Pumpkin Seed HQ

One of New Zealands important events happens every morning and evening on the street: the courtesy traffic jam. As courtesy is a very deeply anchored concept in the heart of every Kiwi it is logical that the other one always comes first even if a big metal snake is following yourself. For outsiders this is an amusement with drivers waving franticly each other to let the other one take the turn. I really like the courtesy traffic jam, because it is so surreal and can even be quite effective.

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A lot of my friends have a quite misty-eyed preconceptions of how living in New Zealand unfolds. I will try to write down some things I have experienced - this might or might not be

Myth #1:

All produce in NZ is fresh and you don't need to worry about anything.

Experience:

First off: it depends on various factors and this is the view from Christchurch. Fresh vegetable is very seasonal, which is a good thing. The downside is clear: you don't find any specialties from other countries. Also the variety is limited: Kumara, Pumpkin and Broccoli being the most commonly available ones. If you experience NZ lamb, Avocado or milk products you might think we are living in heaven here. Far from that! All decent produce seems to go into export and even in "upper-class" supermarkets you are left with the left-overs. For instance Avocados are cheap and they usually rot already in the shelf. Beyond that there are cheeses, fish varieties, nice meat cuts, sausages you will find for a few dollars in an Australian supermarket which are just not available here. As it turns out and being revealed by a recent TV program food standards regulations are basically non-existing in terms of food additives and  artificial colors. It boils down to you as a consumer being highly alerted about what you buy but it is way better than the fear of a new food scandal from China as we experienced almost every week in HK.

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