sharing an old email

Back in June of 2014, a New Zealander was attacked in Poland and left for dead. I got an email from a Polish resident that day that I saved because it was so sweet. I have no idea who the writer was but I was quite touched by the fact that, somehow (possibly through this blog), I was the recipient of the email. It read:

I just read the news that in Poland in Zakopane was beaten tourist from New Zealand. 

I am ashamed and I'm sorry about what happened in Zakopane. I do not know why some people behave in such a way, why do such things. I am glad that the bandits were apprehended by the police. I hope that the bandits receive long sentences. I also hope that a tourist from New Zealand will also have fond memories of your stay in Poland. 
Probably you do not know this man, but if I could, I would tell him that I am very sorry and I am very sad because of this event. 

Mariusz from Nowy Sacz

It's so nice to know that people are moved by this type of action.


10 years and counting

In July, Hubby and I will mark the 10-year anniversary of my arrival in New Zealand.

After all this time, I still feel guilty by not stopping at every intersection. Although I found that 'yield' signs are few and far between in the US, they are the rule here in NZ.  Most small towns only have roundabouts for traffic control. I have to admit that I do stop at many 'yield' signs out of habit :)

Fortunately, it's been a while since I've walked up to the wrong side of the car, but I still consciously look for the steering wheel sometimes when I come back to the car. :)

I have finally learned that, when we are shopping anywhere, if we need something, just put it in the cart. There are not enough stores shops to compare prices. All the major grocery stores are supplied by only two distributors.

When I moved, here, I knew it would be 'home' for good. I had no idea there would be so many differences in culture but I tried to take it all in stride.

That being said, it doesn't mean I never got frustrated. On 9 occasions, I blogged about my perception of 'rude kiwis'--just blowing off steam, as we all do.  I don't even have the label of 'rude kiwis' in the list on the right because that's such a small part of my life here, but the total views of these 9 posts, as of today, is 24,316 views. One post in 2008 has had over 18,000 views, and still come up in searches eight years later. It has been read many times in the last few days according to Feedjit.

I have a few different thoughts about this particular post. It bothers me that so many people google 'Rude Kiwis' in the first place; it also bothers me that people think this one post sums up my opinion of New Zealand. If you read the posts under the label 'cultural differences' (on the sidebar),  you will see that I tried to adjust with a bit of humor.

New Zealand has only been a colony since 1840, so it is relatively young as countries go. After much discussion, Hubby and I concluded that, theoretically, the country seems to be at the 'teenager' stage and some of the people showing themselves as such. On that particular post, you can see it with some of the comments about selfishness, bullying, the I-don't-make-mistakes syndrome and any other traits that we attribute to kids of that age. Obviously, that doesn't apply to all the people here, just as you can't apply traits to all of the people in any country.

For those that follow my photography blog over at Photographing New Zealand, you know that I find a LOT of beauty here. After all this time, I am still amazed at the sights I see riding down the roads--even the same roads I've been down many times. I have also met some people that are just as beautiful.

I don't usually write posts this long, so, for those who actually read it all, thanks!