Saturday, April 14, 2012

Random Kiwi Stuff

Did you know that NZ is in the middle of a national crisis?

Although earthquakes may have shaken Cantabrians to within a millimetre of insanity, this latest tragedy has touched everyone in the country. Even Aucklanders. Ex-pats are also affected. It's pretty serious.

The country is running out of Marmite!

Marmite is a yeasty spread that foreigners hate. Kiwis are born with a gene for Marmite appreciation* and everyone eats it on toast for breakfast**.

The Sanitarium factory was trashed in Quake 2 and that's where all country's Marmite is made (grown? created? received from aliens?). I personally have not seen Marmite in the supermarket for weeks. You just can't get it in Christchurch and Miss J had to leave the country without her usual stash.

Fortunately, the Marmite people have released an informative video about how to get through. The advice? Don't Freak. Wise advice.

As well as running out of Marmite, we have all been forced into doing something unnatural, for which our Marmite-depleted brains were not equipped: thinking while driving.  

At 5 a.m. on Sunday the 25th March, there was a change to the give way rules. For 25 years, I've been driving around, more or less on autopilot, giving way to the right - that is, if someone is coming from your right, for whatever reason, you must give way. This rule has caused havoc for tourists, that tend to go around not giving way to the right and causing accidents. Therefore, the rule has changed.

I can't even tell you how many times I've broken the law in the last few weeks. And, I'm not the only one. A few times, I've remembered that I have the right of way, then nearly copped it in the driver's door by someone following their own auto-drive mental program.  Yesterday, a whole row of cars forgot about it and streamed in front of me, turning from the right. Technically, I could have just put my foot down and been obeying the rules, but I'm not suicidal.  

I've also had stand-offs at intersections, myself and another driver peering at each other, wondering if the other is going to do it the new way or the old way, then communicating via hand signals: "YOU first".  

Changing the habit of a lifetime is hard enough, even when the whole country is in it together. It's a bit like changing your eating habits, huh? Only in that case, it's usually just you in a world that is still giving way to the right. Or, giving in to the fish and chips.

In the sage words of Dietgirl: "Everything is a metaphor for weightloss"***

* Speculation, but it's probably true.
** This may be exaggeration.


  1. Hmm. I tried Marmite several times as a child and practically spat it out. That stuff just ain't Vegemite. Funny how very similar the two are, and yet...not.

    1. That's what Gabriel did when I tried him on it. The look on his wee face! Haha. It's the Euro genes I think. His big sis just loves Marmite and so do I, even though I only eat it now and then, seeing as generally you smear it on something involving processed carbs. It's sooo yummy. Vegemite is just..... not right, somehow. It's um... sharper tasting. Mum even used to make a Marmite drink, just Marmite and hot water.

  2. Wow, really interesting to hear about your experiences with the give way rules changing - I think I may have had one stand off on the day that the changes were made, but other than that, everyone I've encountered it has been following the new rules. I keep waiting for something dramatic to happen with a non-follower o_0

    1. I think part of it is just that Chch people have gotten used to making it up as we go along. On any drive to anywhere you encounter roadblocks, intersections and roads re-routed using road cones, lights out, roundabouts being fixed, detours. We have pretty much forgotten how to follow any rules at all.. :D It's another planet down here.

  3. They changed the road rules? Serious. I would never cope.

  4. Haha the marmite thing is hilarious.

    I just found your blog via Fitnessista's comments. Figured I would say hi because it sounded like you were from NZ (talking about the student loans). I'm in Auckland now (from the US) so it's nice to find bloggers in NZ! You have a new reader in me!

    1. Woohooo! Are you living here now? I am already a subscriber to your blog, BTW.

  5. Hah, that's funny! I spent a year in New Zealand and LOVED IT (and miss it every day), but I really can't get my head around how you people can eat that Marmite and Vegemite stuff! :) I guess it's a bit like some of the food items we eat up here in Norway, though - we love our brown cheeses and salty lollies that most other people seem to absolutely hate.

    I hope you get your Marmite crisis sorted out soon, though! I know that stuff means a lot to you guys! ;-)

    Have a great day in beautiful Christchurch, Sara!

    1. Well.. that just proves you must have 'the gene' for marmite-ness. :D I have eaten some cheese in Switzerland that made me doubt the sanity of my hosts. I would love to visit Norway, even though I'm not much of a fan of cold weather... Thanks for dropping by my blog. I'll have a look at yours.

  6. Anonymous9:24 pm

    nice idea.. thanks for sharing.


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