Migrant Tales – Felt Like a Culture Junkie on Cold Turkey in Auckland

Cold Turkey E2NZ

Welcome to our very popular series Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.

This tale was taken from comment left in a very robust discussion about New Zealand, first published on theguardian.com. But first, here’s the stimulus for it

Trump, Brexit … Is New Zealand your escape route too? by Eleanor Ainge Roy. 5 August 2016

What many people don’t know is what I try to cover in my work for the Guardian.

That we have the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. That a third of our children live below the poverty line and 10% of our working-age population is on social welfare.

Many New Zealand homes are cold, mouldy and damp, and our prisons are over-flowing. We have serious problems with alcohol, methamphetamine and cannabis – the Kiwi way is to binge to the point of oblivion.

Choosing to live at the bottom of the planet can sometimes feel like you have checked out of life – that you can’t hack it in “the real world”. The perennial angst of antipodeans, former convicts – are we good enough? Why do we live on islands that are so far away, and so expensive to flee?… read on

Here’s the tale

Had lived in Auckland for 11 months and…….. felt like a culture junkie on cold turkey there. When I finally made it back to London Heathrow I almost fell onto my knees, kissing the airport floor, so happy was I to be back. I then spent my next few weeks going to cultural events more or less non stop, as I was starved out for this.

What you dont know about NZ is: its really expensive to live there, when you are someone who has to work for a living. Salaries are comparatively low (I am an engineer) and a normal job has normal 40h+/week working hours. House prices are sky rocking in Auckland. Renting is no real option and again expensive. The 4 season a day weather results in one of the highest global asthma rates and damp houses with very low ceilings (the newly built ones). Life in NZ is: lawn mawing, barbecue, rugby, talking about the All Blacks and mortgages, sailing if you can afford it. Everything closes by 6pm, streets are empty at the latest by 10pm. Kiwis are usually friendly people, but I felt that life down there was very narrow. Kiwis usually live a close knit family life that includes childhood friends. Activities are lived in their back yard. For overseas newcomers its relatively difficult to get access. In work life, things are done the Kiwi way, sometimes the laws of physics, chemistry etc. are ignored to “save” costs thereby resulting in even damper houses. Business partners conduct meetings a little like village talk as everyone somewhat knows everyone else and is somehow related, part of family etc. which has an effect on how decisions are made > resulting in a lack of quality > the job does not always go to the best, but the best related person group etc. Life down there felt like living in a transit and I am very glad to be back in Europe again.”

Here’s another one, just for good measure

Bulgaria over New Zealand – wins hands down

“My wife and I recently emigrated from the UK due to the fact that the country is clearly going down the toilet at a pretty rapid rate. I have a NZ passport and she has a Bulgarian passport so last year we spent six months living in summer in both countries so that we could make up our minds on which one would suit us best.

Bulgaria won, hands down. I hadn’t lived in NZ for ten years but going back was a weird experience; on the one hand, it was like nothing had changed; on the other hand, I could see that the country is suffering from the same economic and political problems as the rest of the Western World. Except that the country is in massive denial about its problems.

NZ is a lovely (but extremely expensive) place to viisit, but living there brings little relief from the problems in the Northern Hemisphere Anglosphere that people would be running from, whilst adding its own new list of problems. Mainly that there is very little to keep the inquisitive mind occupied.

British people looking to escape all the Brexit bullshit would be better off in France or Spain.”


7 thoughts on “Migrant Tales – Felt Like a Culture Junkie on Cold Turkey in Auckland

  1. The boredom will get you down eventually,if there is something going on which sounds interesting there will be a hefty price tag attached to it,if it’s free expect to get what you paid for ,most events focus around the opportunity to overindulge in alcohol.A social function involves people staring you in the face but not talking to you,when they get drunk enough to pluck up the courage to converse with you they most likely won’t remember it.

    • Not to mention the place is always guaranteed to be PACKED and twats fighting over parking spaces. I ignore and avoid all events and the like here because its a waste of fucking time. And you’re damn right about the extortionate prices to ‘enjoy’ these lame bullshit events like its something special. All you end up walking away with is a huge headache from the stress and feel out of pocket from being ripped off. Kiwis fight each other to get to the front of line, to do this, to do that, scuttling and scavenging like rats and not giving two shits who they screw over or are rude to, as long as they get there first and are served.

      • That’s for sure ,they push into lines just as aggressively as they drive their car ,me first ,I win ,must be first, at the supermarket watch them run to join a que just before you get there,they’ll then send their husband or kid to get additional items just so they can maintain their position in the line ,it’s ridiculous but undermines their scarcity mindset,I’d hate to see what would happen if there really was a food shortage here ,they’d likely be snatching food out of their neighbours kids mouths.

        • Too true Tony. Only today did i have some utter subhuman almost smash into the side of my car when the two lanes merged, even tho I was already way ahead of him. He had to zoom and try and beat me to it.

  2. For a long time, I thought I was taking crazy pills. That I was underperforming in my job, and too sensitive about people liking me. I finally got help, i.e., talked with someone who escaped this strange mediocre land. Turns out I’m not crazy. The dedication to mediocrity is fervent here. The passive aggressive behaviour so thick you sometimes can’t even see it because it’s engulfed you. The ignorance hidden by an extraordinary PR campaign that has resulted in people moving here and being an awful fit. It is impossible to get ahead in this country, even if you have a good job.

  3. My fellow British-men are arrogant in believing that New Zealand is this Lord of the Rings haven despite me trying to tell them otherwise (helloooooo ive been here 10 years you’ve never been here) but nooo….they wont listen.

    Big fucking deal we left the EU, people need to get over it. The EU was a cancer. UK certainly has gone down the shitter but that happened YEARS ago.

    Let the idiots come over to NZ, they will soon learn the truth. I’m sick of trying to advise people who ask for my help but then go ahead against my advice…so…whatever.

    New Zealand is a shithole wherever you go, north or south island. Doesn’t make an iota of a difference. You are surrounded by vile proxy humans. Nuff said.

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