5 Things That are Still Bothering Me about New Zealand

Okay New Zealand has not been all bad, and I promise that after this I’ll put up some pictures and write about some of the fun things we’ve done. These are just a couple things that have been frequently causing me grumpy-ness:

1. Prices/Businesses

People told me that New Zealand would be a bit more expensive than I was used to. I can now tell you, for sure, that New Zealand is WAY more expensive than you’re used to. Worse than that, though, is that the businesses seem to be dedicated wholly to making the business owner maximum profit at the expense of his employees and customers. “Food” is the next victim on my list anyways so I’ll use a restaurant experience to demonstrate this. When you walk into a restaurant, don’t expect do be seated and given a menu. There are no hosts or waiters. The only staff in one person at the counter taking orders and one cook. Next you’ll look at a menu only to see that the very cheapest thing is $12. You need to be careful ordering because everything is going to cost extra. Don’t expect free ketchup, refills, or sides. Some places charge extra if you want to take your food to go, and some places charge extra if you want to eat there due to “limited dining space.” Also, I already posted the picture of the place charging 15% extra because it was the day after a holiday. Then, since there’re only two people working in the entire restaurant, it takes really long for the food to come. This is just an example. All the businesses are like this: understaffed and overpriced.

2. Food

They eat mostly British food in New Zealand. How is it that the British colonized India just to make their food have flavor, and it still tastes like nothing, absolutely nothing?

3.“Free Spirits”

Okay I get it, you’re a free spirit, but you’re in a restaurant. Put on a shirt and shoes. The food is hard enough to choke down as it is without looking at your hairy feet and pimply back.

4.Other Travelers

I didn’t have much experience with “people” in Ecuador so this might not just apply to New Zealand, but all travelers in general. My peers seem to me to mostly be people who had trouble making friends in high school, who dropped out of college, and now have their daddy’s credit card because they need to travel to “find themselves.” So they go around repeating what they heard their professor say in their first semester, freshman political science class and proclaiming that the world would be a better place if everybody was like them. There would be fewer wars, which is great, but there would be a lot fewer of all of the things that allow society to function too. In all fairness, we have met some nice, generally interesting people as well.

5. “WWOOFing” in New Zealand

WWOOF stands for world wide opportunities on organic farms. When I looked online for pictures of this, I saw people all over the world working on organic farms. I made the fatal error of assuming that I would also be working on organic farms. However, in New Zealand, WWOOFing has taken on a new meaning. WWOOFing hosts in New Zealand have consistently been business owners who don’t want to pay their employees and people who want a free, personal landscaper. I’m bummed about this because the website made it look like I would be learning about sustainable agriculture and making a difference and stuff.

Sorry I just needed to get that off my chest. Now I can start talking about all the fun we’ve had!

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