Culture shock of New Zealand x 2

4 Dec

I am writing this blog again from my favourite place in New Zealand…the Bank of New Zealand with its delightful free internet and lovely comfy sofa.

I’m not sure why but it’s definitely true that you only appreciate things once they are gone. I’m struggling so far with this country.  I suppose I didn’t really appreciate the freedom of South America.  I mean in South America you could pretty much do what you wanted.  People randomly sold bizarre items in the street, from legal codes (I kid not..you gotta know your laws in these places), to popcorn, to chocolate bars, to food all served in plastic bags, to the biggest collection of dvds you’ve ever seen…this was fun and created life and atmosphere.

New Zealand is very different.

And everywhere I go in Auckland the first word seems to be “no” or alternatively “don’t”.

Take my hostel.  I am staying in a place called “Snow n’ Surf”.  It all sounds pretty relaxed.  From the name you’d think it would be filled with cool, chilled out staff and lazing surfers or boarders….but take a little walk round this place and you’ll soon discover that there are more “nos” than anything else…I know this sounds hard to believe so I thought I would record the “nos”…and here we go…

Heaven forbid you'd want to skype to call your family..

Heaven forbid you'd want to skype to call your family..

Scary stuff…and after you’ve paid the extortionate rates for the internet…

On entering your room you see this...

On entering your room you see this...

and on leaving it  you see this...

and on leaving it you see this...

and this

and this

and this

and this

If you do want to leave your bag it’s free for 24hours and then $2 a day for absolutely nothing…it sits in an unlocked room with no security…in South America (I know I promised not to say that again!) luggage storage was free, on occasion I left my stuff for a week and have even been allowed to use the safety deposit box in the hostel while on treks and stuff at NO CHARGE.  And this in a continent where the people make a fraction of the income they do in New Zealand..of course when I asked if they have safety storage boxes I was advised that I can “just leave my items at reception..someone is always there”.  There is no system for recording whose items’ are whose and no system of locking it up.  Incredible in a place with more rules than grains of rice I’ve eaten in South America….

Let’s more onto the kitchen..a place of relaxation where travellers cook together, share travel stories and maybe even drink a beer….but not in my hostel..by the time you’ve read the notices you’re well over relaxing….

...at the sink

...at the sink

at the tap but a good sign..

at the tap but a good sign..

on the cupboards..there is, of course, no free food in a country where yoghurt costs $6 and a small portion of cheese $10

on the cupboards..there is, of course, no free food in a country where yoghurt costs $6 and a small portion of cheese $10

another reminder about the dishes

another reminder about the dishes

the potent health and safety risks of cups in rooms highlighted

the potent health and safety risks of cups in rooms highlighted

and those crazy plates in rooms...my goodness...got to be avoided

and those crazy plates in rooms...my goodness...got to be avoided

thumbs up

thumbs up

once in the past someone was tempted to make a sandwich with the free food..this was crazy behaviour..

once in the past someone was tempted to make a sandwich with the free food..this was crazy behaviour..

more reminders on the fridge

more reminders on the fridge

and more...

and more...

more reminders...dont put a blue or green bag in the fridge I think this one means..

more reminders...dont put a blue or green bag in the fridge I think this one means..

more reminders

more reminders

and more friendly, ambience creating signs

and more friendly, ambience creating signs

and on the toaster

and on the toaster

I think this one of my personal favourites..does make me think of who might stay in a hostel like this….

and in the laundry room

and in the laundry room

I’m actually scared to do laundry..think there must be an irresistible urge that comes over you on entry to this room to try to stuff notes or other objects into the coin slots (like the ones that comes over you when you approach the toaster)…look at all the advices on this one…

temptation must be overcome to enter notes in coin slots...

temptation must be overcome to enter notes in coin slots...

and another

and another

It’s made me start to wonder exactly what people try to insert into the bloody laundry machines once they’ve had their mortgage approved to be able to afford to do laundry, dry it and buy the soap powder (currently retailing at a $1 for a few grains)…

And should you be tempted to speed off at full speed from this hostel you are, of course, reminded that…

speed sign

speed sign

Does that mean that you can speed off at 80 since once 56 is the bad number I ponder…..time to leave Auckland I reckon….

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