Cracker by Damian Christie


Dear Lord. I go away for a couple of weeks, come back and all you Nu Zilders are talking about gumboots.

Given that my time here in the UK has largely been spent in the company of Kiwis, it’s still funny that I find my ears prick up excitedly everytime I’m out and about and hear that homegrown rising inflection. Yes, it’s a funny little accent, but it’s ours. Well, ours and the Australians, at least as far as anyone over here can discern.

We were watching the 6 Nations at the pub the other night (It’s like the Tri-Nations, but there are twice as many teams, and the rules state that each team must be made up entirely of physically-challenged forwards chasing a greased ball). Italy was once again proving they were only brought in so the other teams never had to worry about coming last (note to Tri-Nations: Argentina).

Anyway, we’d struck up a friendly conversation with some kiwi girls who were at the bar, which lasted until Graeme arrived, and commented loudly they looked weird. New Zealand girls might be friendly, but they’re not deaf (well, apart from those who are, and that’s really unfortunate and stuff, but not the point). So we moved to the other side of the room and started talking to some locals. A great evening ensued. Long story short, as they were leaving, I overheard them say “haven’t you noticed Kiwis are really easy to get on with?”

Which was nicer to overhear than “you look weird” I guess.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some great times with Londoners, but I have picked up an appreciation for what (huge generalisation, but it’s a positive one so it’s okay) easy going, nice people we are on the whole. So, um, yay us.

Highlights from the last couple of weeks in brief:

I did two things I swore I’d never do (don’t worry mum, neither of them involved needles). I bought my first Mac, and I went for a jog for the first time in 18 years. I’m very pleased with both. The Mac is a little gutless compared to my PC at home, but it’s beautiful and does everything I need. The jog was a one-off so far, but I got to discover bits of Oxford I never knew existed (canals!) and got soaking wet in the rain running through Christ Church College gardens. It was cool.

I got food poisoning from a bad oyster and threw up multiple times in a plane (in my seat, in the bag, next to people). The German word for “Air Sick Bag” is Spuckbeutel, which is the only amusing thing to come out of the whole wretched incident.

My thesis thingy is progressing. So is my time left in the UK, rapidly. Much like simultaneously watching the DVD and battery life bar on my Mac when I’m on the Oxford to London bus, it’s going to be touch and go to see which one runs out first, my thesis or my visit). But that won’t stop me from:

New York this weekend for my birthday. And this is where I need some help. Due to no fault of their own (or mine, I hope), all three of my friends in New York have to leave town the weekend I arrive. I have a place to stay, don’t worry about that. But, as it goes, I’ll be alone for my birthday this Saturday (the 25th). Anyone got any great ideas how I can entertain myself, or even better, anyone fancy showing a blogger a good time in the Big Apple? My interests include drinking and music. Flick me a line. Prove I'm right about us being good sorts.