- People will say "Pardon?" a lot when you talk. You have an accent. Also, American and Kiwis sometimes use different words for the same thing. So repeat it again, making sure to talk clearly and elaborate when they have a blank face. Also I've noticed this happens more frequently when I'm not facing the person.
- Pronouncing words... "wh" = "f". "R" is usually rolled but if that's too hard, just default to "d". Examples: Iriapa = Idi-ah-pah, whanau = fah-no (whanau means family) Oh, and also the letter "Z" isn't "zee" here, it's "zed". It's that way in Australia too. Totally threw me off when I was singing the alphabet song. :P
- Showers and toilets are usually in separate rooms so you might get funny looks when you ask "Where is the bathroom?"
- Blue and red are gang colors so wear sparingly.
- Pack light so you can take home lots of goodies! You've already heard me rant about how awesome the chocolate and tomato sauce is. New Zealand also has awesome bone and green stone carved jewelry, gorgeous paua shells, and I'm sure a bunch of other things we'll find while adventuring!
- Sun screen. NZ is right under the hole in the ozone so you will get burnt and get skin cancer and die. Unless you put on your sunscreen :)
- Plug converters! If you want to use that laptop/hair dryer/phone charger you brought, you'll need a plug adapter. (Family, I have a million. Don't worry.)
- If possible, watch the movie Once Were Warriors and visit the PCC. ;)
DON'T forget to have the time of your life. Make sure to check out my NZ vocab post and remember... you are an American and represent all Americans when you say or act rude/ignorant/mean/high maintenance.