Above is a ridiculous thing. It isn’t new news by any means but in New Zealand is a company called Sanitarium who make products called Weetbix and Marmite. In the UK is a company who make Weetabix and another who make Marmite (I wouldn’t be surprised if the UK products are older but I’m not sure). These products are not the same by content but do equate to a wheat-based biscuit cereal and a yeast extract spread.
Why am I telling you this? Because Sanitarium feel so threatened by these two big UK brands that they won’t allow Weetabix to be sold while clearly named on the packet…and in the spirit of free market economics, the NZ system allows them to disallow the sale of a brand which clearly looks and sounds different (Weetbix are sold in a big blue box and are square in shape). Absurd! Unilever, who own Marmite in the UK, retail their product as “Our Mate” here instead. Somebody somewhere must think consumers are stupid.
It makes me a little suspicious of Sanitarium as a brand when they behave in such anti-competitive, odd ways…although I can’t say I have issues with their products. They even tried to take a small UK importer to court over it. Madness.
You may be curious which brands I prefer…well the UK ones (especially the Marmite…no other brand comes close)…but then I grew up with them so I guess my palate is adjusted to them. 🙂
Whose job is it anyway? Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com
A little while back, I decided I’d conduct a sort of experiment. It sometimes occurs to me that I seem to spend far more time trying to maintain contact with friends and family than is true of the reverse. In all honesty, I don’t think this was any different before I moved to New Zealand from the UK but you had the buffer of seeing people occasionally there.
What was my experiment, I hear you ask? Well, I thought I’d not instigate contact with anyone for a month and see if anyone contacted me, knowing full well that I might not like the result.
And the upshot…I was actually pleasantly surprised. I think the final count was seven contacts (including one family member). Now, put that into perspective with the number of channels which could be utilised by people…Wordpress, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Text, Telephone, Email, Letter (to name a few)…hmmm…maybe seven isn’t too great after all.
Did I learn anything from this experiment? On reflection, not really, but it does reinforce the fact that friendship should be a two-way street and that I shouldn’t be afraid to not be sending messages that often because true friends will remain friends whatever happens. And family won’t change behaviours whatever you say or do… 🙂
I spotted this poster (on an A4 piece of paper which was stuck to the wall of a corridor, I might add) in the entrance to the library of a local educational establishment. It tickled me…largely because the intended target group for the message are unlikely to be reading said poster at all…this is what happens when someone designing posters doesn’t understand people very well…
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 saw this picture on the wall of the gents toilet in a corporate workplace (company name removed)…a bit like a paint colour chart but for your micturition. Interesting idea to get the staff drinking more! Made me chuckle…you’ll be pleased to know I took the photo once I ensured there was nobody else present!
I was reasonably well hydrated at the time…and I didn’t even have to aim at the paper on the wall to be certain of the match!
There’s something kind of odd here in NZ, to a long-time UK resident, namely the activity of washing your house.
You get used to washing cars, clothes and yourself…but a house?
I recently had the drive and roof of our rental property jet-washed. It got rid of lichen from the metal roof and slimy, slippery build-up from the concrete drive. I’ve also had dirt build-up removed from the exterior walls of the property before now too.
I’m not sure if this is a peculiarity relating to timber houses but I’ve never seen it with a brick house. Any thoughts?
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?