And add me too to the group who is grateful for PA's view on the parts of NZ I miss the most.
And nice explanation, George. Very similar to my own feelings on the matter.
Oooh, thanks for the pointer re AirNZ's direct route to Vancouver. I went to Hawaii a few years ago - great place, once you're away from the worst beaches - when they were doing just two fingerprints. Fuck being fingerprinted like a crim - although I'm dying to visit SF again and maybe head to Seattle, I can do without. I do want to check out Vancouver though.
Does anyone know if they do the fingerprinting rigmarole if you travel by land from Canada to the US, if you're holding a non-Canadian/USAian passport (I have a choice of NZ or Irish)?
Count me in as someone who had massive culture shock initially when I lived in London. However, I had also made a very determined point not to hang out with other antipodeans - expedited when the only two people I knew buggered off to Belgium - which was kind of not the best strategy for someone as introverted as I am.
Of course, our culture still has tons of stuff from the UK embedded in it, but it's far from being the same. I will say that London's multiculturalism is one of its more positive aspects, especially when you compare it to Canberra's homogeneity.
Anyway, after a couple of extremely depressing years, I made friends with other kiwis and assorted saffas and Aussies, and my god, that made a difference.
After nearly 5 years there, I was home for 18 months (it's still "home"), and now I've been here in Australia for exactly 5 years. I came here purely because of my ex partner, and I'm staying - for now - because I'm doing pretty well career-wise, and want to get that a bit more established. Also, fuck returning home to the Nats, although this govt doesn't seem to be quite as bad as the previous National incarnation.
(I will say the kind of people from kiwiland who want to live on the Gold Coast deserve it - maybe we should just make that the dumping ground for all crass arseholes in Australasia, and perhaps spin it off into its own dog-eat-dog "financial liberalist" state with no maaaaaaries or other off-white people around to get annoyingly in your face.)
Getting back to the point, Australia really isn't my turangawaewae, I miss my friends, I miss the landscape, I miss the cultural mix in Auckland or Wellington. And yes, I miss the ACC, which I can't believe they're even considering removing one iota of (of course, screwing that up has been National policy for yonks). I hear of so many people and organisations who would like to put on events here in Oz, but can't because liability insurance would be prohibitive. That sucks.
And here's a question: when do you call yourself an "ex-pat"? I've lived away from NZ for a third of my life, but I certainly don't consider myself one. Is it when you decide you're not likely to return?
Oh, @Sasha, indeed. But I also think "morals" are more about how your behaviour might have an impact on others. As far as I know, unless I'm hogging a toilet cubicle for hours when someone else has a desperate need to use it, there's not much of a moral or ethical factor in my modesty quirks. :-)
Therefore, it's none of anyone's bloody beeswax (unless they're a counsellor or parent who has some accountability for tackling whatever might be causing shame issues).
No worries, Jackie - I actually wasn't too worried about anyone's remarks in this thread. It's more the "what's your problem?" to my face in those circs that winds me up.
And yes, Emma, you're right. I was going to burble a bit more about why these things come about, but thought I'd try and shorten my previous comment somewhat. :-)
Being "overly" modest is often not a positive trait, and for me it's certainly due to more or less fucked-up stuff. And yep, for many, it's probably early family (or societal) culture, and feeling judged about/defined by our bodies. For me, I know a major factor is I have a HUGE need for privacy in general - it's hard dealing with the feeling that "my space" is being impinged on.
But, whatever, at least at this stage of my life. It's like people who want to analyse to the nth degree what makes them queer or kinky. I don't know, there are probably a multitude of factors, and I'm quite happy with the way I am at present, minor hang-ups and all.
But I do have some envy for those who feel freer about their bodies, I mightily resent the factors that make people feel ashamed, and I wish that younger people in particular didn't get burdened with that kind of thing. However, not everyone who needs more modesty feels actual shame about themselves - I don't, any more, even though the behaviour is there.
It also shouldn't tip over into shaming adolescents (or anyone) about their modesty - I can certainly vouch for the fact that being told to get over myself in that area had exactly the reverse effect as a teenager. There are better ways of showing concern and bolstering self-esteem. Although I agree that esteem-bolstering efforts - if shame seems to be a factor - should be made early on to ensure that those feelings don't become too entrenched in anyone.
Regarding the link to the "governess" outfit, holy fucking shit. If I get to take the ruler off Teacher, she can wear that any time.
Getting back on some kind of topic, I had something to say to Patrick Smith about "aviatrix". Cute up till, say, the 40s. Not so much subsequently. It's the condescending nature of highlighting gender when it comes to an occupation that gets me. Especially since English nouns don't need to be gendered. Although it is funny how waiter/waitress, steward/stewardess are hanging on...
The thing about body modesty is a strange thing. I am extremely reticent about showing my body (it takes me a heck of a long time to prance about happily nude in front of lovers, except in the throes of actual seXXX0rings), but I am also extremely unjudgemental of others. Also, funnily enough, I don't give a toss about what people think of my body - I'm reasonably happy with mine.
But I do resent mightily being shamed about my modesty. I'm am happy to enable someone else's "cast it all to the winds" attitude - in fact, it's an attractive quality to me - but I really hate being told to "get over it" myself. I'm over 40, I'm pretty well adjusted, and it just isn't that likely to happen now. If I need to retire to the loo to get changed, what on earth does it matter to someone else?
I still haven't quite pinned down what the issue is - a combination of a semi-Irish family culture, abuse during childhood, and determined attempts to "feminise" me during adolescence (which failed dismally) perhaps. Anyway, I don't care that much; it's a pretty minor quirk, AFAIC.
But again, I do admire those who really are happy to prance about in all states of dress. It's nice to see.
As for the book, nice, erm, cover. :-)
Can I just add my default rant about acts that start at ridiculous late hours? What is wrong with 8pm, FFS?
Done now. Thanks.
Re Nelson, the time machine would need to take you back a few years for Chez Eelco as well. I think it's a travesty, but then again, Auckland can't talk. It still gyps me when I walk around the movie theatre monstrosity where DKD used to be.
Also, Hanlon's Razor is another favourite: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
Much of what is ascribed to government/capitalist/you name it conspiracies can be put down to this particular principle, I feel.
Actually, I'm reminded of Naomi Klein's last opus, The Shock Doctrine, which seemed to get a bit conspiracy-theorist about "disaster capitalism", as she calls it. Is there a term that covers off opportunistic cashing-in? I don't think FEMA and their corporate buddy-buds concocted Katrina, but certainly some organisations made a ton of money from the fuck-up and the clean-up. They certainly didn't hold back from squeezing cash out of whatever agencies they could out of "charidee" - but it doesn't seem to be malice, just rapacious opportunism.