Driving along the coast of the North Island, you’ll see numerous signs to the effect of “Bach for Sale.” While I enjoy classical music, I had a feeling that the signs were not indicating the availability of CDs of the famed composer for purchase. I consulted my favorite resource, an online Kiwi Dictionary for foreigners and sure enough Bach has nothing to do with music.
Bach (pronounced ‘batch’): Kiwi slang for a modest, no-frills holiday home. Known as a “crib” on the South Island.
My understanding is that Jeggings are simply leggings that have been made to resemble a pair of jeans. If that is the case, then what on earth are Jandals?!?!?!?
Jandals – Kiwi for flip flops or sandals
If you go to a dairy and come back with a hot pie, a coca-cola, and a pack of gum, you must be in New Zealand.
Dairy: a convenience store, open early and closes late. A staple of any neighborhood or small town in New Zealand. Some might even sell dairy products!
Since we arrived in New Zealand during the winter months, we were eager to find a place to plant ourselves and wait for the good weather. We chose the Coromandel Peninsula, just east of Auckland, and landed on a Macadamia Orchard just in time to help with the harvest.
Didn’t you know that macadamia nuts are harvested in winter? Yah, me neither.
Along with that little tidbit, we learned an incredible amount about the Macadamia in the 2 months we were on the Orchard. I thought I’d post some of my favorite macadamia trivia, just in case anyone was curious:
- Harvesting macadamias is every 7-year-old boy’s dream job. Grab a rake, climb a tree, and hit/scrape the nuts off their stem so that they fall onto the nets below.
- Raw macadamia tastes a lot like coconut.
- Macadamia Oil is a perfect substitute for butter in baking cookies and bread but is also called “liquid gold” due to its high cost.
- The tree takes over one full year to produce the nuts. So while you harvest, you have to be careful not to damage the flowers for next year’s crop.
- There is an outer shell, called the husk, which must be removed within 24 hours or the nut starts to germinate (go to seed).
- Once the nuts are husked, they must be dried until they lose ~25% of their weight, a process which takes at least a week.
- The shell of the nut is impossibly difficult to remove. We’ve heard of people putting the nut in a vise and then hitting it with a hammer. The couple on the orchard had fashioned a special sort of crank to do the job. Moana, the farm’s Jack-Russell Terrier, held the nut in her mouth until the shell softened enough to crack…dogs are fascinatingly intelligent.
- Macadamia crusted fish and scallops are to die for. As are Fred’s Chocolate Macadamia Brownies.
The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is
I’m the only one!
The Kiwi phrase “Ta” brought me back to my childhood and my favorite Winnie the Pooh character. Up until now, I believed that Tigger and my mother were the only ones to ever use Ta; and it was always a way of saying goodbye: “T-T-F-N…Ta Ta For Now!”
But I’ve come to realize that there’s an entire nation of “Ta” users!! However, the Kiwis clearly didn’t grow up with Tigger, for they’ve put their own spin on the word.
Rather than stutter “Ta Ta,” the Kiwis use the word only once and it’s a way of saying “Thanks.”
Merv: Could you pass the butter please?
Katie: Here ya go.
I have to admit that this is another case in which I dig my heels in the ground. For me, “ta” will forever be used in accordance with my beloved Tigger.
The Warrant of Fitness. It is every Kiwi Car Owner’s worst nightmare…and if you’re a foreigner with an 18-year old van, it’s even worse.
The Warrant of Fitness (WOF) is a certificate which every vehicle must pass in order to be driven legally in New Zealand. In theory, it’s simply a safety inspection – lights, brakes, tires, suspension, fluids, etc., just to make sure you’re not putting yourself or anyone else in danger while driving. In reality, it’s a royal pain in the ass.
Our WOF expired at the beginning of October which meant we needed to pay a quick trip to the mechanic to have our van inspected. Considering the age of our vehicle, we anticipated the need for a few repairs. We had a broken steering rack boot, which the mechanic said he could repair easily, but there was some severe damage to the cross member which he was not qualified to fix.
Mechanic: “In order to get your WOF, you’ll need to get this work completed or signed off by a certified Panelbeater.”
Katie: “I beg your pardon?”
Mechanic: “A Panelbeater. I don’t do work on the body of the car, that has to be done by a panelbeater.”
I suppose when you break down the word it makes sense that this repair would be completed by “one who beats panels.” But seriously? That’s what they’re called??!?!
Kiwi Word of the Day: Panelbeater, also known as an Auto Body Shop.
Katie: We’re thinking about taking a day or two to drive around the Peninsula.
Brian: Do you guys have a chilly bin? You could borrow one of ours.
I had no idea what Brian was talking about, so I kept the conversation going to figure out what on earth was being offered…
Katie: Do you think it’s necessary?
Brian: Sure! It’s always nice to have a cold beer in the afternoon or be able to keep some milk for brekkie.*
*not worth it’s own post because it’s fairly intuitive, brekkie is slang for breakfast.