Thursday, December 19, 2013

Alone at the Bottom of the World (part 4)

New Zealand:
Where they speak English, and Understand American

This statement was in a brochure intended as a comfort for hapless traveling Americans. The trouble was, the company found that many Americans had...

Never heard of New Zealand?? (Oh dear). I am embarrassed now to reveal that in 1972, I was one of those. (This bears no reflection upon my Geography teachers, who tried in all good faith to insert knowledge). But I made up for this deficit by falling entirely in love with the beauty of New Zealand, its people, their slightly-gentler-than-Aussie ways, and their food. 

Oh - NOT!!!!!!

At least not at first. I think it just took a bit of time to get used to beans-on-toast for breakfast (and creamed corn-on-toast, and then spaghetti-on-toast!). A letter home noted that our first lunch consisted of white bread, scones, tomato soup, and pancakes. No one could understand when the Americans asked for syrup.

I am not making fun of this food, I'm really not. Given time, I began looking forward to it. I grew to especially like Tuesday's generous servings of sausage and mash for dinner, which my American friend absolutely refused to eat. I took to eating hers as well as my own. 

Someone said that they had 'gained a stone' during the course of that year...  Oops! was that me? (Do you know what a stone is, my friend? It is NZ-speak for 14 pounds. *ahem*). 

I think every American young person should spend a year, if they can, in a country not their own. The uniqueness of other people and other places can paint a panorama never dreamed of. The yawning teenager becomes aware that he or she is not, after all, the only Focus of the universe.

Perhaps their parents wouldn't even recognize them upon their return. And not just because of the stone they may have 'collected' while they were away!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

                           Brochure on this pate is my own, from papers gathered during 1972-1973


  1. Talk about a carb-loaded lunch! Did you pour tomato soup onto the pancakes?????

  2. I think we just put butter and maybe jam onto the pancakes. They were very like our American pancakes except they were small. And of course, no syrup was forthcoming.