Awesome!!!

Kiwis are generally a nice bunch. Pretty gregarious, up for a laugh, generally pretty decent. Maybe it’s the small country attitude, maybe it’s the fact they’ve all learnt to live with each other pretty quick – everyone being a pretty recent immigrant  – by the worlds standards.

The Maoris arrived in the 14the century, and soon started beating the lining out of each other. The Europeans first arrived with Tasman in the 18th century, though the Maoris tried to beat the lining out of him so he didn’t land. The Europeans finally made it ashore with Cook – who in the grand scheme of things was really a pretty decent chap and didn’t really deserve to be eaten by those Hawaiian folk a while later. And shortly after we started beating the lining out of the Maoris cause there were no Irish to take it out on initially. And everyone got it all out of their system and we’re all as bad as each other, and no one really has the right to say it’s their country, cause it’s so recent that it’s all written down. Brief and largely occasionally inaccurate history of NZ over.

As for Ireland, people have been here for so long, we can’t remember who got here first but they’re probably dead or they’ve moved to a villa in Spain. It’s simply a system of the newcomers beating the lining out of those who were there before them, and it’s been going on for ages and that was just the way things were. But now we’ve got books and and someone started writing it down and it all seems desperately wrong to our wonderfully enlightened PC eyes so we’ll have a jolly good fight about it. And now no one can quite remember what all this fighting was over but we’re pretty sure the English are to blame somewhere and everyone’s happy with that at least. And as long as we have McDonalds and Coronation St then we’ll not cause too much of a fuss if you’ll pass the dole cheque please…

A while ago I was going somewhere with this…

Yes Kiwis. They’re startlingly nice really. Disturbingly so. Like Paediatricians. They always smile and don’t have that world-weary cynicism that the rest of the medical professional survive on. They frighten bears I hear. It’s just unnerving.

As an example I went to buy a pair of shin pads on Saturday for the footy match. I get to the check out and the teenager behind the till is instantly smiling and friendly. This is instantly disarming. He should be slacking off and picking his nose and getting complaints for being surly. He asks how my day was and I grunt an acknowledgement – feeling the need to play the grumpy teenager if he’s not willing to hold up his end of the bargain. He asks if I want a bag, which I decline, to which he replies ‘awesome’. Now, not taking a plastic bag for my one item may be a miniscule nod to environmentalism and a million more like me may just save the planet from it’s rapid and slippery descent into the dark ages but it certainly doesn’t warrant the use of the word ‘awesome’.

He wishes that I have a great day and smiles as I walk off in a huff – what does he expect, why would I want to have a great day – I’m flippin Irish! Next thing we’ll be making eye contact and having meaningful communication with our fellow human beings in the shopping mall cathedrals of the twenty-first century. This is why I do all my shopping on the net.

Now (hopefully) this is seen more of an indictment of myself than of poor kiwis. Their gentle enthusiasm in the market place is perhaps disturbing at worst, but more worrying is what superlative that kid is gonna be left to use when he scores a date with that hot chick form school. Though looking at him I’m really not that concerned…

Be nice to me will you… bah humbug

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April 2007
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