Traveller to try Kiwi Christmas fare

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013
MAdia Meyer
CULTURE CHANGE: Nadia Meyer, 32, from France, is spending her first Christmas in New Zealand at a Glen Eden homestay.

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Kentucky Fried Chicken is a common theme in Nadia Meyer's Christmases.

Since leaving the south of France in 2008 the 32-year-old has had some interesting festive lunches all over the world.

Rather than sampling local delicacies Ms Meyer says while spending time in Australia and Japan she's had to resort to takeaways.

"The funny thing in Japan is they don't have much room for an oven in their apartments," she says.

"So you see a huge line of people out of KFC. They're the main Christmas meal provider because they make chicken.

"They do good business around that time."

She also can't forget Christmas of 2010 when she and her boyfriend at the time were in Sydney.

After leaving things to the last minute they found themselves sleeping in her rented 4-wheel-drive and feasting on none other than secret recipe chicken.

"We didn't know everything was closed on the 24th and 25th so we had no food and ended up in KFC. It was kind of like a depressed breakfast."

This year she's hoping to break the Colonel's fried chicken trend and tuck into a homemade meal instead.

For her first New Zealand Christmas she's living at Kiwi Heritage Homestay in Glen Eden on a work exchange programme for owner Karen Shepherd.

This year Ms Shepherd is having family and friends around for homemade lunch and will be hosting a few other Kiwi guests as well.

"It's nice to have a full house on Christmas," she says. "If I have overseas guests I try and show them a little bit of traditional Kiwi Christmas culture."

While French and Kiwi Christmases share similarities such as gathering around a meal, there are some differences, Ms Meyer says.

"Everyone talks about the weather and barbecues," she says.

It may not be the last she hears of those magic two words either.

This time next year Ms Meyer is hoping to gain residency.

"I knew I would love New Zealand which is why I left it until last on my travels," she says.

"It's exactly what I thought it would be."

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- Western Leader

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