What’s Wrong with New Zealand

We’ve been back in Dushanbe for just under a week after three weeks away and two and a half weeks in New Zealand. Yesterday I started the massive task of editing nearly 2,000 photos from my DSLR. Why so many you ask? I’ll get to that in a minute.

Before I inundate this blog with posts praising New Zealand, I wanted to take a minute to discuss everything that’s wrong with this country. This may seem odd to you but let me explain. For two and a half weeks Sean and I drove all over the tiny island nation and it was absolutely spectacular. And the more I learned about it, the more difficult it became to make myself leave. I totally understand why so many people go to backpack for a few weeks and end up staying indefinitely.

So in order to find a way to force myself to board the plane that would take me back to Dushanbe, I had to find something wrong with this country. So here goes.

  • They drive on the left side of the road. Seriously. Who does that? Of course, after landing in Queenstown at 9:00 p.m. we had a two hour drive to Te Anau for our first overnight. And of course, it was raining, and dark, on twisty narrow mountain roads. I don’t think I exhaled for the first 30 minutes. Never mind that the rest of the driving was easy and the roads are excellent and empty. Stay Left. Look Right.
  • All the birds are idiots. I don’t think there are enough people on the South Island to get the wildlife used to humans, so every bird we came across tried to kamikaze itself under our tires. New Zealand is also super into conservation so anytime we nearly hit a bird we felt like criminals.
  • Fancy credit card machines make American cards look archaic. Why is the U.S. so behind on credit card technology?! Don’t we know how silly we look to the rest of the world?
  • The DSLR plus beautiful scenery makes for a photo editing nightmare. You could scroll quickly through our photos of Milford Sound or Hooker Valley and come along with us for the ride.
  • They made me eat salmon. I don’t like salmon. But in New Zealand it’s one of the closest things you can get to a national dish so I ate it. And, apparently, I like salmon from New Zealand. Good lucking getting that in Dushanbe, or even the U.S.
  • There’s too much to do. We have a long list of things we didn’t get to on both the South and North Islands. Clearly we will need to go back someday.

Obviously, I’m grasping at straws here. And, obviously, all of these silly things could be easily overlooked and we could have stayed forever. But somehow we found the strength to get on a plane, bid New Zealand farewell, and return.

Kia ora, New Zealand.

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