WTF is a Kiwi & Why Do I Care?

A kiwi is a person from New Zealand...and a bird from New Zealand, and a fruit which isn't from New Zealand. We refer to ourselves as kiwis, because we identify ourselves with the bird. We named the fruit kiwi because it's brown and fuzzy. More about that later.

New Zealand is not part of Australia. New Zealand is not a backward hole without electricity or mod' con's.

New Zealand, AKA Aotearoa, NZ, and 'koiwoilend' is a lovely country to the south-east of Australia. We have some slightly odd native fauna, most notably the Kiwi, the only bird with nostrils at the end of its beak and hinged feathers, a really big bush snail that nobody ever sees, and only one mammal, a small bat. We also have a huge prehistoric bug, more famous in foreign climes as the name-sake for Peter Jackson's outfit, Weta, and a rather a small but absolutely genuine dinosaur, with a vestigial third eye, and a very slow life-cycle, called the Tuatara. The rest of our native animals are rather conventional birds, bugs, and sealife, so I won't go into those.

We also have some rather cool native flora, one of which is a really big tree called the Kauri, another of which is apparently a bit of a pest in South Africa, where it's been introduced and thrives, and is called the Pohutukawa ('the NZ Christmas Tree'), and the last of which is a small tough alpine grass, that nothing eats.

So much for nature. Apart from that we're very proud of our national rugby side, the All Blacks, who we like to think are the world's best, but never win the World Cup. We have a rich and rather artistically talented culture from our Maori people. We also have some very talented yacht designers and users.

We're also known for appropriating Chinese Gooseberries and renaming them 'Kiwi' (because they resemble our national bird, sans beak and legs, i.e. ovoid, brown, and fuzzy), our somewhat stroppy attitude to nuclear power, a refusal to fight when we can make peace, and an annoying younger brother kind of relationship with Australia.

I'm from NZ. I wasn't born there, but I was raised there and love it like mad. I have a Maori motif tattooed on my body in a couple of places, and a very irrational pride in the All Blacks, which has very little to do with their actual ability as a side. Every summer I get a burnt nose, eat many, many sausages, BBQed and wrapped in bread with lots of tomato sauce, and spend whole days completely encrusted in sea-salt and sand. Every winter I wear old school NZ ug boots, curse NZ's housing insulation and ventilation standards, and get sad from lack of sunlight. Every year I buy new games and play them on one of our many consoles*, and sometimes I really like the games I buy and I finish them.

I am going to post the odd thing about those games, the ones I don't finish, and stuff that goes on in between. Sometimes I'm just going to go off track a bit, and come across as a bit senile. Don't hold it against me. I've grown up in the back of beyond, in a country with a flightless weirdo bird and a fern as national symbols, and you have to make allowances for people like me.

If you want to get in touch you can mail me, or comment on posts. I'd love to hear from you.

* I've given up PC gaming for consoles but I'm a fragger at heart

1 comment:

Si said...

Hey. Interesting ramblings - this one makes me feel all warm and patriotic.