Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New Zealand The Empty Vessel

One of my very best college friends was a New Zealander who now works in Australia. She was tall, gorgeous, smart and funny with auburn hair, a few freckles and an expression that implied she was always up for a little trouble. We got on great and I've always wanted to visit New Zealand since.

Well, last year, my sister took a business trip to Australia and took a side trip to New Zealand where she was hosted by her co-worker's gracious family. They were wonderful, the countryside was sublime, and the natural beauty breath-taking. I have the pictures on my Mac to prove it. But the people generally did little to hide their contempt for Americans. She said she listened as N.Z. citizen after citizen assaulted her with diatribes about how bad America was. She didn't bother to argue. They were full of righteous rage.

New Zealanders, my sister said, valued the environment over all else. Every natural thing is protected. The island is astronomically expensive because like Dean Esmay notes in his discussion of all things Kiwi, they are 1000 miles from anywhere. The world view is, to put it delicately, tiny. Rather than having a sense of proportion, their place in the world, New Zealand is like the undisciplined spoiled baby of the family. She is the center of attention, the cutest, most charming, over-indulged petulant child that everyone endures. Just because no one has smacked her down, doesn't mean she doesn't deserve it.

Americans are noticing the unwelcoming attitude in New Zealand. They'll probably survive if Americans give up on New Zealand altogether and spend their money in Australia. Will they survive if their little corner of the universe gets attacked? My sister said that New Zealand was awash in Japanese and their yen. It's a popular Japanese vacation spot. So fine. But I'm not eager to visit anymore. And I'm not alone.

My girlfriend and her family just got back from France and had a phenomenal time. We're thinking about going over there. Who wants to spend their weak dollar in an expensive, contempt-laden place? There are friendlier shores to visit. It's time to discipline the baby.

Glenn Reynolds says, "Just respond with the sheep-jokes they tell about Kiwis in Australia." Or jokes like this.

1 comment:

sandy said...

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