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Qué Carajo! What Colombians Find Weird About New Zealand?

Aotearoa, New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud, God's own, my birthplace. An island paradise in the South Pacific. However, Nueva Zelanda, as it's known in Español, is not perfect, and it has some unique things that may seem strange to outsiders.

After writing about the things that made me go WTF here in Colombia, it's only fair that I give “mis parceros” an opportunity to answer.

So I polled a small fraction of the tens of thousands of Colombians that live or have lived in New Zealand to see what they found odd, funny, or just plain fukn nuts about my country.

Numero Uno - Marmite… no gracias 🤢

Let’s kick things off with the thing that always gets a reaction from foreigners in New Zealand - Marmite! Colombians will quite happily eat chicken necks, guinea pigs, ants, and add cheese to their hot chocolates, but the idea of Marmite is apparently a bridge too far.

“It’s a flavor we are not used to” - replied a disgruntled Colombian woman. For those who don’t know, Marmite is yeast spread we like to put on toast, toasted sandwiches… even on Weetbix.

Numero Dos - Put some shoes on por favor! 🦶🏼

Now this one I would have never thought of but it came up multiple times in my survey. The fact, Kiwis love walking around in public in bare feet! Colombians find this VERY weird.

In Colombia, you don’t see people walking around in bare feet (unless they are homeless, etc.) They don’t understand why normal people would choose to walk the streets, malls, or supermarkets in bare feet.

I will finish this section by asking: Which is worse, bare feet in public or everyone wearing Crocs?

Numero Tres - But it´s only 6 pm, estas loco? 🕦

In Colombia, the malls (Centro Commerciales) open late and close late. So you can imagine the horror for poor Colombians when they are drinking their cafecito browsing the shops in a NZ mall and over the public speakers they hear - “The Mall will be closing in 5 mins.”

They quickly look at their watch to see it’s 525pm… Oh Mi Dios or WTF is going on for English readers. Imagine, the shock when they learn that up until the late 90s, NOTHING was open on a Sunday in Aotearoa.

Numero Cuatro - Wrong side of the road pendejo! 🛣️

This is an obvious yet important difference that I must point out. Unlike MOST of the world, New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road. A fact that can throw off even a seasoned traveler.

I’ve been living in Colombia for nearly 3 years and I still find myself looking the wrong way when crossing the street. So Kiwis, please keep an eye out for any Colombians (They’re probably wearing a big raincoat, jeans, and sneakers) who may be looking the wrong way or about to be run over on Queen Street.

The Rivalry for DBG’s Heart Continues…

In other news, the Colombian women's football team is set to take on New Zealand in a couple of weeks. I plan on being there, dressed in black to cheer on the Kiwis because I will probably be the ONLY New Zealander in the crowd! Chao pues ♥️