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Saturday, October 11, 2008

BBQ Season begins!

Well, I don't know what's happened, but I just spent half an hour writing this blog and then it just disappeared. So this is the 2nd, and probably more truncated attempt.
The good ol' Kiwi BBQ !
It has been another full and delightful day today. I love BBQ season! 'Tis not usual that we spend well over 6 hours at our hosts' place when invited out for a meal, but the company was most entertaining, and the food just kept coming and coming...
The Great NZ Pavlova....as delicious as it looks!
We learnt lots from our friends today about intercultural differences and similarities. It was absolutely fascinating. Just even basic things like eye contact, greetings, and simple responses can lead to huge cultural offences! I do cringe sometimes when I think about all the 'toes' that we unknowingly might have 'stomped upon' when we were living overseas...For example - here in Kiwiland, a typical response to someone else's "thank you", would be "no worries mate!". To the Kiwi, this is equivalent to the Canadian "you're welcome". However, in some cultures, to say "no worries" implies that there has been some kind of bother or hassle! Or take the example of the Asian student who has been taught to look down when being reprimanded by a teacher or anyone in authority. A sign of respect and submission. And when they come to NZ, they are then considered rude because they don't make eye contact. The reverse is also true, that when they learn to make eye contact and they go back home to their Asian families, they are then considered to have an attitude problem when they make eye contact with their reprimanding parents!!! I could go on....!

But instead, here are some random shots. The boys had their first ever game of mini golf yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was pleasantly surprised myself, at how much fun the game itself was!

And some shots of Auckland from one of the many mounts we scaled these holidays. Oh, and I feel the need to confess that yesterday, I bought my first ever pair of Italian leather shoes! Entirely handmade in Tuscany. It is totally true what they say about Italian shoes - they are extraordinarily comfortable. I'd never have believed that a fashion shoe for women could be that comfy! (Notice I took your advice about shopping, Dee!)
Looking forward to seeing those photos from Big Bear's graduation!

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