Welcome to New Zealand – Please Don’t Kill Us!!!

Mount Ngauruhoe, Central Plateau, North Island, New Zealand. Ngauruhoe erupted 45 times in the 20th century, most recently in 1977. Now you can see why 'Lord of the Rings' was made in New Zealand... :)

Mount Ngauruhoe, Central Plateau, North Island, New Zealand. Ngauruhoe erupted 45 times in the 20th century, most recently in 1977. Now you can see why ‘Lord of the Rings’ was made in New Zealand… 🙂

We’re used to seeing ‘road snails’ travelling in our country, and although we’re really pleased to see travellers coming here, it’s common for us locals to heave a sigh when we pull up behind a ‘movan’ on the road. We know our country is beautiful, but you have to know that while you’re bumbling along trying to manoeuvre our twisty, hilly roads and look out the window at our gaspworthy scenery at the same time, it’s very possible we’re stuck behind you, envisioning various scenarios IN WHICH WE STRANGLE YOU and toss you over one of our exquisitely scenic hillsides. You see, you might be on holiday, but we’re trying to get to work, to the hospital, return our late dvds to the video store, or any other number of crucial scenarios that occur in everyday life.

New Zealand roads don’t have a lot of passing lanes, you see. So until they invent cars that have helicopter rotors attached to them, we often have to wait for many slow and laborious minutes before we can pass you and get on with our missions. And if you times that by three or four camper vans per trip, then perhaps you can begin to comprehend our strangling fantasies. It’s nothing personal, you understand, we just want you to MOVE OVER!!

What sparked this post off is that I’m subscribed to a fabulous blog whose author does hilarious cartoons to illustrate her stories, and in one of her recent posts she describes a trip she and some friends took to New Zealand, a post I’m sure travellers to New Zealand will find quite useful. You can read it here:

Renting a campervan in New Zealand: Tips and tricks to avoiding utter chaos

Upon perusing this highly entertaining post, I realised that this gave me an opportunity to pass on what Kiwis want tourists to know when they come over here. Please don’t kill us!! This was my message on her post:

 “Kia ora Vy.

Well done for choosing the South Island to go to. All us kiwis ask tourists when we see them – ‘Are you going to the South Island? You HAVE to see the South Island while you’re here, it’s the best of New Zealand scenery!!’

I’m really sorry you got a lemon camper van – this is a good thing to know, so we can advise others ourselves.

A word to tourists heading our way – there is quite a big fuss being made in New Zealand at the moment about tourist drivers. Several have caused accidents lately that have killed New Zealanders, and we’re not very happy about that. Many kiwis are calling for a special driving test for overseas tourists before they can drive on our roads. Because they ARE very twisty and narrow a lot of the time, not what drivers from countries with straight roads and many lanes are used to. There are two things us locals want you to know:

PULL OVER!! If you have three or more cars behind you when you’re driving, pull over as soon as you can do so safely. You may be on holiday, but we’re probably trying to get to work. Not pulling over can cause people to get frustrated and do dangerous overtaking manoeuvres to get where they’re trying to go. Potential accident!

If you’re tired, DON’T DRIVE!! Tiredness can lead to you pulling out into wrong lanes in confusion. Potential accident!

We love having tourists here because we’re very proud of our country and want you to see it. But please don’t come over here and kill us. Thank you, and happy holidaying.

Regards, New Zealand locals. :D”

So that pretty much encapsulates what I’m trying to say here. There are only four million or so of us Kiwis, and it’s pretty sad to think of tourists coming over here to view our gorgeous scenery and bumping off us locals at the same time. So if you’re thinking of coming our way, please try to keep these things in mind – we’d really appreciate it.

Thanks and Welcome to New Zealand. 😀

PS: If you want to learn more about our country, here’s another post of mine that will give you a bit of info. Contains photos of gorgeous scenery. Please pull over before reading…

Beautiful New Zealand – My Middle Earth and a Habitat for Hobbits

One of locals in the midst of a strangulation fantasy...

One of locals in the midst of a strangulation fantasy…


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Tiny House Living – Life Without a Television. The Ice – It comes!!

P1040449 72A lot of people gasp with shock when I tell them we have no t.v.

“Did you see blah blah blah last night…?”

“Nope. Haven’t got a television.”


I do caregiving for a living, so I stay for two days and two nights in a house each week. But even then I’m still not tempted to stare at the goggle-box. Unless there’s a good documentary on, or Bones – about the only drama I like to see regularly, because her autistic-type personality has a train-smash sort of fascination to it, and the other characters make me laugh. The other exception being America’s Next Top Model, but that’s because I like watching the photo shoots that they come up with. In between the shoots (when they’re bitching at each other about who should be doing the dishes or what a cow so-and-so is) I usually wander off and hand out meds or empty catheter bags or something else so much more fascinating.

It’s no hardship though, having no t.v. We do have the internet, after all, which can keep us amused for hours. Any question you can possibly come up with, Google will find an answer to it somewhere. Which is how I know that steam rollers don’t roll steam… Continue reading

Beautiful New Zealand – My Middle Earth and a Habitat for Hobbits

I realised a little while ago that I tend to rave on about places in Asia that I’ve been to – especially Elephant Nature Park – but not really raved very much about the beautiful little country of my birth. So here’s a little rant about my place – Aotearoa, ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. Also know as Godzone by the denizens of the land, or Middle Earth to the world, since Peter Jackson used the exquisite scenery here as the background for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. We may not have elephants here, but we do have hobbits. Yessss, we doesss.

The North Island of New Zealand (Middle Earth) with directions on where to find stuff.

The North Island of New Zealand (Middle Earth) with directions on where to find stuff.

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This is Why I Haven’t Been Posting on my Blog…

Life’s been mad since we arrived home from North Thailand. We’ve been to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Cirque du Soleil, our primary school reunion, spent time with my brother who whizzed over from Australia especially for the reunion, then caught up with an old friend, broke down in his driveway, his lady came off her scooter and smashed her elbow so we loaded her into an ambulance, then we came home in a tow truck, got the van fixed, greeted my daughter who’s been overseas studying and visiting many countries, saw her off again today to Wellington where she’s off to finish her second degree in Summer School and in between all that have planted a garden, harvested some bamboo, done several 30-hour shifts at work and have almost caught up with the washing – I think. Phew!! I am now gravely considering going for a nana nap…

You too can look like this after your holiday…

You too can look like this after your holiday…

Bicycle Madness

Does my mohawk look big in this...?

Does my mohawk look big in this…?

Back in our lil’ home town in New Zealand, we decided to go for a bike ride to the supermarket. ‘Tis a lovely day on a long holiday weekend, and many tourists were out and about. It was amazing how many smiles we got.

Outside the supermarket, a friend did a double-take. ‘I thought you were still in Thailand’, she said. ‘I saw this person with a mohawk on her helmet and thought to myself “Rave would wear something like that”, and then I realised it WAS you!’

Lol. It would appear that my insanity lingers, even though I’m theoretically not here…

Here’s a link to a cool page about bicycle appreciation – BICYCLE LOVE

Serious about bike riding.

Serious about bike riding.

A Big Thank You for Donating to the Elephant Nature Park Projects

A Big Thank You to these business in our lil’ town in New Zealand:

Whangamata Veterinary Hospital for their kind donations of supplies for us to take to Elephant Nature Park for their animals.

Sunny’s, Whangamata, for their donations of pencils and T-shirts for us to take to the free school for Cambodian kids that ENP is developing at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

And Whangamata Library for donating books for the kids also.

Big smiles and thanks to all of you – I know this stuff is going to be really appreciated at the other end. 🙂

Mong Dee keeps bananas at the ready while Sao Yai bathes in ecstacy...

Mong Dee keeps bananas at the ready while Sao Yai bathes in ecstacy…

The Otis Files. Otis – The Final Tail. Or Not…

Otis finally left us at the age of 16. Apparently in her last two weeks she would go and visit some people around the corner who had two huge dogs and several cats. They told us that she would walk up to the animals’ bowls and help herself to their food, then lie down in the garden, and their dogs and cats would all lie down around her. On the last day they found her in her final sleep, in the same situation.

In some of the later photos here, her physical deterioration is evident, but she was still really big on the inside… Continue reading

The Otis Files. Otis, I Notice 7

'You are feeling coooold. You need a warm furrrrry thiiiiing in your bedddd....'

‘You are feeling coooold. You need a warm furrrrry thiiiiing in your bedddd….’

Otis, I notice

Likes sleeping on beds

And sometimes enjoys

Curling up by my head

She’ll come in the dark hours

And prod me to show

It’s time to move over

And share my pillow

She’ll tap me quite gently

With padded wee paws

But if I don’t wake up

She’ll put out her claws Continue reading