'Whingeing pom' looks at the bright side
Despite a reputation as a whingeing pom, a New Zealand basher, and an ingrate, New Zealand has been good to me.
It has provided me with opportunities which as an adult in stuffy England were never provided. You see, I'm not a useless upper class twit.
No, my beefs with England are many and varied and eclipse any problems I've ever experienced whilst living in New Zealand.
There is simply no comparison, but I won't delve in to the reasons why England became a place I would never wish to spend much time in.
Instead, I'd like to focus on the many advantages of living in New Zealand.
At the top of my list is New Zealand's outstanding generosity to allow me to return to university as a mature student, and to support me whilst doing it, albeit it through personal loans, to achieve a worthwhile education in nursing. Yes, get used to that fact one day this whingeing pom is going to be by your dying granny's bedside.
So much for the noble pursuit of knowledge, but what of the rest? The important stuff?
Well, let me tell you, New Zealand has the best meat pies in the universe. Meat pies with actual meat in them! Chunks of delicious fatty heart busting steak and cheese. These are the things which get me out of bed in the morning. Not the pathetic potato and meat muck they serve in England.
Then there is the beer. New Zealand with its small economy of scale produces outstanding beer. Every beer is a micro-brewed masterpiece. None of this muck you find in Tesco's supermarket brewed by a mad scientist with a thousand different additives.
Monteith's, is great, but my favourite? Emerson's. Heaven for me is sitting in a pub in Dunedin drinking vast quantities of Emerson's beer on tap in one of the many superb pubs whilst listening to the Smiths on the duke box singing about fat girls. Yes, the Smiths, are English, but they're from Manchester which isn't really England at all, it's different. So you forgive.
Then there is the coffee. Coffee with enough caffeine to kick start a fibrillating heart, and wipe out any hangover in minutes.
But the most important thing, the thing which makes me think New Zealand is on the right track? The total lack of the nanny state.
In London, England, there are so many CCTV cameras you can ask customs to give you your holiday snapshots when you leave, but not here in New Zealand.
We don't like government. And we hate the nanny state.
This is a country which has fully subscribed to the notion of live and let live, to keeping big brother out of daily affairs. Except for the smoking ban. But you can't have it all.
But the thing I really like above all else? Sticking it to the man. New Zealand's utter contempt and loathing for big brother USA makes my heart sing with joy.
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