Posted by: Matt | September 23, 2008

There and back…..and there and back again.

I think the experience a Kiwi would have coming to the US would be completely different than the experience of an American coming to New Zealand. And, no I’m not necessarily talking about the beauty that is barbeque sauce (notably missing from the Kiwi diet), the ability to use the internet for just about anything (it’s on its way here), or subsidized everything (life can be expensive at $8 a gallon). No, I’m talking about the fact that as an American in a foreign country, I still know exactly what is going on in the US. This morning I watched CNN as Henry Paulson talked to the Senate committee about the bail-out proposal, and watched highlights of the Monday Night Football game between the Jets and the Chargers.

If a Kiwi were to come to the US, they’d have to go to much greater lengths to figure out what is happening in their own country. Are there All Blacks highlights during the ESPN daily Top Ten plays, or news of the scandel surrounding the Prime Minister’s appointees? In fact, does anybody from the US even know who New Zealand’s Prime Minister is? Kiwis definitely know who our president is, and the vice president, and the candidates as well as their running mates.

I don’t say this as a “we all need to expand our international cultural awareness” speech, but rather as a comment on how much the rest of the world looks towards the US. There is an election this year in New Zealand and the date of the polling is very close to the US presidential election date. I have heard a number of commentators on the radio discussing whether or not people will show up at the polls for their own country’s elections or whether they will still be too enthralled with what is happening in the US elections.

In the same manner, there is also a well-covered “Middle Class Crunch” occurring in New Zealand at this time. Just like in the US, the market / economy has taken a tumble in the past 15 months with real estate prices beginning to fall and commodities prices on the rise. The biggest difference, however, is that the newspapers and magazines are constantly looking towards the US economy as an indicator of when this problem will subside.

Hiking Ben Lomond Mountain

No lessons to impart or preaching to accompany this writing. I just think it’s interesting that this far away from the American coastline, we’re still very wrapped up in what is happening there. It seems like everybody is.

Skiing at Treble Cone.  Yes I said skiing.

Skiing at Treble Cone. Yes I said skiing.

While Liz is now gainfully employed at the Crowne Plaza, as you all know from the last posting, I am still actively in the job hunt. By that I mean hiking at least three times a week and drinking tons of coffee. I’ve been on some amazing hikes lately in the area immediately surrounding Queenstown, and you definitely don’t have to go far to experience some amazing scenery. The winter season is almost over here and with that we’ll be getting in even more hiking time.

Hiking with Zulu.  Don't worry Mo, you're still my favorite.

Hiking with Zulu. Don't worry Mo, you're still my favorite.

This weekend, we’re going to head up to the small town of Glenorchy where we’ll start a day-long jetboat safari excursion. Should be a fun little trip.


  1. I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

  2. If there is no bbq sauce I don’t know if I’ll be able to get Dad to go for a visit!
    Love ya!

  3. Matt, here’s your opportunity at financial freedom …the first ever New Zealand BBQ. Can’t you just see Brodahl’s Barbeque billboards all over those glorious mountains! Thanks for reminding us Americans how important it is for us to behave like civilized human beings. We forget the rest of the world is watching. Happy Climbing. Steve and Dee

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