Friday, 25 October 2013

Semester B

Even though I’m technically only half way through my year abroad, as of thursday evening I'll have finished my first semester here! (a mini milestone) Everyone here is finishing classes, handing in final papers – basically the academic year is packing up and people are shipping out, cue  lots of emotional facebook posts coming thick and fast from my block mates about how amazing their year at university has been. All this got me thinking I should do a post to, kind of commemorate my time at Student Village. I still have another semester in New Zealand and I have all my travelling to look forward to, but once the summer is over I’ll be moving into Orchard Park so this is my last time in my room here and my last week here. So this is my summary of my time in Student Village:

People are very friendly. They're also very casual and laid back, which is nice even if a little weird at times as they are 'very' laid back when meeting new people (within an hour I knew everyone's life story and deepest secrets)

Along with this laid back attitude came the laid back dress. Shoes are completely optional in NZ (people go to the super market, shopping centre, lectures, cinema, park etc. all barefoot)

Asian food is everywhere in NZ, particularly sushi, and I’ve been hard pushed to not have sushi every day.

Because of the huge amount of Asian food outlets here I’ve become reasonably competent with chopsticks! (very proud of that)

‘tights’, ‘stocking’ and ‘leggings’ all mean different things here, which was very confusing. (Leggings are called tights and tights are called stockings, but then sometimes stockings are called tights…)

I have watched a ridiculous amount of films here – Kiwis certainly love their ‘movies’, and going to the cinema here is much cheaper than back home (on a Monday it's $7 which is about £3.50)

Everyone says 'sweet as', 'aye' and 'bro' at the end of every sentence for no real reason.

I've become so much more patriotic, England isn't perfect but moving away has given me some major perspective and looking at it objectively we have so much to be proud off which we just don't see or appreciate when you live there (I'm sure that's the case for most countries...)

Disaronno isn’t available in the NZ.  I don’t need to tell you how painful that has been to stomach!

Flip-flops are called 'jandles' and swimming costumes are called 'togs'

There are a lot more bugs, which I really don’t appreciate.

They’re also A LOT more birds, which is kinda nice, accept when they wake me up at 6am by sitting on the bush outside my window..

Avocados – they are on everything here. literally everything, and spaghetti - they put it on pizza?!
Pumpkin. I have never seen so much pumpkin in my life. 
On that note, beetroot (or ‘beets’) are on everything too – particularly burgers?

Roads, oh how i've missed well paved roads - half the roads in NZ are gravel and a lot are just packed dirt.

The stars are so clear here – I’ve never seen so many beautiful night skies (and apparently they get more beautiful on the south island)

Trains, sounds silly but they don't really have trains in NZ, they have 2 as far as I'm aware of. I miss being able to take the train anywhere.

Going catered sucked, me and George spent half our time complaining about the food and as a consequence I developed anaemia (since iron wasn’t a high priority in the vegetarian option)

Also the strict alcohol rules are rubbish 

I know we moan about health and safety, and in some cases it's taken too far, but I've missed basic health and safety rules.. The hot pools? death trap. Roadworks here = terrifying 

There's a lot more racism which has been hard to hear and get used to hearing on a daily basis - there's also lots of swear words which we rarely, if ever, use in the UK which are used in everyday conversations here.

Everyone owns a farm, or almost everyone. Which is really cool, and different since I don't think I know anyone back home who owns or works on a farm.

There are almost no vegetarian options anywhere.

Whitakers and L&P

Everything seems so new here, I must have gotten used to all the old building in Lancaster, but it's strange to walk around entire towns and see no old buildings. 


One week until we set off and we still haven't bought a car or a tent - not leaving it til last minute or anything.. EXCITED!

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