I’ve lived in New Zealand for almost a month now, and there are a few things that I can tell you about the place that stand out.
The people here are very friendly. I’ll be a solid 20 feet from the curb and a line of cars will stop for me to cross, waving me on like old friends, barely able to see my face from such a great distance.
The alcohol here is very good. From beer to wine to liquor, the Kiwis know their alcohol. It’s really fantastic.
There are a lot of drunken bar fights. I think a combination of the first two things leads to this…all that pent up aggression and all those delicious drinks are a recipe for fist fights with cops (I’ve seen this happen several times already).
Oh, and one other thing: IT’S SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL HERE IT MAKES ME SICK.
Let me explain.
I’ve been trained to create and appreciate beauty, and a good portion of my life is spent making sure that I am able to surround myself with beautiful things, beautiful people (in the many different meanings of the word), and to live in a beautiful place, no matter what kind of beauty we might be talking about at the time.
But New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND!
You seriously cannot throw a stone without hitting a gorgeous, purple (PURPLE!) mountain.
You can’t turn around without seeing some kind of cute little bird wobbling around looking for cute little seeds to eat.
You can’t take a photo without it being a work of art. Why? Because the landscape in all directions looks like a frickin’ watercolor painting of a landscape. From a hotel. It’s too easy.
As someone who buys things in supermarkets based on the design of their labels and stops to take deep breaths of beauty wherever I find it, I must warn you away from New Zealand.
If you are anything like me you won’t get anything done. You’ll be far too busy gaping awestruck, snapping photos and writing angry blog posts to make it through your to-do list.
Update: December 11, 2016
I recently returned from a trip to New Zealand, and yeah. In 2016, it’s still that beautiful.