5 Things I Didn't Expect to be Different
It’s time for another round of “5 Things I Didn’t Expect to be Different.” Little things make a big impression when they’re not what you’re used to.
Father’s Day - I’m posting this one first because we just celebrated Father’s Day this weekend. Unlike Mother’s Day, which is celebrated at the same time in New Zealand and the US, Father’s Day is not the third Sunday in June here. It is the first Sunday in September, so this year it was held on September 1. There are only three other countries that celebrate it at this time: Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. I’m just perplexed as to why Mother’s Day would be the same, but Father’s Day is different. It’s a mystery.
Marshmallows - I was raised on jet-puffed, fluffy white marshmallows. Sometimes they were big and perfect for s’mores and sometimes they were mini and ideal for hot chocolate. But they were always, always white. In New Zealand, that’s not the case. Bags of marshmallows come in one size (large) and two different colors (white and pink). But bags aren’t white or pink. They are an equal mix of white marshmallows and pink marshmallows. My daughter - a four year old obsessed with all things pink - is thrilled.
Texting/typing protocol - I inwardly giggle every time I receive a text message or email that beings with “Hello Madeline.” It technically isn’t funny at all, but I always visualize a day in school when everyone is taught that the proper salutation at the beginning of any text or email is to state “Hello + Recipients First Name.” In the US, I never started a text with a former salutation, and my emails - especially if informal - may have no salutation or just the recipient’s name.
Paint Matching - In the US, paint matching was something done at every hardware and paint store around. Want to match a wall to a throw pillow? No problem. Just bring the throw pillow into the store, scan it, and come up with a custom RGB code to mix paint. I can’t find that anywhere in New Zealand. I went into a dedicated paint store today to try to get paint to match a bookshelf in need of some repairs, and I ended up leaving a shelf there so they could manually mix different paints and see if they could make a match. It is very 1975.
Caesar salads - Shockingly, even the prescriptive caesar salad is a little bit different here. (And IMHO, better). In addition to the simple combination of romaine + caesar dressing + parmesan cheese + anchovies if you’re lucky, the Kiwi version of a caesar salad also includes large pieces of bacon and egg, either hard boiled or poached. I prefer the poached variety as a little runny yolk combined with bacon and parmesan is divine.
So there you have it. Five more quirks about life in New Zealand that are just a little bit different than in the US. What have you noticed that is different?