Monday, November 19, 2007

Day Off

Today's Sunday for me. I currently take Monday and Tuesday off.
(it's Tuesday here)

I promised some people I'd talk about the "downsides" of NZ... so I'll scratch my head and come up with something I guess. I guess what got me on about this is running into a mate of mine Tom last night. Tom's a Kiwi that just got back from a big tour of the US. He did something like a four moth long trek around the country and into parts of Canada. I'm also working with a guy from Sweden this year, who's quite the cynic.

Here goes.
#1 biggest difference is the internet. Tom put it well... "In the States, you can just pull over to the side of the road and pop on the net". It shocked him at how open wireless networks were because "no one's concerned about someone using up their quotas". See, NZ's still in the buildout phase of things. Internet connections aren't just regulated by speed, they have transfer caps. So once you download X amount of data, you get cut back to slower than modem speeds.

The public access at the Library was also a bit of a difference. Over here, you pay at the library. It's cheap, but you pay. Granted, there's a host of free internet wifi spots in town, but this is Queenstown. Not sure how the rest of the country is.

The wireless spectrum over here isn't ruled by the telco's either. So you have companies like HQwifi offering internet access without phone contracts... much like Google's getting set to do in the US.

#2 Friendly people
Tom's big observation was that there's a lot of black and white mentality in the States. You either agree, or you're wrong. He liked that "immigrants" in the US were much friendlier than the norm and far more open minded. And that arguing with someone from the south about "America's gun society" is well... a bad idea.

Over here, some complain about "the fake politeness". Usually when they feel like "telling someone a thing or two". "Venting" is not allowed. Even if you'd like to tell someone to piss off, you have to be nice about it. I kinda like it. Not being allowed to be a jerk has merit in my book. Guess no one's really gotten under my skin yet. It does have the effect of putting a "surface friendly" in places, but you get used to telling the difference.

#3 when it's cold, it's FREEZING!
America's love affair with gas has it's upside. There's no gas heaters over here. You want heat?... light the fire. Live in an apartment (no fireplace), then you've got electric heat.. and electric is expensive... very expensive. This more than anything else is why I leave in the fall.

Ok, enough ranting.
It's sunny and 70 out. Think I'll go to the lake.

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