The Little Pleasures

Coffee with Fish at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand

Coffee with marshmallow fish

What struck us most about our time in New Zealand was how simple and open the Kiwi lifestyle is.

We noted on more than one occasion how the small communities along Auckland’s North Shore are like the neighbourhoods Dave and I were raised in thirty-some years ago in South Africa.

Before I get into the specifics of our trip, here is a short list of Kiwi pleasures — the little things that made us smile and reminded us of childhood.

  1. Small neighborhood shopping centers, each with their own bakery, butcher, post office, and dairy (cafe/tearoom/corner store).
  2. Kids walking to and from school barefoot.
  3. Hot, flaky meat pies — steak and kidney, chicken and veg — and piping hot, tender sausage rolls.
  4. Main highways with only a single lane in each direction!
  5. Custard slices. Gloriously creamy, sticky-icing-sugared custard slices!
  6. A Friday night youth disco to raise funds for the local school.
  7. Cadbury’s Flakes. Now available in dark chocolate — even better!
  8. Tea rooms and coffee shops, where each cup is served with a chocolate-covered marshmallow fish.
  9. Small, locally owned stationery shops. The kind that smell of paper and ink. That sell ornaments and gifts that children can buy with their own pocket money. The antithesis of Office Depot.
  10. Fanta, still hideously orange and sold in glass bottles. Couldn’t bring myself to drink one but fun to look at none the less!

2 responses to “The Little Pleasures

  1. I love it! I’ve never been to New Zealand, but I can see that South African culture shining through. So glad your trip was fantastic.

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