's peak in the Southern Hemisphere--they'll have 6000 campers move through over three weeks. 

Gurnard and blueberries for first meal

A remarkable and welcome hallmark of Kiwi-ism is taking personal responsibility for what other Kiwis have or haven’t done for you, nodding approvingly in response to positive stories, clucking and furrowing the brow in the rare case someone has been unkind. It feels very personal and also like an integral part of the culture.

When Kiwis find out we're from the US, they rarely broach the subject of our current (inter)national nightmare. If we bring it up, they usually say: I wondered how you felt about it. 

I always apologize. Maybe I'm a Kiwi at heart.

Wanaka's Soul Food organic shop

Today we stocked up at this excellent shop for the week ahead.

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