Here are ways I know I’m becoming a Kiwi (contrary to what you might think from the picture above I am referring to New Zealanders, not the bird)
- The other evening I went for a (short) run through my neighborhood and before I crossed a side street I looked both ways for cars…..the RIGHT way, and without even thinking about it. I don’t know how many times, walking down the road, I’ve looked for oncoming traffic the wrong way and then almost gotten run over to death by a car coming the other way because my American eyes didn’t know which way to look. But the other evening I did it right. And then I started thinking Hey, did I just do that without thinking?! Wait…did I actually look the right way? And then I started thinking about it too much and my brain got all tangled up and confused.
- The other night Tom and I went to see IT (great and really REALLY scary movie by the way. I recommend it. Tom jumped a BILLION times.) and I forgot to bring my nutritional yeast. If you don’t know, nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast that comes in the form of flakes which resemble fish food and have a nutty, salty, and slightly cheesy flavor. Vegans use it a lot as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. I use it to sprinkle over the kale chips I make. It’s also really yummy on popcorn. Especially Kiwi movie popcorn which has absolutely NOTHING on it. The first time I said, “Can you put butter on that, please?” the girl looked at me like I was speaking Greek. So now when I go to the movies I take a little container of savory flakes with me. But the other night, we were in a bit of a rush, and I forgot my popcorn topping and I was forced to eat a whole bag of popcorn with absolutely nothing on it. And I did it. It was actually not bad. Although, when I go home over Christmas I’m going to go to the movies just so I can order popcorn with EXTRA butter….with ALL the butter.
- After months and months of fighting against this New Zealand version of Microsoft Word, I’ve finally started adding the letter ‘u’ into words like ‘colour’ and ‘flavour’. I’m too OCD to abide by words in my Word text documents being underlined in red so I finally just started spelling the words that way. Really, I’m just tricking the computer into thinking I agree with it. But THEN, the other day I was handwriting a short bio I needed to turn in for my new job and I realized that, without thinking about it, I had just written ‘favourite’. So really, the computer has tricked and trained me.
- I ate some Marmite on toast and didn’t think it was disgusting. Marmite is made from yeast extract, but in no way is it anything like those tasty nutritional yeast flakes I love. Marmite is a by-product of beer brewing and it’s a sticky, brown food paste with a really strong and salty flavour. <—–SEE?!Everyone here loves Marmite, it’s a staple in a Kiwi pantry. Even the children love it. We serve it on toast for morning tea at the preschool which is how I ended up having a piece of it the other day. Did I love it? No. But I didn’t immediately have the urge to spit it out and wipe my tongue down with a paper towel so that’s an improvement.
- It’s been really cold here today and rather than just lie in bed and shiver in a house with no central heating, I have stoically microwaved a wheatie (cloth bags full of grains which you heat in the microwave) to place around my shoulders, made a cup of hot tea, and shut up about the weather. This is a VERY Kiwi way to handle the cold and goes against my American desire to find a thermostat, crank it up to a ridiculously high temperature, and then walk around half naked inside talking about much I can’t wait for summer when I can crank the AC.
- I have learned how to use the word ‘eh’ correctly. I don’t care what Tom says, my use of the word ‘eh’ is Kiwi, not Canadian. I have been using the word with increasing frequency but he still doesn’t let it slide. Example: Me: It’s a pretty rainy day out there, eh? Tom: Yup. I bet the weather is pretty nice in Montreal right now. OR Me: From here we’re heading to the grocery store, eh? Tom: Yup. And we should probably bring our moose and our hockey sticks. Tom says that because my mom is Canadian born, my ‘eh’s will forever be Canuck ‘ay’s but I strongly disagree. I have spent way more time in New Zealand than I have in Canada so his statement is incorrect. Plus, I’ve used the word many, many times in front of other people and they’ve never batted an eye.
- The other night I burned my hand in the oven and I said “bugger” instead of my usual string of much more indecent words.
I’m blending right in.
That’s good bye in Maori.