Like any other period in my life it has had its ups and its downs. This past year it has been becoming clear though I've overstayed the place. Which is just fine. I had many great times, and admittedly some really miserable ones. This is just life. I leave with many fantastic memories and have lots of good friends staying behind as an excuse to return one day.
I thought I try to summarize for both myself and everyone else my New Zealand experience with a BALANCED tally of my experiences of the country... I will do this through a list of for everything thing I will miss countering it with something I will not (currently if I were to just do this without balance in mind the will NOTs would win by a clear majority)
I will miss all the great friends I've made over here. In particular Clare, Paul and Laura, the Twitch, and my horde of Germans (who are too plentiful to list individually!).
I will not miss driving on New Zealand roads. Mostly due to Kiwis absolute inability to drive properly. They are hands down the worst drivers on the the planet (and I'm taking into account the stereotypical Asian)!
I will miss the actual truly "Beautiful Green New Zealand" with its many awesome beaches, forests, mountains, and natural parks.
I will not miss the propaganda and lying about "Beautiful Green New Zealand", a country that doesn't recylce, pumps its sewage into the ocean, has litter and garbage scattered on the street of even its smallest villages.
I will miss New Zealand winters, as it never dropped below zero for very long and only snowed one or two days of the year.
I will not miss New Zealand winters. Despite the aforementioned warmth of winter compared to the Great White North, the Kiwis don't insulate their homes, and as of such your living or bed room is only 1 or 2 degrees warmer then outside. This can be quite unpleasant when sitting down and trying to relax.
I will miss our current house. Especially the fact that the roof is just a giant glass covered balcony
I will not miss our house in the winter. Again it was the same temperature as outside OR colder!
I will miss living by the ocean and the many beautiful beaches of Dunedin
I will not miss being taunted by the ocean, in that you couldn't really go swimming as it was too cold, and despite buying a wet suit, having to still avoid it due to the cities sewage washing back into shore often throughout the year!
I will miss the road trips around Dunedin. 60% of all the coolest stuff in New Zealand was within a days drive (granted this could be a full on 14 hours round trip) of my house.
I will not miss the Kiwi drivers I'd have to watch out for on these road trips. Yes a repeat, but I really can not emphasis how bad at driving these people are.
I will miss how friendly and awesome the world travellers I encountered were. Be they from outside of NZ or be it a travelled Kiwi.
I will not miss the hostility and xenophobia of the none travelled Kiwis. They seriously put Americans to the test for most insular and nationalistic western country.
I will miss the food, at least the fresh ingredient foods like diary products and seafood.
I will not miss the Kiwi food. As a culture the Kiwis don't believe in spices, and eat very bland meat and potatoes style dishes.
I will miss my work. Especially the self employed system of substitute teaching down here. I was an educational mercenary and had to carve out my living amongst the dozens of independent skools in town (NZ did away with centralized skool boards in the 1980's, so they are all self contained entities for my purposes).
I will not miss my work, in how during slow times I was not guaranteed work and had to endure not getting paid for long stretches...
I will miss all the exotic wildlife down here
I will not miss the locals none caring or outright hostility to the wild. Not all Kiwis were like this mind you, but many who lived in the rural areas were the animals were to be found were shocking.
I will miss New Zealand, for the reasons above.
I will not miss New Zealand, again for all the reasons above.
So with this list done and out of the way, I leap into the heart of moving on the eve of the X-Mas holidays. As a result posts from me here and elsewhere (Traumador in particular) may be slow for a little while.
All the best to you this season (be it winter or summer), and we'll catch you on the flip side...