Andiniaīs staff

Observations on New Zealand (V).

By Douglas Sassman.

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The mystery of central heating: I thought it a peculiar comment when a guy from Norway we met at a party back in the States said to us, 'Iíve never been so cold as the winter I spent in New Zealand.' When someone from Norway speaks of cold I lend him an ear, but New Zealand colder than Norway? I asked for clarification. 'The homes arenít heated there. I froze all winter long.'

We moved to New Zealand in the middle of a wet winter in July and I recalled his comments on our first night buried beneath piles of blankets in our bed. Our home was not only lacking heat, but also insulation. Most folks get by with portable heaters plugged into wall sockets, and we soon joined the ranks. We layer in our house, at ten degrees Celsius the woolens and sheep slippers come on, at five degrees we ring the heaters around us and add a layer of Gore-Texģ.

Now when some pinkie foreigner asks me about heat I snarl and say, 'What class of puffta-boy are you? Heat in New Zealand, did you hear that one honey?'

Itís all the little things: I like how when you go to the movie theatre youíre assigned a seat. I love how my squash club has a bar in it. Iíll take a roundabout any day over a four-way-stop. I find it amazing that policemen can be so courteous and arenít required to wear shiny sunglasses. Iím forever amazed by the amount of milk a Wheat-a bix bar can soak up, and I love reading Dick Hubbardís newsletters in each box of his cereal.

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