Things I noticed about New Zealand, part 2


Shorts. When I first arrived in New Zealand 2,5 years ago, I was exhilerated to find that here, being gay was apparently something to proudly show off with. That was my only explanation for the length of some men’s shorts. Of course it is horribly prejudiced of me to assume that gay men would all start wearing colorful hot pants the minute they weren’t harassed by the stupidest part of society anymore. Also, it is very sexist of me to notice subjectively feminine clothing on men so much.

I should have really known better, coming from a country were guys wear a raw leather version of short shorts when they’re feeling particularly conservative and manly. I’m quite ashamed of myself, but in my defense: there is absolutely no way a straight German guy would wear pants that reveal more than maybe five centimeters of his upper leg when casually walking around town. So, seeing men proudly showing of their femoral muscles in itsy bitsy panties on the street was just as fabulous to me as if they had been wearing feather-boas.

So, Kiwi guys like shorts. They wear them in summer, they wear them in winter, they wear them in the house, they wear them out of the house, they wear them in e v e r y length, color and shape, and they wear them because there’s this thing with Kiwis and temperature:

Kiwis are to temperature as the French are to delayed trains and the Germans to their behavior towards strangers: They think they have no control over it whatsoever. As the Germans think that being the three big ‘un’s (unfriendly, unspontaneous and unhelpful) is their god given nature and cannot be changed, and as the French accept ridiculously unreliable public transport, the Kiwis accept being cold. They refuse to wear close toed shoes, they don’t insulate and they happily hop around in shorts through thunderstorms, hail and tempest.

Apparently it is part of every true Kiwi student experience to spend a winter sleeping in an anorak with socks on your hands, three hot water bottles that slowly burn through your sleeping bag on your belly and a combination of a beanie and ear muffs on your head. I’m going through that experience right now and I find it amazing. The paradox of waking up to a blindingly blue sky, palm trees gently swaying in front of your window, parrots chirping on your windowsill, to then get up, break off the icicles that grew on your nose over night and go through the torture of changing into freezing cold cloths- it doesn’t cease to amaze me.




6 thoughts on “Things I noticed about New Zealand, part 2

  1. So true…so many times I found myself walking through Auckland in 5 or 6 layers of clothing only to see someone in a singlet, shorts and sandals…they’re so hard!

    You’ll be glad to know it’s no different here in Oz…especially in rural areas. I’ve seen these really hard looking blokes, with very bandy legs, in the tiniest shorts and work boots. It’s most uncanny.

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