I’ve crammed a lot of the country into my time here, so I feel I’ve seen a pretty good cross-section of New Zealand at this point. I have to say, it reminds me a lot of some of my favourite places to travel – BC, California and Hawaii – which is a very good thing. While I’ve been hearing a lot about the Maori history, I like to imagine that this place came about somewhat differently (and I have a lot of time on my hands on some bus rides, hence the following):
SCENE: A roundtable gathering of representatives from some of the world’s most geographically attractive nations. A discussion, if you will, about what’s been working so far and what needs improvement with each respective nation. There’s a Canadian, an American, a fine fellow representing the Caribbean, and a Relaxed Guy at the end of the table with his feet up and a beer. He doesn’t add much to the conversation, but takes a lot of notes and cracks jokes occasionally.
The Canadian mentions that the mountains, those mountains out west seem to be drawing the crowds. Relaxed Guy nods enthusiastically and scribbles something on his notepad. The American notes that having a variety of national parks, ranging from desert to volcanic to tropical, are working out well. The Caribbean fellow adds that people seem to enjoy relaxing on their white sand beaches and love the aqua-coloured water. “Ah, yes, fascinating, great stuff,” says Relaxed Guy, sipping his beer. The three nations mention that large insects and animals seem to cause some visitors distress, and wish they could get ride of them. Relaxed Guy nods enthusiastically and flips his page over, writing “ONLY CUTE ANIMALS” in large letters. The American, shaking her head, says that for some reason their population isn’t always perceived to be that friendly. “ONLY NICE PEOPLE,” writes Relaxed Guy, with another swig of beer.
The Caribbean fellow turns to Relaxed Guy and asks what country he represents, and what he’d like to add to the discussion. Relaxed Guy, now finished his beer, flips his notebook shut and reveals he’s from a new country, and he just popped by to nick some ideas off the rest of them to create the best country ever. Which he did. Hence, New Zealand.
Sometimes I think I should have gone on to become a history teacher, which was one of my earlier interests. Of course, my teachings likely wouldn’t have been 100% accurate which some might find problematic.