Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

New Zealand culture shock

I am experiencing some culture shock here in New Zealand.  I am simply not used to people everywhere speaking English.  I have to talk to people now, ALL THE TIME.  No more wordless transactions at the grocery store, no more constant offensive conversations in public with Greg – because everyone can understand us now.  No more random shouts at us of “Hello Thank you You’re Welcome!”.

And driving a car for the first time in 10 months, on the left.  If I had a dollar for everytime I turned on the windshield wipers or drove into the ditch on the side of the road…

October 12, 2007 - Posted by | New Zealand, Travel


  1. francie-
    can i take you to dinner and pick your brain about preparations for a trip like this?
    i think ive been bitten by the travel bug.

    Comment by mandy | October 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. Francie — It’s time start acting like you don’t understand English. Perhaps, you can practice the phrase, “Perdon, pero no entiendo ingles.” Also, I suggest working on the “shrugging shoulders” thing.

    Comment by Roger and Libby | October 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. We had a similar experience when we left Italy last year and flew to the UK: it was just so weird to be able to understand (almost) everyone. If it really bothers you and you want them to go away, just tell thm “Great game you played against France!”. You should be prepared to run away very fast if they don’t dissolve into tears immediately.

    Roger and Libby’s idea is a good one. We use it with aggresive panhandlers: if they force us to talk, we just talk in Afrikaans. Or I just say a few words in Zulu. Either way, it’s unlikely they’ll persist. Not sure if that will work on a whole country though.

    Comment by Simon | October 13, 2007 | Reply

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