Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Culture Clash

Differences between Kiwis and the less fortunate members of our global community:

  • The rumours are true: North Americans really can't operate the sophisticated technology of a knife and fork simultaneously. I was happily eating away when Carolyn said "Oh my God, look at how she uses her knife and fork!" I was the star of the dinner table. Then she had a go and literally couldn't do it. Weird. I actually saw someone who shall remain nameless chase a piece of pasta to the edge of his plate and then use his finger to push it on to the fork. There's where a knife would really come in handy.
  • Americans all seem to think that 'kiwi' is an insult, no matter how often I assure them it's not. The American guy from the hostel made a good point though - you wouldn't go around calling people 'Japs' or 'Frogs' or whatever, so they think 'kiwi' comes into the same category.
  • None of my friends can understand the difference between my 'e' and my 'i' sound. We have endless conversations along the lines of: Me - "So I was talking to this Czech girl" Friend - "Wait, a chick girl?" Me - "No, Czech, Czech, like the country we're in..." They tease me a lot about my accent (they all have normal accents, dammit) but I think this is a situation where they literally can't hear the difference between the sounds. FYI, 'pokies' for 'slot machines' is also very amusing to Americans. And they don't say 'mince' or 'I can't be stuffed'. Learning things all the time.

In a culture clash of a different sort, I went to the Museum of Communism yesterday (at the suggestion of the brilliant Heather). The exhibits were okay, but my favourite bit was a short film they showed made up of archive footage. It was really moving to see Soviet tanks and massive demonstrations in Wenceslas Square, a place I know so well, but which is obviously so different from those days. There was footage of a crowd just standing there doing nothing, then all these riot police just started jogging towards them, and when they got there you could just hear the people start screaming straight away as they started beating them... It all seems a long time ago, but of course most people I see walking around on the streets would have experienced Communism to some extent... Obviously I knew that, but it makes you think a lot more about it being a reality.


  1. At last - realisation from a kiwi that THEY have the weird vowels, not ME.

    Mum xxx

  2. krikey dick.

  3. I didn't say it was true!
    And I ain't the crocodile hunter...

  4. oi punk - guess who was wrong when they denied the ranch that it was michael jackson in the arlington hotel in dublin that night??? YOU. Michael Jackson not only lives in Dublin - one block away from the arlington - but also has been seen around town in various disguises including womens (hehe) and arabian get ups. I TOLD YOU. just like that time you said there weren't bulls in the paddock. i'll accept your apology any time soon. as if NW queen wouldn't know wacko jacko when she saw him, especially with all the years of looking at wacko jacko #2 at close range...

    speaking of NW - there is a real doozy of a poto of Lazy Lohan this week and ranch may require some assistance working out what's what... it's a real dilly of a pickle i tells ya. lemme know when u gots a address or mebbe me try to scan it.

    oh and my boss is ridiculously hot in his piggys uniform and sumone can't concentrate with all the droolin and what not. mmmm.

    ranch out.

    email me. miss you #2 xxx

  5. ps. in continuation of my theory that walk-in no appt necessary no-speakie de english asian hairdressing joints are the best, i went to one on lincoln rd today & what a pearler! 15 mins, $19, no unnecessary chit-chat and the best hair cut i've probably ever had. you gotta try when u get back! 5 stars.

    i've heard rumours there's a $12 dream cut to be had in mt albert, i'll try that next and update you.

  6. Sorry to add a totally unrelated comment to what has been a particularly fertile blog, but I just had to say big ups for the blog mention. I'm trying frantically to think of something interesting to write in mine, but when I do I owe you a return mention. Glad you liked potted communism - Like you I was completely absorbed in that movie they were playing....

  7. Ranch (daren't use your real name or I'll get in real trouble) - tell me at once the name of the place on Lincoln Rd. You KNOW who I am!

  8. Heather - what is your blog?

  9. Chewy? I don't remember a Michael Jackson conversation au? But good good you're correct. And thanks for the gratuitous 'wacko jacko' ref biatch!
    Mmm hot piggy pig pig...

    I have no idea who the last two anonymouses are...

    Ah didn't know your blog was still operational H! Always happy to name-drop, especially if people give me useful tips on what to do in Prague.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. anyway mystery requester - i wouldn't keep the delight of this 'fro cut from no one! i'm uncertain of the name as all i did was walk in off ze street (no appt necessary!) but if you're on lincoln road turn into the block of shops where The Cheesecake Shop (mmmmm) is and you can see it at the end of that block. it's a big shop with a black front. very slippery floor be warned!

  12. Thanks - I'll give them a try. (You're obviously a good detective - they'll be trying to recruit you next, or is that the plan anyway?)

  13. Not an option without having been a piggy myself unfortunately. A short course in forensics next year will hopefully send me in the right direction...

    me thinks gwan that i saw Clapp Clapp Suzannah Clapp (she's the world's happiest chap - where do we come up with this material? gold!) on the news doing forensic investigation. could've been ana cunliffe though, those two have merged in my head.

  14. Fantastic blog! I love reading your adventures,experiences and opinions.. looking forward to having the same amazing time next year. Enjoy and keep writing - it's amazing!! Vicki

  15. Wow the blog's been busy without me!
    Oh yeah, I do remember the freaky Wacko Jacko incident now, full credit to the rancho relaxo.
    Old friends Susannah Clapp and investigate!
    Thanks Vicki!

  16. Hey what about another blog posting gwan - your fans will be taking it over if you're not careful!

  17. Is that a North American thing? My boyfriend, a Canadian who lived in the US for a bit, said that that was an American thing. I'm Canadian as well but I'm Asian so we didn't use knives in the house. He's Canadian via British lineage so maybe it's a North American non-British thing.

    1. One of my friends was Canadian, so I assume I was including him, but not sure, it could just be American.


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