Good Kiwi Stuff

airnzreboot.jpg Air New Zealand’s fancy on-demand entertainment system, just what you need on a fourteen-hour flight (although it runs on Windows, so when it crashed I was left staring at a boot screen) • Good fish and chips, including the wonderfully disgusting object that is the battered deep-fried pineapple ring • Isaac Freeman‘s drily witty blog and comics • Anzacs, afghans, toffee pops, and jaffas–the latter make all movie-going complete • Friendly ATMs that play video clips on their TV screen, which for some reason reminded me of Bladerunner • A bus trilogy: advertisements on the side panels of bus shelters that change every few minutes by spooling up from a roller, which is also a bit like Bladerunner, but a low-rent Edwardian sort of Bladerunner • GPS units on buses (a Kiwi invention, everyone will tell you) that lets you read the ETA off a monitor while you wait • Apologetic buses: when not in service they display SORRY as their destination • Meaty bacon, made from happy meaty pigs who have never heard of a hog lagoon (look it up, but not just before eating) • There have always been New Zealanders who, like me, are a bit fanatical about native plants, but this attitude now seems to be mainstream, with city councils putting tussock, flax, three lancewoods and a cabbage tree on every scrap of land plug.jpg• Gourmet food (laksa, ostrich, local wine and olive oil) at places that would be greasy diners in the USA • One thousand people paying to attend a panel discussion by scientists on water use on the Canterbury Plains; perhaps that’s a testimony to Christchurch nightlife on a damp Monday, though • And it is intrinsically more sensible for switches to go down than up, and for wall sockets to have switches on them as well (though now kiwi plugs seem big and clunky, perhaps to cope with our grunty 240 volts)

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