19 October 2013

The Anglo-Kiwi Experience - The other side of the Expat story

Mr Adventure-of-a-London-Kiwi not only puts up with this whole blogging obsession, endless questions about post and design approaches AND being dragged around the world in search of the perfect Eggs Benedict, but he is also kind enough to volunteer be volunteered to sit down and put pen to paper (or in reality fingers to a keyboard) in order to set the other side of the story straight. 
 
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In thinking how to approach this guest post, it suddenly occurred to me that this “proper Northern English lad” was the only sheep of the family to marry one of those foreigners. Not just a lass from ‘Down South’ either, but one from the other side of the world - where sheep from our Commonwealth family can be found. I say ‘family’ with some trepidation, as it seems my country’s pursuit of economic gain closer to home left us with an Anglo/Kiwi relationship which is, perhaps, better than we deserve. But we are family, and one bonded by ancestry. However, there is also the Maori heritage that is so intrinsic to my Kiwi’s sense of national identity; though far away and unfamiliar to these shores, hearing her singing the National Anthem in both languages is a reminder that there is more to being a New Zealander than our common history provides. 
 
 
What we share is a similar square mileage which makes us little countries punching above our weight on the world stage – and proud of it. Like the English, Kiwi pride manifests itself in sport, but, whereas a lifetime of disappointment leaves us English with a sense of humoured resignation, defeat for our friends in black is not taken too well! Never mind, it’s a silly shaped ball anyway and, even though we created it, rugby union never did float my boat (oops, better not mention boats – still a sore point!). 
You can take the boy out of Grimsby...
 
Closer to home, our squabbles over which country is best has become something of a sport. Areas for regular discussion include:
 
Food
As our countries are very much cut from the same cloth when it comes to diet, it is confectionery that causes most of the excitement.

I suffer regular derision of our beloved Penguin biscuit as these are, apparently, inferior to the hollow Australian Timtam. I admit you cannot “slam” a penguin, but that is because it is too dense, thus better. Besides, we are English (don’t you know) and would not lower ourselves in such behaviour. No, we dunk instead. Less substantial biscuits, such as the Australian Timtam, are simply not up to the job. (Note to Wife: asking biased Kiwis to compare the two does not constitute “robust research findings”.) Did I mention they are Australian? Case closed.

Lollies – I ask you?! A ‘lolly’ - short for ‘lollipop’ - requires a stick. If no stick is involved then it is a ‘sweet’ and not a lolly. A lolly must have a stick. Case closed.
 

Pronunciation
It’s yoghurt, not yowghurt. Case closed.

 

Place Names
Apparently ‘Braintree’ is hysterical to someone born in Otahuhu. I don’t understand where all this repetition comes from. Why won’t one ‘hu’ do??? Incidentally, Otahuhu is just down the road from Matamata… and yet there’s humour to be found in Cockermouth? Beats me.
 

But back to normality, it’s funny how marrying a foreigner has brought me closer to my home, and to London in particular. This Kiwi is indeed an adventurer, and this has taken us to many previously unseen places. A case in point being the 2012 London Easter Egg Hunt, which, though reluctant at first, had me hooked on exploring hidden nooks in search of these works of art. While the eggs were fun, it really was the adventure that was so rewarding. We are lucky to live in such a famous and beautiful city, and to both come from such beautiful countries. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
 

I have probably exceeded the suggested word count so shall stop there. It’s Saturday afternoon which can only mean football and the intrinsic disappointment. Where’s my pie and pint?
 
p.s. we all know the collective noun for penguins is a ‘packet’; but what is it for kiwis? A ‘kettle’ perhaps? Or, make that a ‘kettlekettle’…

 … I’ll get my coat.
 

11 comments :

  1. Haha....I love the pronunciation and repetition parts! So sweet that he did a post. Aside from a million euro, I'm not sure I could convince my husband to do the same. ;-)

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    1. Just so sweet - he had me laughing for about an hour!

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  2. This was such fun, and well worth the read. Well done and well thought out, Mr. Adventures of a London Kiwi - although I'm afraid that there IS some humour to be found in Cockermouth. Three years into my expat life in London, I'm still guilty of cheeky laughs at Piccadilly trains that terminate at Cockfosters. Enough said.

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    1. I'll let him know - he really is such a funny person any way. Just take the Otahuhu photo for instance.. :D

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  3. it's definitely "yogurt". Like a yo yo. Sorry!! haha

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  4. Haha this was brilliant, I loved seeing this side.

    Besides I think everyone laughs at Cockermouth, no matter where you're from :)

    Hmm maybe...

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    1. Thank you! - he's loving everyones reactions (apart from the Penguin bashing)

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  5. How fun is this! Word pronunciations are often a hot topic in our house, my husband learned English with an English bet so at times my American way drives him bonkers!

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    1. Oh, that must be so funny! What are the most often used ones?

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  6. From a dyed in the wool kiwi who is still living in this beautiful but language deficient country who has much affection for his awesome son in law GO THE ALL BLACKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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