I'll drink your health
share your wealth
Run your life
steal your wife
The other day, I was in a senior year science class and the lesson plans were boring. So I chose to go off the page and hold a discussion. These kids get a lot of rote learning but not much debate and critical thinking practice.
I posed a question that came with no repercussions from me no matter what they decided to answer. They could be impolite, snide, or inappropriate - I did not care.
The question was, "What is the image of the American here in New Zealand?"
The responses were thought provoking, and remember, New Zealand is a nice, friendly country. Imagine how we are looked upon in the unfriendly parts of the world.
Rich - Based on the current exchange rate, our dollar is worth 1.5 Kiwi dollars and prices of many things here are already lower than they were in California, so if you do the math, Americans seem to be rich. We would never be considered rich in San Diego.
Arrogant - They are looking at the recent politics and W. has not helped our reputation with that swagger of his.
Bullies - See "Arrogant" They also view the War in Iraq to have been an obvious error that we should have seen coming down Main Street and cannot believe the
Greedy - New Zealand has a different culture where they value freedom, fitness, family and as little labor as possible. Nobody works one minute after 5PM, even if they are making a big sale.
At the same time, they give a full 8 hour day of constant work, minus tea time. Whatever they earn, they make it last and do not waste their dough on frivolous trinkets. They do not pine for lots of "stuff"
Self indulgent - It's all about ME, not us
Fat - Thanks to "SUPER SIZE ME" they all think Americans spend their time on the couch in front of the big screen munching pizza, cokes, and potato chips. Movies sometimes don't always tell the truth, but in this case....
Christian, Religious -Kiwis most often will claim their religion as "no preference". They keep it private, personal, and in the home. A Christian who attempts to lecture about behavior will be shouted down and told to mind their own beeswax.
Patriotic - New Zealanders love their country and are extremely proud. But they don't wave the flag or wrap themselves in the colors to prove anything. The flag we are more likely to see is the All Blacks Rugby emblem.
Powerful - NZ is a small country that is happy to be alive and lucky to be a beautiful place. They have no desire to expand and are not even looking to add more citizens. So a power trip of ruling the world looks like the act of imperialists.
Ethnocentric - Americans think they have the best country in the world, yet only 25% have ever traveled out of the USA due to not even having a passport. Kiwis are more humble and accepting of people from other places. They also have traveled much more than their American counterparts.
Hot looking girls - One kid thought NZ girls were boring and all the USA girls look like Hillary Duff. He could not be convinced, thanks to the media, that their is a place in America called the Midwest, which is far from Hollywood. If the truth be told, not even Hillary Duff looks like Hillary Duff.
That's it for now from our little corner of the world.
Rick and Barry, they are here, can you spot them??