Take a look at the photo to the left. What do you see? A child helping their parent, a light blue coat, the cement floor, my view of the shopping carriage, someone’s bare feet, neatly lined cans….
I bet your eyes caught onto the words bare and feet. This may seem strange and slightly shocking to Americans, but here it’s common to see people walking around barefoot; shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, the movies. I’ve seen it numerous times in the past few weeks, and it’s still taking some getting used to. But no one seems to mind or care, and the people who are barefoot seem to be as happy as clams about it. The barefooted lady in my photo even joked with a store clerk about how her feet are more accurate that the tv weather guy! I can vividly recall numerous times throughout my life where all I wanted to do was get out of the supremely uncomfortable shoes I was wearing and run around barefoot. In New Zealand, they do!
But barefoot shopping isn’t the only new day-to-day experience in New Zealand worth musing over.
Another difference here is the food prices. While some items are similarly priced and others are not available altogether, there are some which are surprisingly expensive. Example? Mayonnaise.
Best Foods is the exact same company as Hellmanns. These jars of mayo are about 29 ounces, the biggest I’ve found thus far, for $18.54 NZD. Comparatively, I recently found a 64 ounce jar for $10 USD on Amazon.com.
Differences like these have been unexpected, but then again, they’re all part of the international living experience!