Antarctica is Almost Close Enough to Touch…

Facing Antarctica??

…At least that’s how it feels to me. Dunedin, New Zealand–where I’m visiting my dear friend Kana from high school–is definitely the furthest south I’ve ever been. This has led to slight concerns regarding falling off the edge of the earth, as well as many confused attempts to epically gaze towards Antarctica while at the beach (difficulties stem from my horrendous sense of direction). I only spent a short time here, but we’ve definitely made the most of it and I think I’ve experienced a solid sampling of Kiwi culture. I hope to share with you some of my new fun facts!

Incredible Linguistic Tidbits:

  • Tramping–This means hiking, but sounds ever so much more awesome. Brings to my mind an image of Bigfoot wearing snowshoes tearing through the forest, which I like to compare to my own hiking style.
  • Stubbies–Kana has enlightened my life by introducing this new slang for rugby shorts. For the uninitiated, rugby shorts tend to be SHORT and well-fitting, particularly when worn by beefy rugby ‘blokes’. Given my strong familiarity with rugby shorts and the ridicule they generally receive in the states, I love seeing them worn everywhere and referred to as ‘stubbies.’

Beach cartwheels in my "sneans"

  • Sneans–Upon donning what I deem acceptable travel attire–sneakers and jeans–I was mocked for wearing ‘sneans.’ Apparently this is considered stereotypical American wear, although I’m not sure if the implied scorn is fair considering the evident popularity of jorts…

New Zealand has perfectly met three of my four expectations for it. It is definitely as rugby crazy as people say, full of sheep (nine for each person!) and heart-achingly beautiful. However, it is not home to hobbits, elves, or dwarves, AND most disappointingly, Dunedin does not appear to have any relation to the Dunedain. Sigh. To stem my disappointment, I plunged headlong into a two-day fact-finding mission.

What facts did I find?? (*NERD ALERT*)