I think I’ve blogged before about the slightly confusing situation wherein the NZ locals are invariably friendly on the surface but can be hard to make friends with. Personal conversations beyond a superficial level seem to not be encouraged (generally speaking) and met with an uncomfortable silence I’ve often found.
There have been occasions where conversations are very one-sided too because I’m asking questions to try to get a chat going and get nothing in reply. Not with everyone I grant you but with a good number.
Anyway, an interesting by-product of this reserved nature is a keenness to brag. If you think about it, it makes sense…if people are used to not being asked about things, then they will go out of their way to tell you. To me, that comes off as bragging…OK in small doses but really rather boring after a short while. Conversation should be a two-way street…but one gets used to it once you realise what is going on.
I’m not saying everyone is like that but I’ve certainly experienced it a lot. Maybe it’s just Auckland…
I recently met a lady on a boat excursion. Not entirely unusual you may think, why tell me about it?
This lady told me about how she comes to New Zealand (from the UK) almost every year because her daughter lives here with a kiwi husband. Over the years she has made a number of friends here and comes to visit them as well as family. She’d done the boat trip on numerous occasions as it happened.
Still not that remarkable?
OK, she is 81 years old, travels by herself and actually told me how lucky she feels that her daughter lives here so she has the reason to visit so often because she loves it so much. How fantastic is that? To reflect so positively on what life deals you is quite something I feel…perhaps I and others can learn from such an encounter…may we all seek out new adventures and experiences in life whatever our age.
It proves that it’s always worth chatting to a stranger every so often because it can be very enriching…although of course you should perhaps always take the words of a stranger with a little pinch of salt as you don’t really know if they speak the truth, though why lie?
Happy new year to you. Hope 2019 is a good one. Can you believe how long it is since the world was supposed to end in 1999? And again in 2012? And yet we are still here…cue sounds of humanity rejoicing…and most other species cringing.
Below is a curious seasonal safety message by an NZ transport authority by the roadside…nothing like being blunt…but then perhaps it is an instruction for some unpleasant folks…
Hope you are all well.
I am finally coming back to my blog after some time away. New things to say, but maybe not quite as often.
Let’s start with a message of goodwill at Christmas to you all though! Hope you have a good one!
This year will be more of an eco-friendly time for me…very few Christmas cards are winging their way around the world (email and FaceTime works well), I’m not buying plastic toys for kids any more (this year’s fad=next year’s landfill) and am thinking far more about what items I buy as regards packaging and ethics around issues such as farming and palm oil. It’s quite a complex business!
On the subject of eco-friendly, if you have a Kindle reader or app and still haven’t read my first novel, “Baabaric”, it’s currently going FREE on the Kindle Store until Christmas Day so click here for details! A small Christmas gift from me to you…enjoy!
Anyway, I digress…It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Christmas Kiwi making an appearance on here…enjoy! 😊
I went to Tiritiri Matangi Island (see previous post) with a group of 7 other people, 3 of whom I knew. While we were eating on the evening, it occurred to me how amazing it is when a common language and common interest can unite people.
The group consisted of 2 English, 2 Spanish, 1 Brazilian, 1 Polish, 1 Korean and 1 Italian…and yet everyone was united by speaking English and also by a love of New Zealand wildlife and conservation.
It is incredible how a common language can break down barriers and expose us to greater knowledge, understanding, experiences and a deeper insight into other cultures…but I must say it would be nice to have the challenge occasionally of that language not being English.
When was the last time you had a week off social media?
This is a non-post this week. It’s been scheduled (of course) but I thought why not have a week off…?
Social media seems to be increasingly linked with somewhat negative aspects of our culture, including to those of us who are prone to feel things such as jealousy, stress or perhaps are struggling with depression. If social media inspires negative feelings in you, maybe you should take a week off and see how you feel…and maybe reclaim and reuse some of the time you choose to spend looking at it each day for other things that inspire better feelings…one thing is for sure though, these devices are an addiction…they almost seem to substitute for fidgeting with your fingers…I wonder if nail-biting has gone down as use of them has gone up…?
Have a nice week!
I was contemplating recently those moments in life when you feel a sense of total peace, perhaps some people would relate it as a spiritual experience. For me, I think those moments are generally involving communing with the natural world – other species who have total freedom of whether they are near you or not, or interact with you or not, especially in a world where humans predate or deliberately trample on so many of those species without a second thought…considering ourselves superior…for food or sport or otherwise.
It is unusual for me to feel those kind of things with people, but occasionally that can happen too. I guess hugs with loved ones or close friends can achieve a similar feeling. Those moments tend to be quiet also, words having no part in it, fuelling that peace.
In New Zealand, it is notable that a number of the native species (the diurnal ones at least!) are quite trusting and will not be quite so fearful of humanity as the UK. Even introduced species somehow seem more “friendly” as a rule…while keeping their distance. Whether this is because of a later arrival of mankind and differing attitudes or the fact that mankind is proactively working to save so many species in NZ, who knows! Perhaps we should just put it down as a superb outcome and enjoy the mystery and inner peace it can bring.