The Interislander Ferry is located in Wellington, the national capital of New Zealand which is situated on the southernmost tip of the North Island. No, we hadn’t ever heard of it either. Mostly because, aside from being conveniently located in the geographic center of the country to make it as accessible as possible to all citizens (see, again, Kiwis are just nice people, even to each other) and being the seat of the national government, Auckland trumps Wellington as the international city of New Zealand. Simply put, there’s no rude nickname for Wellington-ers, like there is for the JAFAs up north.
It’s in the interest of education and making you look important that we use the slur, bro. Don’t get mad.
Remember when we discussed how sailors spend their 90 days in French Polynesia? If you wanted to spend a month each on 3 of the islands or spread out to more remote places to spend a week here and a week there? Though we joked about it at the time, we never flat out asked the question, “What if a week in French Polynesia is all you got?”
Time and again we have gotten into conversations with Kiwis (the people not the birds. The birds are cool, but not so cool that they talk.) About American vacation habits. (Though they follow Brits by calling it “holiday-ing.”) They have a hard time with us because when most of us visit, we’re always in such a big rush. Fly in one day, fly out the next. Spend 3 days in Auckland, 3 in Queenstown and fly all the way back home. It makes little sense to their way of thinking. Why spend so much money to travel to a place so far away and spend so little time there?
They are taken aback when we explain to them that is often the extent of time those Americans have and for our country, it’s considered a long vacation.
We tell them how in America we usually don’t get any time off for our first year employed and if we work hard after that, we may get up to about 2 weeks off a year. Subtract a week of that time for attending weddings, funerals and assorted family obligations and what most Americans are left with is about 1 week off a year for vacation.
They look at us and we can feel the question pregnant in the moment – “How do you people live!?”
And now that we’re caught back up in a time crunch with Mom’s visit we are wondering the same thing.
Wellington caught the short end of the stick, no denying it. We rolled in at about 5pm on a Sunday night and had exactly one evening in town before we hopped the ferry to the South Island in our relentless pursuit of Castle Kiwi. Sunday was not Wellington’s best day:
We feel bad. They didn’t get a fair shake. We heard they had a really awesome cultural museum and some sort of cable car thing. But we were on a mission & Mom only had so many days.
We did find one interesting cultural adventure during our time in the capital. When we had asked our local friends for a recommendation for good Mexican food, they gave us a place and we found it in Wellington. Fresh off our time spent in the epicenter of Tex-Mex cooking, we thought ourselves duly qualified to judge the quality of the variance of Kiwi Mexican food against a source control sample oh so recently implanted into our taste buds.
You would think that ordering a burrito from a restaurant called “The Flying Burrito Brothers” would be a safe bet.
This is what you’d get:
It’s not that it tasted bad. It was good…NZ has good food…it’s just…guys, come on.
That wasn’t a burrito.
You Kiwis import the Irish to tend your pubs and you cook fried square burritos!?
When it comes right down to it, once you have experienced the glory of real, authentic Mexican street tacos most all other attempts pale in comparison
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!