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Observations on New Zealand (II).

By Douglas Sassman.


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On Beer: I had my first beer in the workplace ever on my third day on the job in New Zealand. I felt guilty, irresponsible, delighted. There was a departmental get-together going on, for what reason I canít recall. I slung my arms over the chest-high cube wall, took a swig of my beer, and said to my co-worker, 'If this was America, Iíd be summarily dismissed right now.' and he said, 'Then thank God weíre not in America mate.'

You call that a pastry shop?: Iím sorry New Zealand, but you know those little bar dessert-things that they serve in cafes, you know the ones Iím talking about, theyíre flat, dense, and made to last, well Iíve got news for you, those arenít desserts. Desserts are creamy, whippy, soft, and donít require immediate dental attention after you eat them. Those squares, slices, chews, or whatever you label them, were better left in England.

And those buns with the pink icing on top, whatís up with that? If you took a hunk of bread, put icing on top and turned it in for your final exam in cooking school, you wouldnít graduate past fry-guy. These oft-times desperate attempts at sweets take up valuable space in pastry shops, room that could be made for jelly donuts, cupcakes, and chocolate filled croissants. Throw in a few twinkies under the display case and youíre getting warmer.

I love the lack of advanced weaponry: I love the fact that if I T-bone someone when Iím driving on the road he wonít pull out a gun and shoot me. Because in New Zealand there are no guns. Okay, there are some guns, like on farms and stuff, but there are no handguns, and certainly no 9mm Uziís with laser scopes.




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