Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Homesick in London: Things I DO miss about NZ

Aside from the obvious - friends, family, warm weather - these are the little things whose absence I truly notice.

You'll see that this list is much longer than the things I don't miss!

Friendly bus drivers
I'd never thought I'd miss the overly friendly chatty Auckland bus driver, but here in London the silent and caged in driver is a poor alternative.
Yes they drove like manics, yes they could be cranky and weird, but I loved it when two drivers pulled up next to each other and the one on the right would swing open the bus doors and they'd have a good old natter.

Being able to eftpos items for $1 (or less) everywhere
The rest of the world is a bit backward. I hate carrying cash. Back home the only time I had money in my wallet was when I knew I had to catch a taxi.
I'd use my eftpos (debit) card for everything from buying a drink in a bar to a stick of gum in the dairy. Hell, I used to buy a $1 lolly mix so I could get $5 cash out for the bus!
Many London places have a £5-£10 minimum on cards which I think sucks - grrrr. It's so much easier with plastic.

Oh how I long for a drive on the open, winding road with my music way up loud and the window rolled down - in my green Nissan Sentra - best little car ever.
We drove up and over mountains to Gisbourne and hugged the coastal road to Whakatane.
Even just a drive to the supermarket for bread. One day we will meet again.

Stubbies (shorts not beer)
Nothing beats a late summer afternoon lazying around the house in a pair of shorts - stubbies to be precise.
I don't mean the sort that let it all hang out - just short and fun. 
I think my love of this iconic clothing item is genetic - they are my dad's outfit of choice from summer to winter in the garden or going for a walk.
I have a feeling they might be a little too relaxed for a London summer - I may have to hide them until I return to the southern hemisphere.

The English may have invented them, but plenty of folk in London seem to have forgotten them. People actually saying sorry when they smash into you, or excuse me when they want you to move - what a wonderful world!

A proper rain storm
Rain! You call that rain! While often grey and overcast, it doesn't rain a lot in London and when it does it's more of a constant light drizzle.
What I need is a giant Auckland downpour - so loud you have to turn up the tv and so dense you have to pull over to the side of the road. Big fat rain drop that soak you to the bone in seconds.

And of course there are Peanut Slabs, Healtheries tea, St Piers Sushi, Nice & Natural peanut bars, proper fish n chips, pants not meaning undies, places with no other people around, sun at Christmas and smiley faces!

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