"The Kiwi Dream"

Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 | By Kaye | In

We've heard a great deal about living the great American Dream but let me tell you about the'Kiwi Dream'. May I begin by saying NZ truly is a 'clean and green' country, hardly any trash or traffic- and if they do say there IS traffic, its still by Philippine standards anyway- not considered as. The roads and highways are smooth as smooth can be.
The people are generally warm and very friendly, for example- just walking along a footpath and someone is walking past by you , there is a 99%chance they will greet you (and to reciprocate is the usual norm of course).
The population is made up of the local natives called Maoris, ' Pakeha' which refers to Caucasians- who are usually of the european, irish, or english descent, South Africans, Indians, and Asians- most of them Chinese.
There's a lot of funny names of towns and streets too (given you are a Filipino) ,shall I rattle on? ok...there's a place called "Pukekohe", "Aongatete", "Pukehinahina" and the like. Here's one for the laughs- a huge billboard saying "A Slice of Heaven- Pukekohe" ( he,he...go figure!)
The landscape of the country is breathtaking, nature lovers will find NZ a haven. Rolling hills and mountains dotted with flocks of sheep, 'black and white' cows, deers...the air itself is so fresh and clean it hurts my nose when I breathe it in too deeply, 'Crisp" is the best word to describe it. Kiwis are the outdoorsy type of people, they like bushwalking, mountain climbing, skiing, kayaking. Sports is a big thing here, its deeply integrated in their system. And top of the list is Rugby- with the NZ All Blacks of course, followed by Cricket ( which I personally find boring), and still a lot more, too many to mention anyway...
And everybody works, its just a way of life. It isnt uncommon to see a 16 year old working in cafes' , supermarkets, gas stations, well wherever work is available. As for education, schooling is free from Primary to Intermediate (middle school) to college (their term for HS) and when they choose to go to a University, the government provides a student loan, interest free. There is also an abundance of 'adult learners', people my age and surprisingly even older ones who gets a second chance to attain the educational achievement they need. The learning environment is quite good too, as they try to implement a stress free atmosphere- My first day at the Uni, the professor was playing classical music on the background while lecturing, sassy huh?
The climate is a bit of everything though, its a popular saying here that we get four seasons in one day, and yup we do especially in winter. Coming from a tropical country, I love experiencing the four seasons. Me loving summer is a given but I particularly like Autumn because of the golden, amber coloured leaves...reds, yellows, quite earthy.
Special needs people especially kids are well taken care of by the government, they will provide what they need from equipment to nappies and medicine etc...free of charge. That alone for me is quite impressive, dont you think?
Cafe' culture is alive and kicking- take your pick from flat white, to mochaccinos', capuccinos, long black, short black, macchiato or the liquer infused coffees which you can buy for reasonable prices , followed by fine dining, and yes- the fish and chips thing, which is popular with all age groups, not to forget- meat pies, pavlovas, roast beefs and lambs are a favourite. Kiwis love to drink (and overdrink!) so friday nights, bars are choke full of people and that goes on til Sundays, its like a drinkfest or something.
Well anyway thats how I know NZ from living here...and I havent even covered it all ! but I love it. I appreciate everything about it. And grateful to be part of this humble Kiwi dream. Kia Ora!

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