Posted by: Liz | August 11, 2008

Potato…Potaaaato, Tomato…Tomaaato…

I love experiencing a new culture. Living and traveling through New Zealand is a BIG first for me, having not studied abroad in college. The opportunity to dive into a new culture is the main reason I decided to travel halfway across the world.

In honor of the recently discovered differences between US & NZ cultures, I’ve developed a short list, which will undoubtedly be expanded upon later…I’m sure Matt can add his two cents as well!

1) Starbucks coffee (with cream) vs. New Zealand flat white
a. Starbucks = quick, in-and-out, mass-produced taste, commercialized atmosphere, somewhat personable staff.
b. NZ café = labor of love, often with a silver fern, spiral or other carefully crafted design on top of the froth. The “Flat White,” Matt’s daily cup-o-joe, is 40% espresso & 60% milk.

US – 0, NZ – 1 

The infamous Flat White & Latte at Mojo's in Auckland

The infamous Flat White & Latte at Mojo's in Auckland

 2) The Rocky Mountains vs. The Southern Alps

a. The Rockies = massive, vast terrain, powder slopes, plush chairlifts & Apres ski experiences.
b. The Southern Alps = rocky, variable conditions, park bench-style lifts, shuttle trips straight up the mountain to short terrain, yet beautiful scenery when not covered under “long white cloud.”

US – 1, NZ – 0 

Ski bums on top of The Remarkables

Ski bums on top of The Remarkables

 3) Service & hospitality
a. US wait staff/hospitality service = quick, bustling, hard-working for tips, somewhat personable, if the night is going their way, often catering toward the fast paced working/vacationing tourist.
b. NZ wait staff/hospitality service = relaxed, chill, informative and curious, often going the extra mile to direct a tourist toward a favorite local establishment, wait staff seldom checks on its customers (servers not expecting tips), bills paid at front of restaurant.

US – 1, NZ – 1 (pluses & minuses for both!) 

Hospitality at its best with 'The Todd,' our local Kiwi guide

Hospitality at its best with 'The Todd,' our local Kiwi guide


  1. mmmm that flat white look delicious! I am a firm believer that shots of espresso cure any ailments! I think Dr. Jones and Dr. Zipse would concur 😉 you guys look like your having a blast! miss you both!

  2. I might go to New Zealand just to get some of that coffee.

    A ton of Indianapolis Starbucks are closing–including Jill’s and my favorite at Fall Creek & College. 😦 Oh how the might have fallen…

  3. The table pic looks like it came out of a Bon Appetit magazine. Is there a budding food stylist among you?? I’m so glad you are boarding/skiing and having a great time. What a thrill… i’m powdery snow white with envy (in a good way!)

  4. mmmmmm, a Flat White from mojo!!!!! I used to get off the bus two stops early to get one of those on the way to work. Haven’t had coffee like NZ coffee in years.

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